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Where do 'hounds go in Beaumont?

Surely there must be some neat little local places, and a good place where locals like to go for special occasions. I'm going to need both soon. Please help me out, 'hounds!

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  1. While it's not Beaumont, it's not but a few miles down the road. Al-T's in Winnie. I love it!!! It's not a "special occasion" place though. Sartin's used to be good years ago but haven't been in forever. It's also not a "special occasion" place. While there, check at Rao's Bakery, yum yum yum.

    Rao's Bakery
    4440 Dowlen Rd, Beaumont, TX 77706

    1. Willy Ray's BBQ at Exit 851 on I 10 is a great BBQ joint you should really like. Texas Monthly rates em in the top 50 in TX. They serve SL style ribs and brisket that's outstanding. I love their sauce. Good luck.

      1. I'm not a big fan of Tex-Mex, but Elena's in Beaumont is very good for Tex-Mex in my opinion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mike C. Miller

          Not.. a... fan.. of... Tex... Mex... ?!

        2. We enjoyed Floyd's--a very local scene with great people watching and excellent shrimp gumbo, friend shrimp, and a sort of ceviche/seafood cocktail with avocado that my DH enjoyed. If my (very nice) filet had been cooked medium rare to medium (as requested) instead of very rare (still cool in the middle, a little too rare even for my tastes) the meal would have been close to perfect. (It was Saturday night, the kitchen was really slammed and I didn't feel like sending it back.)

          We weren't impressed with Willy Ray's, where we had run of the mill brisket sandwiches topped with a thick sweet sauce (couldn't taste the meat). Top 50? I don't think so...

          But all in all, a good weekend.

          4 Replies
          1. re: zorra

            I forgot to say, we went to Rao's for breakfast and the pastries were indeed excellent, although a slow and confused barista had quite a bit of difficulty getting our coffee order correct.

            And those "friend" shrimp at Floyd's were, of course, fried, but they were my friends for the few minutes they were on the plate...

            1. re: zorra

              Is this the same Floyd's as in Floyd Landry who has a couple of restaurants in Houston? Nice recovery on the friend shrimp,

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Yes, it is Floyd Landry. My wife and I had dinner there a couple of months ago and it was OK. Nothing special. I had a fried seafood platter and my wife had a broiled platter.

                1. re: ddavis

                  The Floyd's in Webster has been very good. The only thing I've eaten there that I didn't like was their dirty rice. Everything else was very good.

          2. As a native, let me agree that Al-T's down the road in Winnie is a great place. As for Beaumont, I have heard good things about Goodfellaz on Dowlen. For Mexican food Cafe Del Rio near 11th st is good. Elena's is ok, I would call it typical. Rao's is a must for their great coffee and unbelievably beautiful baked treats. Willy Ray's does have good bar-b-que, as does Fat Mack's and Patillo's. All are different styles.

            Honestly the best thing you could do around Beaumont is to make friends with some locals and go to a family get together, particularly if you can find some Louisiana transplants to feed you some authentic cajun food. If you're wiling to drive a few minutes, Larry's French Market in Groves, TX has good food and a really unique, real-deal cajun atmosphere. North of Beaumont, in Lumberton, TX you will find the best hamburgers on the planet at Dippity's, and be sure to order the onion rings too.

            Cafe Del Rio
            2830 Interstate 10 E, Beaumont, TX 77703

            1. Bryan 797 is a good place for special occasions it is on 5th street has a very good wine selection . Bryan 797 is beautiful former house in opld town. So is Easy's Tapas Bar in old town as well. Goodfella's has good food and ambience as well.

              1. Hounds go to Houston! Nothing really worth getting dressed up for here. All restaurants are fair at best, local population either doesn't know any better or pretends everything is "just awesome!". Favorite restaurant is the new Chaba next to Exygon. Any restaurant that puts tendon balls on the menu and is able to execute the dish is above all others here.

                1. ok, this isn't exhaustive, so i'll add more as i think of them. we live in nederland, so many of my recommendations will be more midcounty-centric. but we used to live 12 miles from manhattan, so we knows us some chow.

                  first, avoid the stretch of mexican places along 69 from jimmy johnson to nederland avenue. there are SO many of them in such a short stretch and they are all unimpressive. i've named that stretch of 69 the "mediocre mexican mile."

                  but there is good mexican to be found. la casita out on highway 90 in beaumont is a little hole in the wall place on the edge of the city limits (or perhaps just beyond). REALLY good and authentic, but only open breakfast and lunch. we've also had pretty good luck at la fiesta on nederland ave (i think that is technically port arthur, but nederlandish). these are the only places i've found mole on the menu around here. there's a new place in nederland called fuzzy's that, while a chain out of fort worth, has a nice change of style and fresh flavors. nothing fancy, but cheap and the queso is good.

                  chaba thai on phelan in beaumont (the lucas location is good too, but i thought the food at pheland tasted fresher) is delish... eat the fish. we've eaten thai food all over the world, including incredibly fresh seafood in thailand. this is a pretty darn good substitute. seriously, try the fish.

                  for homecooking, al t's is good but a drive. in nederland, i've had some pretty tasty fare at guidry's galley (only their in-house made stuff... don't get anything they buy pre-made... you have to ask what that is) and bobbie's.

