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Houston Holiday Best - Need help finding it...

shed Nov 19, 2008 07:40 PM


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.


  1. c
    CBob56 Nov 26, 2008 05:33 AM

    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
      saticoy Jan 1, 2009 03:39 PM

      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).

    2. j
      jscarbor Nov 23, 2008 06:35 PM

      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. l
        LeftyJonno Nov 23, 2008 01:08 PM

        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. y
          Yumwin Nov 23, 2008 11:55 AM

          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. danhole Nov 21, 2008 07:14 AM

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


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

            2 Replies
            1. re: danhole
              houstonhound Nov 23, 2008 09:05 AM

              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:


              1. re: houstonhound
                shed Nov 23, 2008 09:39 AM

                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.

            2. j
              jscarbor Nov 21, 2008 03:13 AM

              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
                sheryl strong Jan 19, 2009 12:12 PM

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

                1. re: sheryl strong
                  jscarbor Jan 22, 2009 06:28 PM

                  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".

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