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Austin hound making the trip to Houston for a few days

Chefdavis Mar 17, 2010 02:40 PM

I have a few questions for my trip that hopefully I can get your help with.

1. Where is a good place for Greek food (that has gyros).

2. Are the mussels and frites at Jeanine's worth it?

3. looking for a good breakfast place (preferably southern)

4. Is the rainbow lodge worth it? Is there another location that is good for wild game (ideally on the upscale side)

5. I read a few reviews of El tiempo cantina and the prices look a bit steep for what you get. Is the cost justified?

thanks for the help (other suggestions are OK too

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  1. DaTulip RE: Chefdavis Mar 17, 2010 02:54 PM

    1) Not a big greek fan, so no help here.
    2) I think the mussels and frites at Jeanine's are the best in the city. They aren't up to full Belgium standards, but they're close.
    3) There is a good place in Mid-town, but I can't remember the name...can anyone help out? Breakfast Klub maybe?
    4) Rainbow Lodge is definately worth it if you're looking for game. Or at least it still was six months ago. Great atmosphere, food, and service. Pretty good wine list too. Don't know of any others I'd even recommend for game.
    5) El Tiempo is good. Prices are steep, but good if you have a big group to share. Lots of food.

    Hope this helps!

    Rainbow Lodge
    2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

    Breakfast Klub
    3711 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

    2 Replies
    1. re: DaTulip
      James Cristinian RE: DaTulip Mar 17, 2010 09:33 PM

      While El Tiempo's prices are high, the portions are quite large. My wife and I usually get the fresh lump crab nachos, plus a lunch special, and it is more than enough food for two, with leftovers most of the time. Sometimes we get the nachos with an a la carte item. The lunch specials are available seven days a week, and the margaritas send my wife on a voyage to another planet.

      1. re: James Cristinian
        onrushpam RE: James Cristinian Mar 19, 2010 07:40 AM

        We went to El Tiempo for NYE. There were 4 of us. We got one crab quesadilla and parrilladas for two. We ate ourselves silly and took enough back to the condo for a huge lunch the next day. They packed up our leftovers with extra fresh tortiallas and all the trimmings, salsa, etc. The margaritas were very, very good.

    2. d
      dexmat RE: Chefdavis Mar 17, 2010 11:17 PM

      Breakfast Klub is noted for breakfasts and is more upscale. Baby Barnaby's, Lankford Grocery and Kelley's Country Cooking are noted, too for breakfasts and are definitely more 'downhome.'. I'm not sure what you mean by southern?

      Probably the most popular spot for gyros in Houston is Niko Nikos on Montrose. It's always been noted for long lines and I hear it's gotten even worse since being visited by DD&D. Right around the corner is One's A Meal Greek Village, open 24 hours, which I think is a little better but be prepared for the waiter with attitude. You seem to be more interested in upscale places; arguably the most upscale Greek in town is Alexander the Great Greek in the Galleria area and they do serve a gyros platter with pita so you could make gyros. There are also schwarma and doner places.

      Edit to say: It's always a good idea when asking about Houston to indicate what part of town you'll be in - it's a huge place and you could spend way too much time driving around otherwise. All these recommendations except Kelley's are Central/West and all but Kelley's and Alexander are inside the Loop.

      Alexander the Great Greek Restaurant
      3055 Sage Rd, Houston, TX 77056

      Baby Barnaby's Cafe
      602 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77006

      Breakfast Klub
      3711 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

      Niko Niko's
      2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

      2 Replies
      1. re: dexmat
        James Cristinian RE: dexmat Mar 18, 2010 02:22 PM

        The waiter with the attitude is the owner, John. He was a waiter at Zorba The Greek in the seventies and eighties, and he rememberd me when I went to One's A Meal for the first time a couple of years ago. Forget Niko Niko's, the last time I was there, it has been years I admit, I had frozen fried shrimp and snapper that should not have been served, it was that far past even decent. Go to One's A Meal for really good fried shrimp, and a cold retsina. John is really a pussycat, just don't do anything stupid that might agitate him.

