Photo courtesy of Bayou City Hemp Company

Since the rise of low THC and CBD products in Texas, we've nearly seen it all. Gummies, chocolate, candy, baked goods, and more. But now, two Houston companies have developed the next hottest (or should we say coolest?) product on the market: cannabis-infused seltzers. And now they'll be distributed all across the state.

Bayou City Hemp Company (BCHC) has teamed up with award-winning 8th Wonder Brewery, Distillery, and Cannabis to manufacture these nonalcoholic beverages for statewide distribution. They have previously worked together since 2021 to pioneer the first-ever hemp-infused seltzer in the state.

Their latest drinks will be shared throughout Texas by Flood Distribution, in a huge milestone for the beverage and cannabis industries. In a press release, Flood Distribution co-founder Kyle White stated "now" is the time to get into the ever-expanding industry.

"THC-infused beverages are safe, delicious, and offer clients the opportunity to be at the forefront of this industry and steer the direction it will head in the future," White said.

In addition to BCHC's THC-infused ranch water and paloma seltzers, a few of the beverages that will be available all throughout Texas include 8th Wonder's Trillionaire, Lil Bit, and Wonder Water. Other offerings include drinks that have been already established in other areas of the country, such as Happi, Good Feels, Drippy, and more.

“It’s a huge milestone for Happi to not only become the first national cannabis beverage brand with local distribution in Texas, but to also launch our unique functional seltzers Happi Glow and Happi Nightcap with this team,” said Lisa Hurwitz, Happi president and cofounder. “Collaborating with these partners to locally produce Happi really makes us feel at home in Texas.”

To ensure the beverages are compliant with Texas law, they have been formulated using BCHC's proprietary technology with hemp-derived Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC.

BCHC CIO Stephen Horton explained the innovations by the company's Houston-based research and development lab have "enabled [them] to to develop some of the most delicious and effective" beverages.

“At Bayou City Hemp Company, we have the expertise to formulate a wide range of functional and flavorful beverages that meet the needs and preferences of today’s discerning consumers,” said Horton.

Bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and many other marketplaces in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio will soon see these seltzers on their menus and store shelves in May.

Yoyo's Hot Dog/Facebook

Houston's most glizzy hot dog cart lands new home in local distillery's budding cannabis dispensary

getting glizzy with it

One of Houston’s most acclaimed hot dog purveyors has found a new home. Yoyo’s Hot Dog will begin operating at 8th Wonder Distillery in EaDo beginning this Thursday, March 9.

Known for its elaborately topped hot dogs that draw lines of an hour or more, Yoyo’s operated in Rice Village for more than a decade. When the hot dog cart lost its lease at the end of January, its owners began the search for a new place to operate.

Matt Marcus, 8th Wonder’s event coordinator and culinary director, tells CultureMap that he contacted Yoyo’s about coming to EaDo. They settled on 8th Wonder’s distillery and cannabis dispensary at 2201 Dallas St., because it stays open later than the brewery.

“I’ve been a huge fan of theirs,” Marcus says. “When I saw they were getting kicked out, I reached out to them.”

Yoyo’s co-owner Kevin Dang says he and partner Danny Kim (aka, Yoyo) heard from a number of interested venues, but that Marcus’ status as a former food truck owner helped persuade them to give 8th Wonder a try. He thinks the new neighborhood will appeal to Yoyo’s regulars, too.

“I like the EaDo area a lot. It’s an up-and-coming area that’s popular with the younger crowd,” Deng says. “Our customers liked Rice Village, because it had ample parking and was safe. I get the same vibe with EaDo.”

For now, Yoyo’s will operate with the same hours it did in Rice Village — Thursday-Saturday from 8 pm - 3 am. That could change depending on customer feedback or the rhythms of the new neighborhood.

“I was in EaDo on Sunday,” Deng says. “I realized they have a huge block party at Chapman and Kirby. I’m considering adding Sunday to the mix as well, mainly for that crowd.”

As for the hot dogs themselves, Yoyo’s distinguishes itself from a backyard frank in a number of ways. The oversized, all-beef dogs are griddled and butterflied to better hold all the toppings. A layer of cream cheese gets applied to the toasted bun. Then, the dogs are topped with caramelized onions, crispy fried onions, and Yoyo’s signature sriracha and honey mayo. Best of all, diners watch the process happen right in front of their eyes.

