Trip to Houston, need recommendations
I'm looking for a variety of things
Chinese: tongue-melting heat needed
Wings: suicide or bust
BBQ: I'm sensing a pattern here; I want to try both dry-rub and sauced
Late night/24-hour: because man doesn't live by capsaicin alone, and I keep late hours
Mexican: are taco trucks the best like they are in CA?
Burger: the official state food, or so I've heard; not-frozen fries if possible
Try the BBQ Inn at 116 Crosstimbers. It's great (not necessarily the"best" since that's so subjective) but the restaurant hasn't touched its interior since the late 50's or early 60's and that in itself makes it worthwhile. Plus, the waitresses are always friendly and have big hair. Here's the number- 713-695-8112
Great Thai, but maybe seeming a little scary considering its being served out of the back of a grocery store. There's a Thai grocery store on Calvacade. Stop in for lunch and there's a woman in the back cooking up Thai food for about $5. Tell her you want it spicy and she will accomodate. You'll probably have to take away to eat it, as they have two tables set-up for lunch. They have a website now! http://asiamarket-hou.com/menu
I don't know, you may be looking for upscale places though.
Best burger I've had in Houston has been at the Wildcat Golf Course.
You have to try Tex-Mex but there's so many places its hard to recommend just one.
Late night places-
La Tapatia- 1749 Richmond Ave. Lots of people love this place, it's open late and has great people watching. I'm not one of them that likes their food that much ( i can be picky) but La Tapatia does seem to thrive and be busy. They are doing something right.
Mai's- 3403 Milam. Vietnamese food. Open late, good, cheap, great people watching in the early mornings on the weekend. I eat here regularly. The seasonings are good, however, for vietnamese, the meat is better at Les Grivals down the street, only they aren't open late.
If it's late night sushi- avoid, unless you want to go look cool and drink cocktails and not eat sushi. Late night sushi spots in Houston is all about hanging out, not eating.
House of Pies- typical diner food and a large selection of pies and cakes. Good people watching, food isn't much to write about.
Check out this blog for info about Taco trucks around town. We've got lots of great ones:
For really spicy Thai go to Vieng Thai on Long Point. The place that Asticat recommended gets great reviews, too, but I think you have a larger menu at Vieng Thai. There is also Thai Lanna on N. Loop West which comes out tame normally but if you want it spicy Chef Pim will make it that way for you. It is a BYOB place.
Chacho's on Westheimer is Tex-Mex, pretty inexpensive, good and open 24 hours. WIld place, and great people watching as an added bonus.
Christian Tailgate on Washington is a great Burger, but get the onion rings. It's a bar, too.
There are so many great burger places in Houston, so you may want to go through the best burger thread and check out the places mentioned.
My favorite BBQ place is Pierson's & Co. on T C Jester. It is good smoky bbq. I get it with sauce on the side because the meat is so darn good on it's own. Only open Tues - Sat from 11-7pm. There's more than one mention of them on here as well. Just avoid Goode Co. Not so good, IMO, okay, but there is better to be had.
Not food related, but who knows? It is named after a pastor. We live on this street and we joke it stands for "the court" jester.
Now back to restaurants - there is a good po-boy place on the corner of W. T C Jester and Loop 610 named Antoines. It's a local chain. There is a tex-mex place next door named Juanita's but I don't care for it, even though I have tried it 3 times, and a different meal each time!
Don't let it throw you if you come out this way, though, because at that end (by the fwy) it is West T C Jester but once you pass a certain point it goes back to just being T C Jester. Houston is a bit screwy that way. Streets change names all the time, so be aware.
Thai food: I prefer V's over Vieng Thai. I've just had an easier time being more adventurous at V's because of the buffet.
If you go on the right night, they sometimes have a buffet with an assortment of scorching hot dishes that you may not find in a typical menu. Give 'em a call if you wanna be sure. Otherwise order off the menu and have V cook your food to however spicy you like
For Chinese, try Sichuan Chinese 3758 S Gessner; as is the case with many of the Asian restaurants in the area, you'll probably have to ask for the full menu.
Thai: Vieng Thai is about as hot as you can get. Thai Gourmet on Richmond can also make it as spicy as you can handle.
Wings: I'd probably avoid it here.
BBQ: Dani's suggestion for Pierson's is right on. Just so there is no confusion, Texans rarely smoke with a sauce. All meat should be dry rubbed, most places (outside of Central Texas, which have NO sauce) serve a sauce that is usually tangy, never KC sweet. I always get mine on the side everywhere.
Late hours: this isn't a late night food town. On Montrose, Little Big's (burgers) and BB's (po'boys) are open late.
Mexican: Taco trucks are good, but for Tex Mex (a must have if you're here), the original Ninfa's, El Tiempo, or Teotihuacan are good bets.
Burger: Hubcap, Christians on I-10, and Lankford.
Happy eating. Diet when you get back.
". . . I presume that meat meant to be served without sauce is spiced differently than meat intended to be served with sauce."
Don't believe that's true at all. That would be too much work making 2 sets of meat. Even a chopped beef sandwich starts out as a dry cut of brisket that is chopped up and then sauce is added. Otherwise it is just a sloppy joe, IMO! ;-)