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7 hour stopover in Houston. What to do . . . suggestions?

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So the only flight I could get to Mexico involves a 7 hour stop over in Houston. Now I'd hate to spend it by trying to kill time in the airport, so if any of you Houston locals could recommend some potential culinary adventures in your fine city, I would really appreciate it. I eat anything and everything, but I would love to sample some local Houston specialties.

I arrive at 11:40am and leave at 18:30. I don't know where the airport fits in geographically in the city, so I'm not sure what will be practically possible in the time frame, with traffic etc. factored in, so any of your advice and local know how would be welcome!

Thanks!

edit: I'll be arriving and leaving from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

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  1. If you want to stay close to airport (downtown is about 30 mins/$30-cab ride) take cab to Jimmy G's on Beltway 8 frontage road, it's close and you can sit at the raw bar and eat shrimp/crawfish and beer.

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    Jimmy G's Restaurant
    307 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77060

    2 Replies
    1. re: superluckycat

      If I were in your shoes......BBQ would be the first thing I would seek for recommendations.

      1. re: fourunder

        My first inclination would be what superluckycat suggested, and that's exactly what my Texas ex-pat brother and I did a while back on a similiar layover. The seafood Texas style was something he could not get in Kansas City, and it really hit the spot. Now, fourunder brings up a good point. While Houston is not the bbq mecca of Texas, there is a Rudy's in Spring, a similiar cab ride away. Seeing you are from Montreal, this might be something that interests you. This is a central Texas style bbq, oak smoked, no gas pits. Personaly, I have not been, but there is one close to my house and I am intending to go. With any Texas bbq, there are proponents and distractors, and quality can vary wildly from day to day. The reviews I have seen have been overwhelmingly on the positive side. Enjoy and please let us know what you choose. There is another option of local food, Tex Mex, and if you're intersted let us know.

    2. If for whatever reason you stay in the airport, I find it has a lot of choices for food. Can't remember the rib place but got great ones that we then took onto the airplane for breakfast after an all-nighter from Rio. ESPN also has a sports bar there where we snack and drink pre-flight (10 hours to Rio). Then I don't need dinner on the plane. Can just sleep (hopefully).

      1. I just noticed a map of Jimmy G's, I assume you see it as well, and the location is no where close to what the map shows. Jimmy G's is a short ride from the airport. Ok, with this post, the map has changed, although it is still on the wrong side of the Beltway.

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        Jimmy G's Restaurant
        307 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77060

        1 Reply
        1. re: James Cristinian

          Good catch! That map shows it 20 miles from where it really is!

          As noted, Jimmy G's is a short drive (or cab ride) from the airport.

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          Jimmy G's Restaurant
          307 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77060

        2. I agree with the others that Tex-Mex and BBQ are great options for a Quebecois(e). You have plenty of time to take a taxi to some good chow, even enough time to have 2 lunches at 2 locations -- your only limitation will be stomach capacity. There's no need to settle for sub-par chow at the airport!

          Assuming you are willing to spend $50-60 on a cab each way, you have a lot of options by coming closer to downtown (the airport is well north of downtown). A possible schedule:
          11:40am - land, get off plane, hit the restroom, etc
          12:10am - arrive at taxi stand at airport
          12:50pm - arrive at restaurant A, sit down for lunch A
          2:00pm - depart restaurant A for restaurant B
          2:20pm - arrive at restaurant B, sit down for lunch B
          3:30pm - depart restaurant B for airport
          4:10pm - arrive airport

          I can't speak to BBQ, but some very Houstonian Tex-Mex places are Chuy's and El Tiempo. Both are "inside the loop" (inside the freeway that circles the city center), and if you find a BBQ place also inside the loop, my schedule will work!

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          Chuy's
          19827 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77065

          1. Here's a convenient fare estimator I found recently for Yellow locally. There will be tons of cabs waiting at the airport and most cabbies will give you a card to call them if you need a return ride.

            I think the restaurant indicated by the B on the map is Willie G's, a Landry's restaurant on Post Oak, not Jimmy G's.

            What Houston has that you may not find in Montreal is bbq, Tex-Mex and Cajun/Creole. There is a huge Asia town on the far SW side but I'm thinking you can probably get that there. Also since you're going to Mexico, Tex-Mex might not be of that much interest.

            Tell us what day we're talking. A couple of the best bbq and other places you might consider are not 7 day a week operations.

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            Jimmy G's Restaurant
            307 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77060

            1. Thanks for all the fantastic feedback! It's much appreciated. BBQ and Cajun/Creole will fit the bill perfectly. There's not much good BBQ in Montreal that's for sure.

              I will be in Houston tomorrow, so hopefully most places will be open. Jimmy G's and Rudy's are both sounding like great options, and the fact that they're not too far from the airport is a bonus. I'll keep researching everything you guys have suggested.

              Any more recommendations are welcome, and thanks again for all the info. I'll definitely post my feedback after the meal/s.