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Houston Holiday Best - Need help finding it...

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Hey-

Im a not snobby Brooklyn Chow Hound- - adventurous palate, with the limitation of liking my food pretty clean - love heat and spice- and Im a pescatarian sp?- fishead. I can eat my way around any menu BUT
I am going to Houston for Christmas ( every year ) to see my inlaws and we never eat good food unless we cook at home. I know its there, I just need help finding it. Downtown - to Sugarland to the Montgomery area is our usual stomp .

I know there is better salmon than Texas land and Cattle-
better catfish than the Cracker Barrel-
there has got to be a mexican that isnt everything cooked with lard-
and I have had enough good Pho in Houston- to know that there has to be an Amazing one out there.
Oh and real long shot but is there such a thing as a Japanese joint in Houston?
could be sushi- a souen -soba joint , anything

You can start to see where we usually end up- I know that if I could turn my inlaws onto something new ... theyd have new customers- and Id feel like way less pain in the behind
( when i asked if i could get my spaghetti cooked al dente the entire table looked at me like i was speaking pure yankee)

All suggestions appreciated from the bottom of my growling stomache.

Thanks-

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  1. Your right, there is better food than the places you mention.
    I would explore indika on Westheimer for contemporary Indian cousine.
    Catfish at Thelmas is cheap and awesome. Its pretty much a dive though and in a shady area for some people. its a bbq place first and foremost.
    For Mexican I would hit Hugo's, more upscale mex but good nonetheless.
    I eat my Pho at a little place on Milan called Nga's, I think its really good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jscarbor

      What about upscale mexican in Katy? My brother Paul lives there and is clueless .
      sheryl

      1. re: sheryl strong

        Not that I know of.
        There is a cool restaurant in Fulshear called Rays that is supposed to be good and somewhat different for the "country".

    2. Reef just got the best seafood in the US vote from Bon Appetit. A lot more upscale than Thelmas.

      http://www.reefhouston.com

      I'll have to think about some of the others.

      2 Replies
      1. re: danhole

        OMG, bless your heart!

        My favorite Tex Mex is Spanish Flower but jscarbor is right, Hugo's is the most upscale.

        A small hole in the wall that is very popular for new soul food is The Breakfast Klub on Travis, which is right next door to T'afia, a rather acclaimed Houston restaurant, although, I'm not a big fan. The Breakfast Klub has great catfish and I hear great breakfasts, but beware, they have a line on most weekend mornings. A special there is wings and waffles.

        For terrific thin crust pizzas and wonderful sides try Dolce Vita and its big sister restaurant, Da Marco (fancy)

        I thnk all the info you are getting is in the center of Houston. Sorry, Montgomery and Sugar Land are out of my balliwick. However, I loved the sushi at a place in SL call Japaneros. Search it out and you will be happy!

        Also, see this link to previous CH thread:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/569336

        1. re: houstonhound

          Thanks everyone for the suggestions- as well as the links to previous threads.

          After reading miles of Thelmas reviews , I have to go just to see if the food is that good and the service that bad.

          Reef looks like it would be a Lunch place for me but looks GOOD as does Hugos.

          will let you know what I find and what i can turn into my inlaws new favorite places.
          Thanks

      2. Try Azuma for japanese. Along with Hugo's, Tila's is good - she makes a mean Chiles Rellenos en Nogales that is a Holiday treat. All the Cordua restarants ar unique to houston as are the Goode Company taqueria - brunch and burgers, BarBQ and seafood if you want gulf coast. Enjoy!

        1. Thien Ahn on Travis is Midtown has, I believe, the best Pho in town - also killer Bun. While you're in the area - try Ibiza on McGowen. Delicious American cuisine with a Spanish influence, and incredible wine selection.
          I HIGHLY recommend both Hugos for Mexican and Dolce Vita for Italian, and will throw in Blue Fish on Richmond for some great Sushi. Also, for great mexican I would hit Teotihuacan just north of downtown.
          Mockingbird Bistro - which is pretty upscale - on Welch is one of my favorites for consistently great French meets American cuisine.
          For great / interesting seafood try Reef - in Midtown on McGowan - great atmosphere and wonderful food.
          For BBQ i usually go to either Luling City Market on Richmond, and I can't resist the BBQ sauce and chopped brisket sandwich at Goode Co. on Kirby.
          Best steakhouse in town is definitely Vic & Anthony's downtown - you won't find a better piece of meat in the city.

          1. I personally love Lopez for my old school mexican. Its towards Sugar Land at Wilcrest and 59. I mention this for your Sugar Land area fix. Its my go to restaurant for tex/mex.

            1. Gee, do you think maybe the 4th largest city in the nation has something better than Cracker Barrel, not snobby? Try Soul-on-the-bayeaux for catfish, too. Like Thelma's, though, a real dive. I get the impression your inlaws are into very safe, white-bread type cuisine and places.

              Salmon - you want to come to a city 50 miles form the Gulf and eat a farmed fish from the NW? Try some local stuff - Goode Co. Texas Seafood, Danton's, Reef. (Catfish at the first, not at Reef; probably salmon at all three if you must).

              And just what's wrong with lard?

              Do you think maybe the 4th largest city has some Japanese? I think there was a thread here a couple of months ago about just that. Go to b4-u-eat.com and look up Japanese under Categories - that'll get you started.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CBob56

                Hey - can I get a link to that Japanese discussion? I have been looking through various searches - found one amazing sounding place that recently closed...looking for a small place with noodles - ramen hopefully, and other authentic Japanese eats. (BTW - for a pescatarian, lard is bad, and the OP was relying on non-hound relatives for chow - I think all these suggestions are going to make future visits much more yummy).