“We do happen to sell hot dogs, but really what we sell is customer experience,” Deng says. “Whenever you see us prepare the food, you see it right in front of you. There’s no kitchen in the back. They see us pull the ingredients, cook it, assemble it, and sauce it.”

Marcus, a classically trained chef who consulted for James Coney Island several years ago, affirms that the Yoyo’s dog lives up to its reputation.

“It’s a good, greasy thing that will be great for our patrons,” Marcus says. “It’s going to help the whole neighborhood as far as the late night crowd around us.”

Putting hot dogs in close proximity to 8th Wonder Dispensary’s legal cannabis products could be an ideal pairing.

“Hot dogs and cannabis — they’re perfect,” he says.

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Spicy Sichuan hot chicken sandwich restaurant is a go in buzzy Heights-area food hall


The man behind a popular burger joint has added spicy chicken sandwiches to his repertoire. Chef Sunny Vohra has opened Thunderbirds HTX inside Railway Heights Market, the food hall and shopping plaza near the Heights.

Vohra, an L.A. transplant whose Houston resume includes time at Indian fine dining restaurant Kiran, first made a splash with Margaux’s Oyster Bar in Bravery Chef Hall and smash burger restaurant Peaky Grinders at Railway Heights. Having recently parted ways with former business partner Choey Dang, Vohra switched Peaky Grinders to the Meat + Cheese Project — a new concept built around smash burgers and cheesesteaks — and opened Thunderbirds.

For her part, Dang will open a new location of Peaky Grinders in the upcoming Midtown location of the Conservatory food hall and maintains ownership of Margaux’s, Vohra tells CultureMap.

Turning to Thunderbirds, the new restaurant serves Sichuan hot chicken. Similar in approach to Nashville hot chicken but made with a different blend of spices, Vohra explains that each chicken piece gets marinated in both a spice paste and a spice oil that’s infused with Korean chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and other ingredients. After cooking, it’s dusted with a power made from Sichuan peppercorns and, for those who really want to feel the burn, scorpion chiles.

Chef Vohra says that Daybird, a chicken concept founded by Top Chef season 12 winner Mei Lin, as well as traditional Sichuan restaurants Lao Sze Chuan and Chongping Chicken influenced his direction. Like the Meat + Cheese Project, Thunderbirds serves halal meat.

"I have always been fascinated by the complexities of Sichuan cuisine and its symphony of flavors," Vohra said in a statement. "We wanted to create a unique and unforgettable taste by combining the essence of Sichuan with the classic Nashville hot chicken sandwich. The result is a flavor-packed fusion that challenges taste buds and leaves customers wanting more."

The menu includes chicken sandwiches, chicken sliders, chicken wings, and fries that are topped with fried chicken and sauce. Calamansi lemonade helps ease the burn.

Railway Heights Market has seen significant turnover since it opened in 2021. Of its opening vendors, only Mykuna, a South American concept from chef David Guerrero, remains open. In addition to Thunderbirds, other newcomers include Meshiko, Mexican-influenced sushi restaurant; Mediterranean concept Z Pita; and El Comal Taco Eatery.

Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is lone Texas star on Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the U.S.


A magnificently hidden home located just an hour away from Austin has been chosen as one of Vrbo's "Vacation Homes of the Year" for 2023. It was the only Texas home chosen out hundreds of thousands of private residences on the vacation rental site.

The Vacation Homes of the Year showcases several popular homes throughout the country (with the occasional international spot) that range from "idyllic lakeside escapes to cozy mountain retreats and desert paradises." In all, two homes are based in California, and one each in Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, New York, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, and Mexico.

Texas' Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway is tucked away on five acres of land bordering the Pedernales River in Dripping Springs. The home spans 2,150 square feet with an open-concept living area, three spacious bedrooms, two lavish bathrooms, a modern chef's kitchen, fireplace, and a breathtaking wrap-around terrace.

Floor-to-ceiling windows complete the space, allowing guests to take in all of the tranquility the Hill Country has to offer. With the home's 430 feet of river access, visitors can enjoy escaping the city and relax into the views of the vast canyon below.

