HOME > Chowhound > Texas >


[Houston] dirty little secrets.....

Now I understand that this site is for good food and food lovers, but I know we all have are little spots we go to for food that for some reason or another satisfies a craving........ I live right outside of downtown Houston and find myself driving all they way to Katy (Mason road and I-10) to eat! Johnny Carinos! I have only ever ordered one thing there (The Skilletini), and i can't help but love it.....Spaghetti, chicken, sausage, peppers and onions, with crushed tomatos; all served in an cast iron skillet that is so hot that it often crisps up some of the pasta that's on the bottom! It's tangy, savory, spicy, and satisfying! I can't stop.......

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. my secret guilty pleasure when i'm hungover is getting spicy chicken fried rice (and sometimes an order of ming's wings if the hangover is REALLY serious) from ming's @ montrose & westheimer. however, i give people a hard time if they say they actually like that place. the food there is generally crap, it's just very hard to screw up fried rice.
    it's so sad that there is no good chinese inside the loop.

    3 Replies
    1. re: neverfull

      Moving to Houston next year and a die-hard lover of hole-in-the-wall type eateries (because they always have the best chow!!)

      I can't wait to see what comes out of this thread... I promise I'll add my own once I move and have had a chance to catch up!

      1. re: caliking

        Wow ... when this thread mentioned "dirty little secrets" I thought perhaps Marvin Zindler had risen from the dead, and the roach report was once again a reality!

        I confess when the need for hot, fried and definitely-not-good-for-you grabs me, I head over to WingStop on N. Shepherd @ 610 (across the street from Fiesta Liquor). I don't even have the wings -- I get 4 chicken strips with lemon pepper seasoning, and they're so hot, fresh and crispy you'll burn your mouth. Yes I know they are a chain, but sometimes the chains do get it right!

        1. re: Cheflambo


          I thought the exact same thing "There's slime in the ice machine!"

          When in Houston from Dallas my go to places are Phoenicia Deli for a Chicken Shwarma and La Mexicana for the Jumbo Burrito with fajita meat and a margarita of course (you can taste the alcohol over the lime and they aren't green!!).

    2. The Hobbit Cafe for the fajita black bean nachos with sour cream, guac and pico. Just plain awesome! They use a white cheese so its not that greasy yellow. Their chicken salad sandwich are huge and very fresh.
      Barnaby's pesto chicken salad is also hard to beat on a nice lazy Sunday.
      For great tequila selection and laid back outdoors atmosphere is Tila's on s. shephard. Their guac is very fresh and more tangy... its heavy in lime. The queso flameado is not so greasy. Entrees are soso... get apps.

      1. Folks, please help us keep this board focused on unique local chow. If you'd like to confess your chain food cravings, we have a board for discussing the best of Chain chow. Thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          with all due respect .... these are LOCAL chains!

          1. re: Cheflambo

            The posts we left are about local chains. Those are fine to discuss here. The posts we removed weren't about local chains, and although the original post does discuss a national chain, we're just reminding people to keep the talk local going forward. Thanks.

        2. I hope Taqueria Arandas is considered a local chain. It started here in Houston. We were introduced to the place many years ago. The location we went to was a hole in the wall in a strip center. The burritos are enormous and easily fed us 2 meals each. I learned a lot about ordering mexican food from that place! Learned enough spanish to get the orders done the way we wanted. We still go and my DH still gets his beef fajita burrito, carne solamente! Now that I have been on a hunt for tortas, and had an al pastor torta there, I am hooked. Even he liked the meat.

          There is another place that is not very chowish at all, but has some good food and you eat in an old railroad car! It's the Railroad Crossing on Hempstead Hwy @ gessner. Cheap eats, nice people, decent steak for the price. Haven't tried the BBQ but it looks good.

          1. i am reposting that i have drunk craving for BB's roast beef po-boy since it was deleted by the CH team. i think i mentioned a national chain in the same post which is why it got deleted.

            anyway, killer roast beef po-boy and opened late in the montrose area:

            4 Replies
            1. re: neverfull

              Thanks for reposting, Neverfull. I knew I had heard a mention of this place somewhere, and wondered where it went. I checked out their site, and if they have a decent po-boy, I can forgive the "grocer's apostrophe" on the on-line menu (am wondering if the "alphalpha" sprouts taste anything like the "alfalfa" sprouts I get at Whole Foods?) They seem to have very flexible hours, too.

              1. re: Cheflambo

                three word's (j/k). three words: roast beef poboy. do not stray. this is what you must order the first time you go there. there will be other tempting things to order off the menu, but let me guide you and you will fall in love.

                maybe a lunch here is in order. i've never been here when the sun is out.

                1. re: neverfull

                  I had high hopes after placing an order for a roast beef po'boy at BB's recently. One word,,, Lipitor! Memba the old Alka Seltzer commercial,,, "I can't believe I ate the whooole thing". I should have quit after the first bite. This is not Mother's on Poydras in New Orleans! The french bread is soft rather than crusty probably due to the heavy handed glop of mayo they spread between the buns. Ask for a fork and plenty of napkins.. BTW, the gumbo is pretty average too in my opinion.

                  1. re: bornie

                    Wow, I've had the roast beef po boy @ BB's many times and never been dissappointed ( a few other items though are uneven, especially the gumbo)). Plus they are open late thur-sat. For me though, the Cuban sandwich @ Cafe Latina on Fairview is so simple and so good and less than $6.00. The milanesa @ Tapatia on Richmond is a late night guilty pleasure too.

            2. In Galveston where I know many of you Houstonians find yourself on weekends my guilty pleasure after a night on the town is a Surprise Burrito at Le Estacion on 25th across from Galveston City Hall. They are enormous and come with the best salsa on the island. Every Mex place on the island serves a surprise burrito but theirs are the best. Expect to wait for a table, the place is quite small.

              1 Reply
              1. re: swamp


                the hours listed are from 6 am to 2:30 or 3:00pm (on Galveston.com) so when do you go there? We love to go to Galveston, but have never found a local mexican restaurant that served dinner. Help us! And I do not want to go to Tortuga's!