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Liv loves food!

At some point during the editing process, my editor, Thalia, suggested that Liv should make a comment like, “…awful bros make me only want to eat ice cream.” My response was that Liv doesn’t stress-eat (she may stress-drink once in awhile); she genuinely loves good food.

Another instance where I had Liv eating off a friend’s plate, Thalia asked if they were that kind of friends. Again, my response was that Liv loves food – she’s “that kind of friend” with everyone.

She’ll certainly cook up a great meal (see book recipes for some of her favorites), but doesn’t mind dining out as long as it’s something wondrously delicious. I reference several restaurants in Altered (some explicitly, some vaguely) so thought it might be fun to list them here with some interesting tidbits.


Liv’s roommate, Julia, brings her some Frenchy’s near the beginning of the book. She chooses 4 of the wings special along with Frenchy fries and strawberry soda.

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When I first moved to Houston to go to college, the school was located a few blocks from the original Frenchy’s in 3rd Ward on Scott Street. I had this chicken at least once a week if not more. The people were rude (they’ve since changed their customer service policy), but it was worth the wait and mistreatment to get that fried chicken and Frenchy fries (can’t just call them fries). And, of course, a strawberry soda completed the meal. This is by far the best chicken ever.

Ragin Cajun

The first time Liv and Nicholas really hang out as friends, they decide to have some Cajun/Creole food here: james-carville (489x640) (489x640)

Oh wait, wrong ragin cajun. I meant here:

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This type of food is my absolute favorite and with Houston being so close to Louisiana, I never have to go without. During crawfish season, I’m a regular here.

Here’s my younger daughter, Kamryn, and her boyfriend, Alex, enjoying a bucket (or two) along with some fried crawfish tails.

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Before finals start, Liv’s study group convinces her to go out for a nice dinner and drinks. They hit this downtown hot spot which serves Latin tapas and specialty drinks like Thai Me Up, Brazilian Pearl Necklace, and Grilled Lemonade. Liv ends up seeing her ex and she gets sloshed.drunk

My oldest daughter, Diamond, and I lurv this restaurant. I accidentally discovered it with my best friend, Gerri, while wondering around downtown one night. I’ve been back at least a dozen times since and I live FAR from here.

The Breakfast Klub

This is a wonderful place to have breakfast. I’ve never actually dined inside because it’s normally too crowded and the wait too long. I’ve had plenty of food to-go from here though which is what Julia opts to do to help Liv through her hangover. From catfish and grits to chicken and waffles to veggie omelets, this place has it all.

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Fog Harbor Fish House

When I first wrote Altered, I thought I was writing a different restaurant on Pier 39 in San Francisco. I’m from Northern California and have been to Pier 39 countless times, but I hadn’t been there in more than 10 years before writing. Luckily, I visited a few months after finishing the book, for my high school reunion, and was able to dine at the Fog Harbor Fish House and refine a few details during the editing process.

Here’s Kamryn and my friend, Sheila, standing just outside the restaurant with Coit Tower in the background. You should be able to see Transamerica Pyramid, but my daughter’s head is in the way :-).

fog house

In-N-Out Burger

Growing up in Stockton, California, there was no such thing as In-N-Out Burger. I suppose that old saying about not missing what you never had should apply here, but I can’t keep feeling that I somehow missed out during my childhood. Of course now there are plenty of these places all over California and I had the pleasure of enjoying it on a regular basis when I lived in Los Angeles for four years later in life. There are a few in Texas as well, but alas, none closer to Houston than San Antonio (3 hours away).

Nicholas is such a sweetheart and after he and Liv share an evening in their makeshift hot tub, he runs out and buys Liv a hamburger “animal style” to take her mind off the missteps of the night before.

There are several more restaurants mentioned throughout Altered so pre-order it to read those too.