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HOUSTON eats

ChefGirl412 Feb 1, 2007 11:36 AM

I will be visiting Houston, and am looking for some suggestions for good places to eat. Also, some inexpensive ones too. Thanks.

  1. ChefGirl412 Mar 8, 2007 08:21 AM

    Went to Killen's in Pearland last night for dinner. Steaks are excellent; service just ok.

    1. c
      clutj Feb 15, 2007 01:26 PM

      The only restaurants that the Houston Chronicle's great food critic Alison Cook gives her 4-stars to are Da Marco and Tony's (she held it at 3 until it fully settled into its new digs). I still like Cafe Annie as well, and Mark's is right up there.

      1. v
        valpgh Feb 13, 2007 09:17 AM

        Thanks everyone!

        1. j
          jscarbor Feb 12, 2007 05:04 PM

          Skip Pappas and Cafe Annie! Add De Marco or Catalan (More casual but really fun with a great nearly retail wine list).

          1. Bhutani Feb 12, 2007 05:03 PM

            Definately skip Pappas. While it is a good steakhouse, it really isn't all that different from your standard upscale steakhouse that one could find in any major city. If you have time, other "nicer" restaurants to consider that don't serve run-of-the-mill fair would be Hugo's (great interior Mexican food) and Indika -- a high-end Indian restaurant serving food that you unique Indian dishes that wouldn't find anywhere outside of NYC or Chicago.

            1. v
              valpgh Feb 12, 2007 04:09 PM

              I'm also going to Houston in a few weeks and I need a fancy restaurant for a special occasion. I have reservations at Marks, Cafe Annie and Pappas. I can probably only do two of these. Which one should I skip?

              1. p
                pyrofemme Feb 12, 2007 03:48 PM

                In Pearland, you should go to Mely's for Tex-Mex. In Houston, you try benjy's in the village and Cafe Red Onion on Kirby. Perry's Italian Grill in Clear Lake is pretty good too. It's fast food but Whataburger makes a good burger and their shakes are fabulous.

                1. Homero Feb 9, 2007 12:25 PM

                  EVERYTIME I am in Houston, I stop by two places. Mark's (Westheimer near Montrose) and Niko Niko's (Just north of Westheimer on Montrose) My girlfriend and I go to Mark's for our birthdays and anniversaries, and we have always been floored with the fantastic food, service, and ambience. Entrees range from 20 to 40. I strongly recommend their seafood. They cook it perfectly every time I have had it whether it was salmon, tuna, soft shell crab, chilean seabass. Their regular menu is great, but the chefs reccomendations, which are seasonal have always knocked our socks off. For a cocktail, try their 1658 their signature drink which is a play on a mojito with grapefruit vodka and lavender sugar. Its amazing.

                  Niko Niko's is also a place that we always go to. Its delicious greek food at a great price. I think they have the best Chicken Avegolemono soup I have had. ( I haven't been to Greece though) Their Gyros, and dolmathes, etc are also very good. As a side, I recommend their roasted potatoes. They are sooooo lemony. I can't say enough good things about this place. Their deserts are great too. The only downside to the place is that it can get really crowded and loud really quickly, but thats nitpicking.

                  You should totally check these places out if you get a chance...

                  1. jaime24g Feb 8, 2007 09:45 AM

                    Tasty recommendations. Here are mine:

                    Greek: Niko Nikos (good pork chops and baby lamb shank)
                    Pizza: Star Pizza on Norfolk (awesome wheat crust; Starburst pizza really good)
                    BBQ: Thelmas BBQ (ribs)
                    Burgers: Lankfords Grocery also good chicken fried steak (really big portion)
                    Mexican: taco stand on Taft and W. Gray; 100% Taquito
                    Vietnamese/Chinese: Hong Kong Mall restaurants; they also have the best crawfish in town at Crawfish and Beignets inside the mall
                    Chicken: +1 for Frenchy's near University of Houston

                    1. o
                      oltheimmer Feb 8, 2007 06:37 AM

                      There are many very excellent recommendations here by others; they'll keep you running around all over town. Actually a couple of Pearland places have been reviewed in the past year or so in the Chronicle. One was Central Texas Style BBQ which got a pretty good review. I just happened to have tried it a couple of weeks before the review appeared and I was not at all impressed. By all means, get into Houston for bbq at Williams, Thelma's, Luling City Mkt or Goode Co. (I prefer the Katy Fwy location).

