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Bostonian visiting Galleria, Houston

I am going to Houston for a conference in May and staying at Hotel Derek in the Galleria neighborhood. prob eliminate asian, french, or italian cause i can get that in ny/boston. I know I want bbq as well as tex-mex, but besides that I need some advice.

I am renting a car but would prefer something in Galleria. I have three dinners: sun, mon, tues. what are some MUST TRYS in that neighborhood? i'll either be by myself or with one friend and not looking for anything super fancy. thanks.

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  1. You'll need that car anyway, Kweesee. You can probably walk to the Galleria itself if you want to (from the Derek) but everything else will require driving.

    Head west on Westheimer - for TexMex try Ninfas (6154 Westheimer) or head east on Westheimer to Hugos (1602 Westheimer). The concierge at the Derek (if they have one) can probably suggest a nearby barbecue place. And the Galleria itself has quite a few restaurants inside you might enjoy. (I haven't been there recently so I can tell you what is currently available).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cheflambo

      ps. the ninfa's recommended on navigation is 10+ miles away. i guess thats considered close in TX?

      1. re: kweesee

        Cheflambo didn't recommend that one. See the address above. I think it's actually in the Galleria.

    2. For BBQ go to Luling City on Richmond. Only a couple of blocks away. I consider it to be the best BBQ in the city. You can order dinners or just get them to slice meat by the pound and order a side.
      If your in the mood for a burger try Pappa's just past the hotel about 3 blocks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: seethemoon

        I agree with the rec for Pappas Burgers, but just know it's (according to Google Maps) about 1.5 miles west of Hotel Derek on Westheimer. If the weather isn't too humid, it could be a nice walk there. Very good burgers and they cook them accurately as you specify. Rare is rare, medium-rare is medium-rare, etc.

      2. Try Pico's for Mexican. It's not far away and really good. Huachinango, enchiladas de espinacas, great margaritas... Also good is Teotihuacan, but it's farther away. The Ninfa's on Navigation is still pretty good, but I think the other Ninfa's are awful. Check out www.b4-u-eat.com and click on "Galleria." That will give you plenty of ideas, maps, and reviews.

        1. Luling is the best close option for BBQ.
          For mex I would go to El Tiempo. I personally do not here very much anymore but its probably the best option close by. They are on Richmond about 3-4 miles from HD.
          I have only been once and it was decent enough is Jimmy Wilsons on San Felipe for seafood. I didn't order right but the owners reputation gives promice that you can have a great gulf coast seafood meal.
          Maryz lebanese has excellent hummus, baba ganoush, grape leaves....stick with the mezzas.
          Across the street from the HD is Grotto. I have not been in years and I believe it is now a Landry's restaurant group it is close by.
          Escalantes down the street aboput a mile away has decent semi upscale tex mex. Its a great shopping location.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jscarbor

            I agree on the Grotto -- EXCELLENT food, and definitely within walking distance of the Derek. It is, indeed, now owned by Landry's, but has retained its high standards for great Italian food.

            1. re: jscarbor

              I don't even think the food was excellent when Vallone owned it but it is VERY close to Derek. Take that endorsement for what it is worth.

            2. Kweesee, I just moved back to Houston after a sojourn in New York for 4 years, and I missed the bbq and Tex mex terribly up there. For bbq, I don't think you can beat Goode Co bbq on Kirby, just south of 59. Be sure to try a Shiner Boch beer while you're at it.

              If you're hanging out at the Galleria, you can try the Ninfa's in there (great Margaritas), but I would also think about heading to the Papasitos on Richmond and Kirby, I believe. Be ready for a wait though.

              For a great priced, and great tasting steak, I would recommend the churrasco at Churrascos, which is South American cuisine at Shepherd and Westheimer.

              1. thank you all. i think right now im going to jot down NINFAS and LULING CITY.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kweesee

                  IF you go to Ninfas the ONLY one I would think about going to is the one on Navigation. The carnitas, texmex plates and fajitas are pretty good.

                2. You've gotten a lot of Mexican recs that are good. For BBQ, I'd head a few miles away to Otto's on Memorial Drive. Love it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Terri_A

                    You are going to have to check and see if Otto's is still in business first. They decided to close up shop sometime at the end of last year, I think that's when I read that, so I'm not sure if they are still in business at this point.

                  2. im back from houston. i tried luling city the first night and thought it was alright. the sausage was good, brisket was not good, and ribs were mediocre.

                    i also went to the ninfa's in the galleria mall. the beef fajitas were a little thin and dry, the salsa and gauc was watery.

                    i did find THELMA'S online, it had good reviews for bbq. i think it was the best RIBS IVE EVER HAD, i even brought back another order to boston.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kweesee

                      Wow, you went to Thelmas?! Wish you would have given us better parameters other than close to Galleria. You really could have had some good food instead of avg Luling and awful Ninfa's.

                      1. re: jscarbor

                        I was there for a convention @ the george brown conv downtown - thats why i went to thelma's. Other than that I was in the galleria area the whole time.

                        haha. yea. luling & ninfa's wasn't as great as I had imagined.

                        1. re: kweesee

                          Both avg at best. Oh well, next time we can hook you up with good ideas.