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Jan 9, 2009 09:33 AM

That 70's show or dining in Houston in the 70s

I lived in Houston from the late 60s until the early 80s. These are a few of my favorite places to eat. I'm wondering if anyone else liked them or if any still exist.

Zorba the Greek
This place has been mentioned in several recent threads. They had good Greek food and the best fried shrimp I've ever had. I had my first frog legs there.

Nielsen's Deli
Nielsen's was close to where I worked. You walked in and the meat case had several recently roasted turkey breasts. Sliced and served on white bread with mayo and salt and youhad my favorite sandwich in Houston.

San Jacinto Inn
The San Jacinto Inn was located next to the Battle ship. You were seated, brought a relish tray, followed by oysters on the half shell, boiled shrimp, fried redfish, fried chicken and probably much more. It was all good and fresh.

Similar at OST and MLK
This place, the name of which escapes me had a setup like SJI. I ate there because it was closer to UofH and I liked the gumbo better. For some reason it went out of business after some guy named Foyt got sick on the raw oysters.

John's BBQ
I'm guessing on the name of this place. It was downtown, close to the police atation. Outside beef happened for the first time there.

Great poorboy,

An Italian family move to Houston from Rome and opened an Italian eatery in an old bank on Leeland. They had no idea what Americanized Italian food was. I discovered that veal was an actual cut of meat there.

Most visits here happened at or after midnight. The one breakfast item I remember was the SOS. It was made with hamburger instead of chipped beef.

This was an ethnic like grocery on Telephone Road. I had a lot of their poor boys and cheese. umm and beer.

Upscale New Orleans in Houston. Are they going to rebuild after the fire?

Tokyo Garden
Good Japanese. Had my first raw fish there.

Maximes downtown
Great place to take a date and wonderful food.

Ninfa's on Navigation
Where the chain got its start.

Goodson's outside Tomball, the original in the cinder block building.
Best CFS ever.

Drug Store counter at Main and Congress
Lunch counter service. My favorite dish was links baked with BBQ sauce.

Paris Bakery Gulf Freeway and Bellfort or Winkler
Great french bread and pastries

alpine brau house
On Telephone Rd near the airport. Dime mugs and fifty cent pitchers of beer on Fridays.

Hanna's House of Pies on Kirby
24 hour pies.

Udder Delight on Westheimer
Home made ice creams of various flavors. Some of which no one had thought of before. Or since.

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  1. Zorba's, Ninfa's and San Jacinto Inn were my top three. I also hit Brennan's a few times and Courtlands near Brennan's, as I had a girlfriend who was heavily into spending my every last nickel on food. The Stables and George Dentler's Pier 21 were also outstanding med-center restaurants. Further down South Main was Angelo's Fishermans Wharf, think San Jacinto Inn plus incredible all you can eat Oyster's Rockefeller. In the same area was Bill Williams, great fried chicken and fish. My parents took us there in the 60's. Near what became The Galleria was the Spanish Galleon, ok seafood but big, cold mugs of beer for the just turned 18 year old. Finally, a couple of lunch spots in high school, Henr'y and Massey's BBQ, both on Bissonnett. Massey's was run by a Redd Fox lookalike, and we were horrified when Henry's went from a dollar to a buck and a quarter for a sliced beef, we toughed it out anyway.

    1. Hi Everyone, Please focus on the places you know to still be open. The closed places won't help anyone eat better! Thanks so much!

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Fair enough, some on the OP still open include Ninfa's, Nielsen,s Tel-Wink, Goodson's, Antone's and maybe Tokyo Garden. Brennan's was destroyed by a fire during Ike. Does anyone know if they will re-open. Also from that time period still going strong is the Barbque Inn on Crosstimbers, where I love their fried chicken, oysters, and shrimp, plus the chicken fried steak and a very good stuffed crab, a dish that is usually nothing but breading, but not here. Frenchy's fried chicken was a University of Houston/TSU stalwart from that period and remains today. For all you Popeye's lovers, go to the original Frenchy's on Scott St. for stellar creole fried chicken, greens, and red beans and rice with andouille that puts Popeye's beans and rice to shame.

        1. re: James Cristinian

          It amazes me that some of these places are still open, especially considering the longevity of the typical restaurant today.

          I remember Frenchy's as being a shack beside the road. Looking at it on Google Earth, it now has a parking lot. My favorite thing there was the red beans and rice. Hannas House of Pies is now just the House of Pies, but they are still on Kirby. Goodson's seems to have moved from the old building on a country road east of Tomball to a new fancy place to the south.