Dripping Springs Riverfront HideawayImagine a getaway to this Hill Country paradise. Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The property is within a half hour drive to many of the finest wineries, breweries, and must-see outdoor recreation spots in nearby Dripping Springs. Fredericksburg is only an hour's drive west for those wanting to put a greater distance between them and downtown Austin.

The average nightly cost for the riverfront oasis is $475, making it an ideal destination for small groups, a family trip, or a couple's getaway.

Dripping Springs Riverfront Hideaway

Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway was the only Texas home chosen on Vrbo's list.

Expedia Brands president Jon Gieselman shared in a press release that there were plenty of eye-catching homes to wade through for the report.

"This year’s Vacation Homes of the Year range from an urban oasis and a cozy ranch home under $400 a night to a beachfront estate that can sleep the whole family and more," said Gieselman. "Every single Vacation Home of the Year has a beautiful view, and combined boast seven private pools and fire pits, eight hot tubs and even five putting greens."

The full list of Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year are:

  • No. 1 – The Oasis Estate in Palm Springs, California
  • No. 2 – The Happy Roadrunner in Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 3 – The Chasestone in Lake Norman, North Carolina
  • No. 4 – The Contemporary Gem in Manzanita, Oregon
  • No. 5 – Ocean View Oasis in Montauk, New York
  • No. 6 – The Riverfront Hideaway in Dripping Springs, Texas
  • No. 7 – 30A My Way in Rosemary Beach, Florida
  • No. 8 – Port of Call in Isle of Palms, South Carolina
  • No. 9 – Salmonfly Lodge in Victor, Idaho
  • No. 10 – Trestle House in Winter Park, Colorado
  • No. 11 – Villa Luna Nueva in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
More information about Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year can be found on their website.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus navigates marriage pitfalls in You Hurt My Feelings

Movie Review

Anybody who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows that it’s almost impossible to be completely honest with his or her partner. There are always going to be moments – whether for the sake of expediency, in a show of support, or other reasons – when one person withholds their true opinion so as not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

That idea is the central tension point of You Hurt My Feelings, which follows Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a writer/teacher, and her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist. Beth is in the middle of trying to get her first fiction book published, a process that is causing her unceasing anxiety. Don sees a series of patients, including a constantly-bickering couple (played by real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn), and a few lapses cause him to question his commitment to the profession.

When Beth and her sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), accidentally overhear Don telling his brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), that he doesn’t like Sarah’s new book and is exhausted having to tell her otherwise, it sends Beth into an emotional spiral. The aftermath winds up pulling in not just the two couples, but also Beth and Don’s son, Eliot (Owen Teague), dredging up feelings that all of them normally try to keep hidden.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film is a funny and genuine look at how even the best couples can run into pitfalls. By most measures, Beth and Don get along fantastically well, supporting each other unwaveringly and showing their love in a variety of ways. When the story puts them at odds with each other, there’s never a question that they belong together, as even their arguments are tinged with exasperation instead of anger.

Holofcener complements the story of Beth and Don with a nice variety of side plots, including Eliot trying to start his own writing career while working at a weed store; Beth and Sarah’s mom, Georgia (Jeannie Berlin), offering up support and criticism in equal measures; and more. Don’s patients and Beth’s students offer an opportunity to expand the two characters’ personalities outside of their marriage while also adding a few other funny roles.

While perhaps not the most insightful film about marriage that’s ever been made, it is still highly enjoyable thanks to Holofcener’s writing and the strong performances. Filmed in New York City, the particular feel of that urban landscape and the way it affects the lives of the characters also plays a big part in the success of the film.

Louis-Dreyfus, as always, is a delight to watch. A kind of spiritual sequel to her previous collaboration with Holofcener, 2013’s Enough Said, the film gives her plenty of room to show off both her comedic and dramatic skills. Menzies makes for a steady presence, showing good chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus and a preternatural calm in therapy sessions. Watkins, Moayed, Teague, and Berlin all fit in seamlessly.

You Hurt My Feelings is not a world-changing kind of movie, but rather a solidly told story about how relationships can be complicated. With actors who are easy to like and Holofcener’s reliably great filmmaking, it’s a movie for adults that’s nice counter-programming to the glut of summer blockbusters.


You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings

Photo courtesy of A24

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings.