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Oct 27, 2009 08:29 AM

Houston Trip Report

A week in Houston for business. Overall I'm sorry I don't live here. I think I had a good week but don't think I even came close to finding all the good eats this city has to offer. P.S. I usually go for hole-in-the-walls but decided to treat myself this trip.

Omaha Steaks:
Had the medium sized Filet. Good but not great--- actually not even really good. Cost a bundle too!

Someone on chow said if your a tourist you go to Taste of Texas but if you live here you go to Churasscos for the signature dish. I was floored by this place! From the fried platains with the chimchurri sauce to the signature dish. The steak is simple and flavorful not a lot of garlic but not too little... but everything else that it comes with makes the whole thing an experience. It reminds me of Kal-bi served with pai chan. The sides of a roasted vegtables, fried yuca ball and coconut rice pilaf was a highlight of my trip. And that Tres Leche cake explodes with that sweet condensed milk. Sinfully good... guilted myself into running 3 miles after this meal.

La Tapatia Taqueria:
Standard Tex Mex fare. A local highly recommended this place but I found it OK. The Tacos Pastor and Asada were dirt cheap but so dry I couldn't tell the difference between the two. I really tried to see which was which and couldn't tell the difference.

Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen:
Started off with the 2 + 2+ 2 oyster appetizer. I'm not a fan of baked oyster appetizers but the Oysters Buccaneer made me say "Holy S#!^" It might have been the wine but oh well I said it. The bread crumb and lump crab meat topping just tasted good. The other two styles--- Oysters Rockafeller & Damian didn't do much for me. Next I had the Snapper Decadant and it was really really good. Snapper topped with oysters, grilled shrimp and jumbo lump crab meat. Yeah a little bit of over kill but really amazing. Also I needed a lot of discipline to keep myself from licking the brown sauce off my plate.

Pappas BBQ:
Kind of a creepy old shack by the airport. This was not good. I got the 1/4 lb rib special and I'm not exactly sure what the tough ribs were covered in. Maybe some kind of BBQ but it was more like fat butter but it tasted more like butt butter. Glad it didn't ruin my plane ride home.

Overall I was quite fond of my week in Houston. It hit the wallet a little bit but still left me wanting more. Next time I'll make a trip back just for Mark's and Hugos!

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  1. We absolutely LOVE Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen!! Haven't tried the oysters since I'm not crazy about them. We always seem to gravitate to our two favorites--calamari a la mama (you have to ask for the a la mama part as it isn't on the menu) and Shrimp Larry!

    1. I didn't even know we had an Omaha Steaks - staying at that hotel? You can probably do a lot better for steaks in Houston.

      La Tapatia is Mexican, not Tex-Mex. Al Pastor and Asada are not Tex-Mex preparations. It's an okay local chain but you could do a lot better on that, too. Tapatio is a nickname for people from the area of Guadalajara, Jalisco, so the dishes are probably supposed to be representative of that area.

      Pappas is a very big local operation but I wouldn't describe any of their places as creepy old shacks so I don't know what you found but you can do a lot better than Pappas BBQ locally.

      Good choices on Churrascos and Mandola's, though.

      Churrascos River Oaks
      2055 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77042

      La Tapatia Restaurant
      1519 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79411

      1 Reply
      1. re: dexmat

        thanks for the correction. I know its not all tomato tomatoe when it comes to the tex mex references. the pappas I went to was in an old red shack by the airport. And it was kinda creepy in my book but heard an amazing marvin gaye song on the radio!

        and now I'm thinking of churrascos again. soooo good.