Editor's note: It's that weird time of year when elastic pants are worn without apology, no one is totally sure what day it is, and you find yourself eating things like leftover brie in puffed pastry simply cause it's in the fridge. Let us drag you back into reality (momentarily) with our most popular stories of the week.
1. Texas hot spot heralded by national magazines as best place to travel in 2019. After years of being overlooked for Dallas (... and Austin ... and San Antonio ... and West Texas), Houston is having its moment as Texas' next cool city. Both Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure have deemed H-Town a "must-visit" for 2019.
2. Lights out for psychedelic North Austin gastropub, plus more food news. In what is — fingers crossed — the last closing of 2018, North Austin's Royal Jelly announced it was turning off the black lights forever. No word yet what will take its place, but rumor has it a familiar name in Austin nightlife snatched up the spot.
3. Texas population exploded from 2017 to 2018, says Census Bureau. The Lone Star State added more residents, 379,128 to be exact, than any other state last year. [Insert generic joke about California/traffic/housing prices here.]
4. Road trip to the oldest town in Texas, stay in a shipping container hotel, and more of 2018's best travel stories. As 2018 winds down, we're taking a look at the top travel stories of the year. From glam Texas Hill Country hideaways to West Texas treasures, here are the places you should travel in 2019 (in addition to Houston we guess).
5. New casual all-day eatery sends upscale seafood spot swimming downtown. Guild, an upscale seafood spot that opened on North Lamar Boulevard and 38th Street last year, is heading downstream. The bougie bistro is moving into a new location downtown while a new spot, Rosedale Kitchen & Bar, glides into it's North Lamar address. It's like Freaky Friday for restaurants.