        1. re: James Cristinian
          dexmat RE: James Cristinian Mar 18, 2010 05:59 PM

          I didn't know he was the owner now; I've had no problem but I've only been a couple of times. Looking at the website it says they also own The Original Mexican Cafe in Galveston. I think Bibas has been dropped from the name; it was the name of the previous owner. Haven't been to Niko Niko's in a couple of years at least and thought it wasn't as good but maybe just my tastes had improved.

          Original Mexican Cafe
          1401 Market St, Galveston, TX 77550

          Niko Niko's
          2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

      2. air RE: Chefdavis Mar 18, 2010 05:56 AM

        I suggest Baba Yega for breakfast, the weekend brunch buffet there is awesome.

        Niko NIko's has been way too crowded ever since DDD, I'd also agree with Biba's One's A Meal instead.

        Baba Yega Restaurant
        2607 Grant St, Houston, TX 77006

        1. b
          bornie RE: Chefdavis Mar 18, 2010 09:28 AM

          try ekko's deli at 5216 Richmond(near the Richmond/Sage intersect) for a seriously terrific gyros (best i've had in town). Don't let the filling station exterior steer u away, as the pearl inside the shell is behind the grill.. The pita and the amount of meat packe inside is very generous really, really tasty... Try the greek salad as a side,, tho the potatoes are good too... Limited seating area and nothing fancy about this place,,,, just great food.. Prices as u can expect are reasonable..

          Greek friends have told me that Yia Yia Mary's, a Pappas restaurant at 610 and San Felipe, serves up THE best greek fish dishes in the city (this from a greek that owns a catering svc).

          For terrific mexicant/tex-mex, another "hole in the wall" restaurant is La Guadalapana on Dunlavy... doesn't get the fanfare as some of the other mex spots found on this board,, but it competes very "flavorably" with any in town... Enjoy!

          2 Replies
          1. re: bornie
            dexmat RE: bornie Mar 18, 2010 06:07 PM

            Been to Ekko's once, back when it was Stellio's so maybe it's changed. I was put off by the smell of gasoline in the parking lot (and all the eating was outside, at least then) so I got it to go. I didn't see a gyros on the menu, just a gyros plate. Does the term gyros signify the sandwich? I always thought so and thought that's what the OP was asking for. Anyway, I was impressed with how much meat there was and the meat and condiments were good and fresh but I thought the tzatziki was very bland. Anyway, I got enough meat on the plate for 2 people but only one pita, which wasn't nearly big enough to hold it all.

            What really irked me was they put the fries right out of the fryer, without a second to drain, into the styrofoam box without any foil or waxed paper or anything and by the time I got to the car, they had melted through the box and it was leaking. Didn't appreciate that.

            I agree on La Guadalupana.

            1. re: dexmat
              bornie RE: dexmat Mar 19, 2010 07:46 AM

              Have not shared your experience in the dozen or so times that I've visited.. Give it another shot dexmat,, Try the gyros with side greek salad.. Man its good! I prefer this fast food "dive" over Niko Niko's.. Ekko's will soon be opening a second new restaurant in Midtown I've heard..

              Niko Niko's
              2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

          2. b
            bornie RE: Chefdavis Mar 19, 2010 07:28 AM

            wanted to mention,, Hugo's Mex Restaurant serves up some tasty "bar" food ($7-10 bucks) 4-7pm M-F and some kick but rita's and mimosa's as well (was there wed to indulge).. Also, ck out Irma's Southwestern Grill (had lunch there yesterday) on Texas Ave (Not to be confused with Irma's Mex Rest on Chenevert). Only open for lunch and on Astro game nights (4-7p),, the food is as good as it gets.. No written menu,, specials of the day only.. Had terrific chx enchilada's topped with mole sauce. Open 11 years,, this restaurant is often overlooked because of the limited hours of operation and edge of downtown location (near the ballpark). Enjoy!

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