Thanksgiving in Houston: Thanksgiving dinner plus other meals
Will be visiting Houston for extended Thanksgiving weekend and we are looking for some place that serves a "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner--turkey, cornbread dressing, the usual boring side dishes and of course pumpkin pie.
For the rest of the weekend, we have dinner reservations at Rainbow Lodge one night and we're considering eating Bistro Moderne the other night, but would welcome any upscale suggestions.
For lunches, we would like recs on the following:
Best Chicken-Fried Steak
Another vote for Williams Smokehouse for bbq. I hadn't heard of the Tx Monthly rankings but Williams is the only one in Houston worth considering as one of the best in the state.
For CFS consider Kelley's Country Cooking, original location, Park Place @ I-45 S, near Hobby. It's a time warp. I never cared for Kelley's because they overcook the veggies as far as I'm concerned but the Houston Press did a (very humorous) review of them a few months ago and suggested they have the best cfs in the city. I tried them again and have to say it's excellent - and huge. Check out the review so you'll be prepared for the portions. Because of the veggie thing, I go for the cfs strips w/french fries (and a cup of gravy for dipping both steak strips and fries). You get just as much steak that way as if you order the dinner.
For Thanksgiving Day we highly recommend Brennan's of Houston on Smith south of Westheimer. We have eaten there for the last 6 Thanksgiving dinners. Once George HW Bush and BArbara Bush were there with friends. You can ahave a slection form their regular menu ass well as the traditional dinner. Reservations are a must though
For Barbecue we like Goode's on Kirby. Highest quality meat and terrific skill in smoking make this place far better than the competition. Try their terrific potrato Salad and Austin Baked beans, and save some room for Texas pecan or chocolate pie. They have a nice selection of bottled beer and very good iced tea too!
For Chicken fried steak try JAx on Shepherd or in Bellaire. The one on Shepherd has wonderful Xydeco music on Friday evenings and the place is jammed. Be patient in finding a parking space and enjoy a real South Texas/Louisiana experience. Save some room for the Key Lime Cheescake - the best you will find anywhere in the world. The rest of their menu is very good and do get an order of onion rings with yoru chicken fried steak. They are better here than anywhere else in town. We liek the mashed potatoes better than their french fries with the chicken fried steak.
For Vietnamese try Mai's on Milam. They are open late in the evening too.
William's Smokehouse, 5903 Wheatly Ave (Acres Homes
)Located in predominately black neighborhood in near north Houston. Very good ribs, good brisket and side dishes. Texas Monthly magazine rated Top Ten and Top Five Texas BBQ places.
Cleburne Cafeteria, Bissonnet St (Bellaire), http://cleburnecafeteria.com/
Has very long lines due to its popularity and great prepared-from-scratch food. Worth standing in line though.
Chicken Fried Steak:
Hickory Hollow, 101 Heights Blvd, (Heights
)Not as good as it once was but still better than most places for CFS's. (other Houston location at 8038 Fallbrook Drive, near Sam Houston Race Park)
Try Le Cep on Westheimer, just west of Wilcrest. Owned and operated by the former owners of Rotisserie For Beef and Bird. French country at its best, and nicely priced. Probably need reservations for dinner. I still overnight in Houston 3 or 4 times a year and it's the ONLY Houston restaurant's phone number still stored in my cell phone!
Brennan's is great for T-giving, also after your great feast for great bbq Hickory Hollow has the best bbq and chicken fried steak in town. two locations, one on Washington drive and the other Fairbanks N.Houston. they have 3 sizes of chicken fried steaks loosen your pants and go for it...have a great time here.
17 at the Alden hotel downtown did a great Thanksgiving prix fixe meal last year--traditional but modern. Everything about it was superb. I also remember hearing that chef Scott Tycer did a Thanksgiving meal at Gravitas, his bistro with chef Jason Gould on Taft. That might be worth checking into, too. Or call Brennan's Houston--they always do festive holiday meals.
I also think you should try Pizzatola's BBQ on Shepherd while you are here.