JUSTIN AND KATE ON H-TOWN

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander disclose their 5 favorite Houston haunts

Photo by Daniel Ortiz

This article originally appeared on CultureMap and was written by Holly Beretto.

Houston once again is in the national media spotlight. This time, it's courtesy of Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and his ultra-glam, supermodel wife, Kate Upton, who dish to the New York Timeson their five places to visit in the Bayou City. While neither was born in Texas, they got here as quickly as they could, as the saying goes, and they say they've become immersed in the energy of their new hometown.

With the addition of their baby, Genevieve, and Verlander inking a deal with the Astros to stick around until 2021, Upton and Verlander definitely consider themselves Houstonians. Having the dynamic duo sing the city's praises should increase that intense local pride and serve as a reminder to all that Houston is totally celeb-worthy.

So, where do Verlander and Upton like to hang out? Here's some of what they share with the Times.

Downtown

No surprise that Minute Maid Park made the couple's list of favorite places in Houston. It is, after all, a home away from home for them. Verlander touted the enthusiasm of them fans when the team won the 2017 World Series. "Feeling that atmosphere in the ballpark was amazing," he says. Meanwhile, Upton talked about how she and Verlander's brother have a superstition they follow. "We eat popcorn to get hits."

EaDo

Kate Upton — who needs no introduction as she's often called one of the world's most beautiful women — does a serious name drop of her own when she shares her love of Nancy's Hustle (which won Restaurant of the Year at this year's Tastemaker Awards). "My friend Stella McCartney introduced me to it and it is the best burger I have ever had," she tells the Times. "They use an English muffin instead of a bun and it really just enhances the flavors."

There was a bit of bickering between the couple when Upton told Verlander, a self-professed burger lover, about the dish. When she insisted they stop in after a game, though, his skepticism vanished. "..[It] really is to die for," he said. Upton clarifies. "[He] said the burger was in the top three [that he'd eaten]." Verlander, clearly sold, does have one significant question: "But does it count as a burger if it's on an English muffin?"

Montrose

Who doesn't like meandering around Montrose, with its funky shops and headlining bars and restaurants? Those who do this routinely might run into the power couple, who told the Times they love the trendy neighborhood. Upton gave shout-outs to home good store Biscuit, Texas honkytonk Goodnight Charlie's, and the Chris Shepherd-led UB Preserve. Verlander offered a pro tip: "[G]oing on a Monday is sometimes better because it's not as crowded."

Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about their favorite spot in River Oaks.




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There's an elephant in the room when it comes to the Houston Texans. No, it's not Bill O'Brien. He's the ominous black cloud that hoovers over the whole building. That cloud is like a slow moving weather system that's constantly dumping rain and flooding the city. Eventually, it'll pass, we'll rebuild and recover from it.

It's not even the McNair family. Cal and Janice are the building itself. It exists, but needs people around and operating it in order for it to fully function. Sure, it could use some work. After all, it's almost twenty years old and could probably use a facelift. It happens when buildings age and are only taken care of or held to minimal standards.

The elephant in the room is Deshaun Watson. More specifically, his progress as a franchise/superstar quarterback. I've heard different people talk about this in one way, shape, form or whatever. AJ and Fred covered it on ESPN Houston's The Blitz. My friend @itsDanielBsr tweeted it and brought it up as well. There were others who talked about this topic, but these were the two places I encountered it in which I could pay closer attention.

When it comes to Watson, most people believe he's a great talent. However, there is a growing sentiment that it's time for him to take the next step. Watson turned 25 on September 14. He signed his four-year extension about a week before his birthday. When you're getting paid like a top quarterback and people recognize you as one of the better young quarterbacks, there comes a time when you need to poop or get off the pot.

When calling Watson to the carpet, people will call O'Brien into question. O'Brien is a factor in holding Watson back some. He's been the play-caller his whole time here in Houston up until this year when he allegedly turned it over to Tim Kelly. We've all seen how that has gone. O'Brien is also the general manager that traded away Watson's top target in DeAndre Hopkins. These type of things can hinder a young quarterback's growth and development, but at what point do we stop blaming O'Brien and start looking at Watson?

Some will point to the offensive line as a key factor as to why Watson isn't progressing. We've seen him escape sacks and create plays out of thin air. But when is it time to call him to the carpet for not going through his reads and/or making a check-down? He often escapes sacks and looks downfield, but should he be looking to scramble more often? Should he be reading progressions better? These intimate details are answers we won't ever get, but we hope we can understand that Watson is making his reads and decisions the way he's supposed to.

Whether it's his big extension, his bumbling idiot of a head coach, his lack of protection, or his lack of weapons, fans will eventually stop giving Watson a pass. Del said it best on ESPN Houston's The Bench: When will people stop bringing up Clemson when talking about Watson's greatness? NFL quarterbacks have their college career talked about in their rookie seasons. After that, it's all about what have you done for me lately. I sincerely hope Watson realizes his tremendous potential. He's a star now and a superstar in the making. The one thing that he needs is the success on the field that will catapult him into the upper echelon of the other top talents at his position. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson all have either a league MVP award and/or a Super Bowl ring. If Watson is to be mentioned in that rarefied air, he needs to start taking the necessary steps. The clock is ticking and people are watching. Your move Deshaun.

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