                      There is a Kelley's Country Cooking in Pearland, good for down home Texas food and humongous portions. Chicken Fried Steak would be a good thing to get there -- oh, wait, you didn't want to limit this to healthy food, did you?

                      You might try this place, if it's in operation:

                      http://www.zydecodiner.com/

                      I've never been able to get to any of the places when open (you'd never know it from the website but the downtown locations are only open 11-2, MF). I was by the Pearland location once mid-afternoon on a Tuesday and it was closed up tight without a sign of life. The Houston Press has noted that Katrina evacuees took to the original downtown location on Pease for authentic Cajun food.

                      Pearland is a huge area now; depending on where you are in Pearland, you may be closer to Floyd's Cajun Kitchen on I-45 S @ Nasa Rd. 1 than to Mardi Gras Cafe in the Heights, which used to be Floyd's. Floyd Landry was one of the founders of the Landry's chain but has nothing to do with them now.

                      I wrote up a place just east of Pearland in December:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35049...

                      Excellent cheap eats; the patacone pictured is only $4.06 including tax. You might want to call ahead for hours, which have changed.

                      1. j
                        jscarbor Feb 7, 2007 07:22 AM

                        For BBQ Williams BBQ on Wheatley is my favorite, Goode Co BBQ on Kirby is a good choice for city slickers.

                        1. j
                          jscarbor Feb 7, 2007 07:21 AM

                          For a higher end experience I really enjoyed Catalan and the "small Plates" part of the menu (have has 1 excellent Big plate item of braised veal cheeks) and superb wine list that is priced near retail! Foxen Pinot, Henri Billot Brut Rose were bother excellent.

                          1. neverfull Feb 6, 2007 11:00 AM

                            as far as healthy food goes:

                            - veggie burgers at beck's prime (multiple locations) - the best!
                            - ziggy's healthy grill
                            - kaneyama for sushi
                            - barnaby's (multiple locations)

                            1. neverfull Feb 6, 2007 10:57 AM

                              no one has mentioned upscale restaurants. these are not to be missed!
                              - mark's (new american) - montrose area
                              - da marco (italian) - montrose area
                              - brennan's (creole) - downtown
                              - bank by jean-georges (new french) - downtown, a must if you haven't been to one of his places and don't get to NY much

                              upscale steakhouses:
                              pappas bros steakhouse - galleria
                              vic and anthony's - downtown, crabcakes are amazing!

                              also, do not miss these cheap, divier places:
                              - lankford grocery (burgers) - midtown, open 7 am - 3 pm (closed sunday)
                              - frenchy's (fried chicken) - near U of H
                              - this is it soul food - midtown
                              - the breakfast klub (breakfast/soul food) - downtown

                              1. j
                                jscarbor Feb 6, 2007 04:09 AM

                                I would hit sandong noodle house on Bellaire in the new chinatown area. Best dumplings, beef noodle soup and dumpling soup in town.
                                Hit hong kong mall food court and some vietnamese style louisiana crawfish.
                                Taco truck at farmers market called tacambaro with superb sweetbread tacos and the best tacos d tripas in town.
                                Tampico for the snapper al la plancha, one of the best dishes in town. Skip the side seafoood items, they are good but get your bill up in the $30 per person range.
                                Cafe Rebalais in rice village area for very good french bistro food.
                                Dolce Vita on westheimer for incredible pizzas. My personal favs are the pancetta, rubiola and leek pizza and the tellagio, arugula and truffle oil pizza.
                                Himalaya at sw frwy and hilcroft for pakistani food. Kaiser is the jolly owner. If you go with a group ask him to put something good together for you. If I go alone for dinner I will ask him to put together a good spread for me and he will do it.
                                Marys lebanese for very good mezzs, the baby ganoush is outstanding.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jscarbor
                                  s
                                  shaotime Feb 26, 2007 09:16 AM

                                  Where exactly is the Tacambaro taco truck? I love sweetbreads and tripe!

                                  1. re: shaotime
                                    neverfull Mar 8, 2007 02:32 PM

                                    the address for the tacambaro taco truck is 2520 airline (N of cavalcade). they are open from 7am - 3 pm. it's next to el canino. here's a link to robb walsh's taco truck blog: http://www.houstonpress.com/blogs/?ca...

