Reliant Stadium in Houston where the Cincinnati Bengals will have a playoff rematch with the Texans on Saturday, January 5. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
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Bengals playoffs: 9 Houston trip tips

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Taking the Who Dey nation to cheer on the Bengals this Saturday versus the Texans in Houston? Still packing for the trip? Have a little extra time to see the sites of Space City? Here are a list of 9 things to prepare you for the trip, including attractions and restaurants while decked out in black and orange attire.

Dress – What to pack.

1. It's not a bad idea to pack a thin long-sleeve shirt or jacket to wear with the Bengals jersey– and possibly a poncho or umbrella for Saturday with a predicted 20 percent chance of showers and a high around 53 degrees. Friday and Sunday look better weather-wise with sunny skies and temps in the 50s and 60s respectively.

Food – The one thing everyone is going to have time for if making the trip to Houston is food. Here are couple places near Reliant Stadium that tops the local lists on Urbanspoon and Zagat.

2. Casual – For between $6 and $14 Niko Niko's Greek, a self-described Greek and American Café located about 5 miles from Reliant Stadium at 2520 Montrose Blvd., offers up calamari, Niko's cheese & dip platter, tzatziki, melizano salata, and chicken avgolemono. Zagat.com gives the restaurant an 84 percent likeability rating and Urbanspoon.com ranks Niko's number one for casual dining restaurants.

3.  Local fair – Think of Texas food, think red meat, particularly barbeque. Goode Company Barbeque, located about 3 miles from the stadium at 5109 Kirby Drive,  is described by the Houston Press as a place that "deserves a medal," with a menu that include bbq po-boys, pralines,  a homemade brownie, honey-smoked ham, beef brisket, and an intriguing stuffed barbeque potato priced between $8 and $15.

4.  Fine dining – Want to put down top dollar for that post Bengals' victory meal?  A trip to Hugo's, a fine dining Mexican cuisine restaurant located about 5 miles away from Reliant Stadium at 1600 Westheimer, might be in order. With an 86 percent likeability rating on Urbanspoon, menu items include coctel de langosta, tiradito de huachinango, and cochinita pibil, barbacoa, with individual items priced between $14 and $44. Reservations are accepted. Visit www.hugosrestaurant.net for more information.

Where to celebrate a win – Go about five miles north of Reliant Stadium and there are a cluster of local bars and nightspots to either celebrate a Bengals' win or make plans for next year.

5.     Pub Fiction – Located at 2303 Smith Street, Pub Fiction is a sports bar that touts itself as "not your typical pub" based on those large urban bars in New York City and Chicago. For more information visit www.pubfiction.com .

6.     Howl at the Moon – Yes, the classic piano bar chain that started in 1990 with its first location in Cincinnati is still going strong in Houston at 612 Hadley Street in the same neighborhood as Pub Fiction.

Attractions – Planning to head to Houston a day early, or planning to stay a day late? Check out these local sites.

7.     Houston Museum District – Located about 4.5 miles from Reliant Stadium, the Houston Museum District boasts 19 museums within a 1.5 mile area that also includes restaurants and relative close proximity to the Houston Zoo. For more information visit http://houstonmuseumdistrict.org/ .

8.     Minute Maid Park – Walk up tours of the home of the Houston Astros are offered Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and noon. Enjoy the stadium and in comparison remember at just how good the Cincinnati Reds are . For more information visit the Houston Astros home page .

9.     Space Center Houston – While in Space City, see space city. A bit of a drive, about 30 miles from Reliant Stadium, the space center offers tours and hands on experiences  10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Space Center Houston is located at 1601 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, Harris, Texas 77058. For more information visit www. spacecenter.org .

Have other suggestions for planning a trip to Houston for the playoffs? Leave a question in the comments below.

 

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