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May 12, 2009 01:04 PM

New to Houston (from NYC) and looking for recs

arrrgh ... I'll be living here for three days a week for the foreseeable future ... Given that I'm not setting up a home (love to cook), I would love somerecs for good eats in Houston ... I like a wide variety of ethnic foods and probably will be doing alot of take-out .. I tend to particularly like the hole-in-the-wall type joints or food cart/van

I can't live without:

- Japanese (Sushi and Tepanyaki)
- Chinese (Sezchuan sp?)
- Indian (Southern over Northern but either will do)
- Vietnamese
- Tex-Mex
- Mexican
- Honduran
- Guatemalan
- Brazilian Grill
- Turkish
- Italian
- Burger joint

If you love something else, I'd enjoy trying it out ... I tend to more of the Zimmern/Bourdain style of adventure eating/street food than the Michelin star type stuff but I'll try nearly anything twice ;-) ... Thanks in advance!!

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  1. I saw you make another post stating that you're in the West U/Galleria area, so that helped a bit in making suggestions. Hope you'll have a car while you are in Houston. is another good site for finding reviews.

    Thien An, Huynh, or Pho Saigon are all good choices for Vietnamese in Midtown.

    Not gonna lie, I'm a little hesitant to make a recommendation for Chinese considering you are from NYC :) The dumplings at Lai Lai are quite good and I like going to Fung's Kitchen for dim sum.

    Burgers: Christian's Tailgate, Lankford Grocery, Bubba's Burger Shack. All are good in different ways, I find that Christian's has been the most consistent out of the 3.

    You also don't want to forget about taco stands/trucks. Other Houston hounds can chime in on this, I've just seen various reports/blogs detailing their adventures and findings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: air is good - so is

      Mex - Pico's or La Guadalapana, or really any La Michoacana Meat Mkt or taco trucks (Houston's equivalent to NYC's hot dog vendors
      )TexMex - Ninfa's on Navigation or Teotihuacan
      Thai - Vieng Thai
      Vietnamese - Mai's or Givral's
      Indo/Pak - Himalaya (Pak) or Bombay Sweets (Indo veggie)
      Turkish - Turqoise Grill
      Creole/Soul - Burt's Meat Mkt or This is It
      Cajun - Zydeco or Hebert's Meat Mkt

      Big, big Chinatown along Bellaire, west of Beltway 8
      Vietnam places along Milam
      Indian places along Hillcroft
      Mexican places everywhere, especially Long Point, Harrisburg, Bissonnet
      Korean along Long Point

    2. Hello,

      For adventurous Chinese, try Hong Kong Street Food at 9750 Bellaire Blvd, 77036. However, it is not Szechuan – it’s Cantonese. Anyway, I have been there a few times with my Chinese friends. They order for me so usually I have no idea what they are saying since I do not speak the language. I do know that I have had the following menu items: fish maw soup, fried pig intestines, and a huge crab stuffed with wonderfully seasoned yellow rice all served in a bamboo-steamer. This place gets some negative reviews because their customer service is lacking, but I have personally never experienced this. I am also the only non-Asian when I go there… word is it’s fairly authentic. I am not in a position to rule on that, but I do know that I enjoy eating there and it is nothing like a typical “Chinese-American” restaurant where everything just seems to be mushy and way too sweet.

      My favorite Pakistani/Indian place is Himalaya. For Southern Indian, I like Shri Balaji Bhavan at 5655 Hillcroft St Houston, 77036.

      Mexican – I’m currently addicted to the chilaquiles (with green sauce and fried egg) at La Guadalupana Bakery and Café, 2109 Dunlavy, 77006. I also enjoy going to Teotihuacan on Airline Drive.

      Burgers & Fries – Barnaby’s bacon and blue cheese burger. I think Barnaby’s has 3 locations now… I have a soft spot for the original “dumpy” first location on Fairview St. in The Montrose neighborhood. Goode Co. Taqueria on Kirby Dr. also has a good burger and grills up a tasty slab of skirt steak/fajita beef.

      I also have an in-law from El Salvador. She and her friends mentioned the Variedades Bakery & Restaurant, 5811 Bissonnet St. I have not been to this Salvadorian style bakery yet, but they seem to like it. Wish I could tell you more about it.

      BTW – all the places I’ve mentioned are casual and reasonably priced.

      If you have not already seen this, you may also find this “New to Houston” topic thread helpful. It mentions a wide variety of Houston recommendations:

      Hope you have fun eating your way around Houston – good luck!

      1. Mexican - Gerardo's on Patton, especially on weekends for borrego; Pico's; Huarache Azteca Express in Stafford, especially on weekends for lamb barbacoa;
        Taco trucks - Jarro on Gessner, Tacambaro at Canino's, Mi Lindo Huetamo on Hillcroft
        Indian - Udipi on Hillcroft for veggie
        Guatemalan - I haven't been impressed by any but a Guatemalan I met recommends Quetzal on Hillcroft @ Windswept; it's not listed on and is not the same as El Quetzal on Gessner. I haven't been.
        Honduran - Las Hamacas for some dishes
        Pakistani - Himalaya, Sabri Nihari
        Turkish - Istanbul Grill in the Village
        BBQ - Pierson's on West TC Jester, Burns on DePriest; try the newly re-opened Thelma's on Scott (new location); Thelma's has always impressed New Yorkers
        Burgers - Christians on Washington, Sparkle's

        1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! ... I'll post on my experiences and reviews as soon as I get around to sampling all this fare ;-) ... I've had my fill of burgers and bad burritos, so I'm eager to check these places out ;-) ... I stumbled across a decent lunch menu at Thai Bistro on WestPark ... the Thai style Chicken Basil (ground chicken) was delicious ... I grew up easting **ridiculously** hot food so I ordered it at their "Professional Only Thai Hot" level - wasn't disappointed at all

          1 Reply
          1. re: circitmage

            Thai Bistro is a terrific rest and they don't get enough press.. Quality of the food is without peer and the ingredients are always fresh..
            Try Kiran's Indian Restaurant in the Highland Village on Westheimer.. Near the railroad tracks. One of my fav's!
            Near the Galleria area another fav,, Cafe Lili,, for Lebanese food.. This small mom an pop does chickan kabobs sandwiches with garlic dressing that will leave u gasping! And dad usually runs around the rest pouring Lebanese coffee, which happens to be the best coffee in the city!
            For breakfast or lunch try Rustico Cafe,, just a few doors down from Thai Bistro.
            Go to Arcodoro Rest for authentic food from Italy/Sardinia!!! Its located at the intersect of Westheimer and Post Oak..
            Go to Central Market Grocery Store on Westheimer/Weslyann... They make terrific sandwiches and food to go.. Just the experience in the store for an out-of-towner will shock u!!
            Travel a little bit to lower westheimer and go to Hugo's Mexican Rest.. It'll redefine your taste for Mex food.. Tex Mex will never taste the same after Hugo's.
            Foga De Chao is the standard for Brazilian... They're on Westheimer as well.
            Jenni's Noodle House on Post Oak just opened,,,, vietnamese is their speciality.. Not bad and close to where you are staying..
            Also,, Berryhill's on Post Oak Blvd offers up terrific shrimp taco's.. Check it out,, near the San Felip intersect.
            Good luck and enjoy!
            (orig from Paterson NJ)