Each week, our My Top 5 series highlights Houston movers, shakers, entrepreneurs, and people shaping the character of the city. In turn, they share their favorite things to do around the city when they’re not hard at work. This week, we’re pleased to feature Marcus Gausepohl, sommelier and rising-star wine aficionado from the iconic Brennan’s of Houston.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Marcus Gausepohl
- Banh Xeo – There are plenty of dishes to eat around Midtown, but my favorite is banh xeo, a Vietnamese egg crepe that literally translates to “sizzling pancake”. Usually made with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, it’s served with lettuce to wrap it up and dip into nuoc cham. This is a favorite dish of mine after a long night out. Thien An serves my favorite version of the dish. I even brought it to our Christmas pot luck, which was a big hit. Just avoid peak hours if possible, as Thien An gets really busy during lunch.
- Vinyl Edge – Those who know me or follow my social media know my interest outside of wine is music. I have been collecting records since I was 14. Vinyl Edge has been serving the music community in Houston for longer than I can remember. Chuck Roast and the friendly staff always do a knock-out job to stock the store with great selections. They also sell and repair audio equipment, in case you’re ever in need.
- Vinology – Wine retail has a lot going on in town with big players like Specs and Total Wine. Smaller boutique wine shops can be overlooked, but they are what help push wine culture forward. You won’t find Rombauer chardonnay at Vinology, but you will find fun and funky wines from all over the globe from passionate staff that believe in the product they are selling. Pro Tip: Ask for Cory. He’ll point you to some fun bottles you may or may not have experienced before.
- Paulie’s & Camerata – Paulie’s is my favorite go-to lunch spot. It’s a Houston institution and reliably has great food. The shrimp BLT is my favorite sandwich in Houston. After you finish a meal, pop over to Camerata, the wine bar next door, where there’s always something new and fun to try on the list full of great producers.
- Milk + Sugar – Is there anything better than a local neighborhood ice cream shop? Milk + Sugar popped up in the hood a few months ago and has been serving up some delicious ice cream. It’s a perfect after-dinner spot to end date night. Try the Cereal Milk Cream. It’s so delicious.
About Marcus Gausepohl
A native Houstonian, Marcus Gausepohl’s passion for wine began in his early twenties with a trip to Hungary in the region of Somlo, which piqued his curiosity and led him to consume as many books (and bottles) as he could get his hands on. He now helms the wine list at Brennan’s of Houston, which has been a landmark Texas dining institution since it opened in 1967. Gausepohl’s professional resume includes curating Houston’s first Champagne-focused wine list, procuring Ibiza Food & Wine Bar’s first award-winning wine list under Charles Clark and curating an 800+ bottle wine cellar as Wine Director at the famed Mark’s American Cuisine. Appointed Brennan’s of Houston’s “Wine Guy” in 2016, he’s revamped the selection by focusing on its French and by-the-glass offerings, which are conceptually appropriate for Brennan’s of Houston’s Texas Creole menu. During his tenure, Gausepohl has rewritten Brennan’s wine list to over 2,000 selections, bringing in a new era of wine culture and establishing a “drink what you like” philosophy in the restaurant.