                                2. c
                                  clutj Feb 5, 2007 08:27 AM

                                  Pearland has a lot of chain outlets. The locally-owned places will likely not be known by anyone on this board, and also highly unlikely to be reviewed by the Houston newspapers or blogs. Sorry about that. I did run across this:
                                  http://www.insiderpages.com/s/TX/Pear...

                                  Here's a few more elsewhere in Houston for when you are sightseeing. I like almost all of the places listed above by JJC as well (except I hear Kim Son has fallen way off).

                                  Downtown -- cajun food at Treebeards on Market Square
                                  Warehouse district -- northeast side of downtown, Irma's for Mexican food
                                  South of downtown in Midtown is Specs, a must-visit if you are a wine lover
                                  Also in Midtown is Ibiza, American food with a bit of a Mediterranean twist; this is a more upscale place than all the others mentioned, but it isn't in the most expensive ranks
                                  Ninfa's on Navigation is classic houston Tex-Mex -- just east of downtown
                                  Vietnam Restaurant if you get to the Heights
                                  Vietopia if you are around West U/Greenway Plaza (Goode Co BBQ and Seafood places are around there
                                  )Also near West U, Armadillo Palace is another Goode Co restaurant on Kirby that has tons of Texas atmosphere and a very good chicken fried steak.
                                  These West U places are easy to get to from the Galleria -- huge shopping area I assume you will tour. West U is between Galleria and Rice University.
                                  Galleria has a pretty authentic big New York deli, Kenny & Ziggy's on Post Oak.
                                  Also near the Galleria is Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen on Westheimer; they've also expanded around the country, but the Pappas family is very actively owning and managing and I think this is the first one they opened.
                                  Small, hole in the wall, deli sandwich place is Kahn's Deli on Rice Blvd in Rice Village (which happens to be right by Rice Univ!)
                                  James Coney Island are in many places. Houston's own hot dog place, since the 1920s.
                                  Carrabba's is an Italian chain now around the country, but the original is on Kirby and is far better than any of the chain locations I've tried (2 or 3); the original owners still manage it.
                                  Lastly, Ragin' Cajun is probably the best cajun in town; on Richmond between Galleria and West U; great atmosphere.

                                  1. ChefGirl412 Feb 3, 2007 10:26 AM

                                    JJC - thank you so much; can't wait to start checking these out next week.

                                    1. j
                                      JJC Feb 3, 2007 05:51 AM

                                      I am not familiar with Pearland, but here are some of my Houston favorites. Go to www.b4-u-eat.com for reviews and locations.
                                      BBQ- Goode Company, William's Smoke House
                                      Vietnamese - Kim Son this is Viet/Chinese, the one on the Southwest Frwy has good dim sum on weekends. There are many good Pho places my favorite is Pho Saigon.
                                      Chinese - Fung's Kitchen, also has very good dim sum.
                                      Seafood - Goode Company Seafood, must get Campechana
                                      Tampico Seafood on Airline, must get Red Snapper a la plancha
                                      Cafe Red Onion seafod y mas- cheviches frescos
                                      Capt'n benny's- oysters
                                      Magnolia bar and grill - Cajun seafood
                                      Latin fusion - Churasscos, Americas, Cafe Red Onion
                                      Tex-Mex - Chuy's, El Tiempo, Escalantes, Papasitos
                                      Berryhill's for Baja Fish Tacos
                                      If your downtown siteseeing go to Spec's liquor Warehouse. Much more than a liquor store this place is 80,000 square feet of food, beer and wine.

                                      1. ChefGirl412 Feb 2, 2007 02:15 PM

                                        I'm assuming BBQ is a specialty for that area. Looking for Vietnamese, BBQ, healthy food,,,actually I love it all. Open to anything good. Thx.

                                        1. zorra Feb 2, 2007 01:34 PM

                                          What kinds of food are you interested in finding?

                                          1. m
                                            mr_drift Feb 2, 2007 07:47 AM

                                            Do you know more or less what part of town you will be in? And are you looking for fine dining or something more basic?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mr_drift
                                              ChefGirl412 Feb 2, 2007 08:51 AM

                                              Mostly basic fare. Will be near Pearland, and in Houston sightseeing. Will be there for a month. Thx.

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