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Jul 12, 2006 03:47 AM

Gimme some Houston restaurant ideas -- please!

I am born and raised in New Orleans, and I'm taking a weekend trip to Houston to visit a good friend who is originally from Massachusetts, went to Tulane in New Orleans with me, got her graduate degree in Illinois, and has moved to Houston to complete her doctoral degree. We both are pretty ignorant of Houston restaurants and cuisine, and need some ideas. According to Yahoo Maps, she lives near Jersey Village and Satsuma, but we have a car and can travel. I definitely want to do one fancy/gourmet meal, but I have no idea where to go. Price is no object for that particular meal. I also would like to have some regional cuisine for the rest of the meals, but again I don't have a guidebook and probably won't have a chance to get one before I fly out. I need your recommendations!

Thanks so much in advance!


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  1. Da Marco's is my favorite upscale Italian restaurant, also Cafe Rabelais in Rice Village, excellent french bistro. Try Hugo's for very good mexican (not really Tex-Mex).

    1 Reply
    1. re: JDBlagg

      I second the motion for Cafe Rabelais...we just ate there Wednesday night and the food, wine and service were wonderful, as usual. They are closed on Sunday and don't take reservations, so I don't know what the wait is like on a Saturday night. They do serve lunch, though, so that is always an option.

    2. For good Asian (Vietnamese and Chinese), head down towards Bellaire & Beltway 8. Lai Lai Dumpling is really cheap and good Chinese. Sandong Snacks for excellent dumplings in beef broth. The Asian options are endless, just make sure you go into a restaurant that's full of Asian customers and you're all set.

      Also, Niko Niko's is excellent for Greek (Montrose area). That's a must stop for me when I go down to Houston.

      1. I just moved back to Houston with my family after being in New Orleans for a few years, and I can tell you a few of my long-standing favorites who have not changed are: Mark's ( (Fancy!) for inventive American - (on Westheimer Road), El Pueblito Place (Casual!) (on Richmond Avenue, near museum district) Guatemalan/Mexican dishes/seafood (if you WANT seafood ;) ), and for a great BBQ experience, go to Williams Smokehouse (5903 Wheatley St) for lunch, dont forget the peach cobbler!. None of these are 'close' to the area your friend is in - but all are worth a drive. Near you, I am not sure if they're still open, but there's a restaurant called "A Taste of Portugal" that was taking off around the time we left (it was delicious food) - on Jones Rd. - in a little shopping center. For fast, upscale Tex-Mex I recommend Berryhill Baja Grill( - several locations, and my favorite Queso in Houston. Go for Happy Hour, and get some great deals on the strong margaritas and great fish tacos. Best of Luck. BTW - we were in NOLA for the 4th, and had a great time - dined @ Stanley, NOLA, Bourbon House, had Royal Blend coffee every day (mmm), and missed a trip to Brocato's....good time!

        1. MindyMoo - I goofed on the 2 web addresses - here they are:

          1. In the Jersey Village area I'd have to recommend the Cafe Red Onion. Can't go wrong there!