                  for seafood, i've been really surprised to find some really fresh and delish seafood at john's grill on twin city highway. but their hours are limited as well. and the popcorn shrimp at j martin's is similarly fresh and battered in-house. their regular shrimp would be fantastic, except that they don't clean the veins (just the popcorn shrimp). that just tastes nasty to me. AVOID baytown seafood!

                  for upscale, our new go-to place is goodfellaz. we've never even been slightly disappointed by anything on their menu and the service is the best we've had here. hands down, the service is above and beyond.

                  crazy thing, but go get the frito pie at uncle henry's tamale stand on lucas in beaumont. i never, in a thousand years, thought i'd recommend something as lowly and pedestrian as frito pie. but really, try it. don't turn your nose up at the nacho cheese sauce. just try it.

                  oh, and los compadres pupuseria on 25th street in port arthur. pupusas! in port arthur! good!

                  china inn in groves. if you like pedestrian, nasty, big buffet chinese places, this is not your place. i've never been disappointed by anything there.

                  go to larry's french market when you have out of town visitors. the food is good (not the best, but still quite respectable), but the real fun is getting a table near the dance floor where you can see the band. call ahead and know there will be a cover charge.

                  want indian? you're SOL. go to belanji market and get the ingredients and great guidance from the owners.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mommyrock

                    Too bad the pig stand closed down it had been open since 1920.

                    1. re: mommyrock

                      i need to update a couple of my comments.

                      first, la fiesta: don't bother. the last two times we went were utterly disappointing.

                      second, guidry's galley: closed.

                      1. re: mommyrock

                        While I have to agree with you on much of these suggestions I would strongly suggest anyone who loves authentic Mexican and if the words "Beef tounge" or don't scare you... you must try the following: " El Paradiso" on College across from the big Tex-Mex Place Elana's. El Paradiso doesn't look like much on the outside, but I promise it's got the largest variety of salsa and fresh toppings for your personalized tacos. The there is "La Morenita," on College and 11th, a medium sized Mexican grocery with a mighty fine lunch counter and Juice stand inside. Once again very good if you like the Real Deal. For those who want to walk on the edge between Gringo and Authentico I suggest Taco's La Bamba on Calder. I would say the only thing they serve that might intimidate some, is the whole fried talapia plate... which comes with all the fixings to make your tacos which are amazing! The every day offerings there are huge and amazing burritos, authentic tacos. It's also one of the only places to get the spicy, corn with cheese known as "elotes" in town. Then if you're sweet tooth is calling you could check out the newest and might add, most affordable bakery on Calder, Anna's Mexican Bakery where a coffee and croissant are seriously amazing on a Saturday morning.

                        1. re: ryback

                          looks like willie rays barbecue is no more closed down.

                          1. re: joedontexan

                            If you're hungry for a really great pasty, try Rao's. I love their Napoleon and their muffins. They have lots of goodies to choose from.

                            1. re: joedontexan

                              They just moved, they are over by Parkdale mall in the old Lone start steakhouse location.

                              By the way, there is a new gourmet place in Nederland on Boston Ave. I checked out the menu and it looked incredible! I can't recall the name but it is on Boston ave on the left after you turn off of twin city hwy.

                              Also, if you are into small, home made pecan smoked bar-b-que (the east Texas way), you HAVE to go up to Evadale and check out Chuck's BBQ. Worth the drive!

                              1. re: adjmcloon

                                regarding the place on boston ave...

                                it is Finch Hutton. i just walked by there the other night and talked briefly to the owner (hadn't even heard of it until then). they just opened. i haven't tried the food yet, but it looks good. and a NICE, NEEDED change of pace for around here. i have this fantasy that nederland (where i live) could magically become this little foodie town. we did get fuzzy's taco place, which is surprisingly different and fresh, compared to all the schlocky mexican around here. but i want more. i think it could be so cool if this little town could support a few small, independent, really chow-worthy, destination places. is that too much to ask?

                                anyway, back to finch hutton. i haven't tried it yet. but it was reviewed in cat 5 very, very favorably. and here's their website with menu... http://finchhutton.com/

                                if anybody gets a chance to try it before i do, do let us know how it is!

                                1. re: mommyrock

                                  I recently found Pho Four Seasons on College. Excellent Vietnamese food! I highly recommend checking them out. The food is fresh and beautifully presented. The servers are very helpful and nice too.

                                  Four Seasons Restaurant
                                  1005 N Virginia St, Port Lavaca, TX 77979

                                  1. re: mommyrock

                                    Indeed, Finch Hutton is the new hot spot. Excellent all around! A must try, and I am very glad it's in mid-county. I hate driving to Beaumont.

                                    I tried Fuzzy's and it totally sucked.

                                    Some other newer spots in Beaumont include the Grill by Arfeen and Major League Grill on Dowlen. Also I forgot to mention Katherine's on MLK which is an incredible place to eat some gourmet lunch or early dinner.

                                    Pho Four Seasons is excellent, as is Chaba Thai on Lucas if you're into Thai food.

                            2. I wanted to update some things on this thread, as it seems so many of the places i suggested previously are closed.

                              first though, favorite upscale places now are finch hutton in nederland (even though chef ruiz is gone and took with it some personality, it still seems to be holding its own) and the grill in beaumont. both have their menus online.

                              we also like tibideaux's (also a former ruiz joint) in beaumont, as they seem to have gotten their act back together. for awhile, after ruiz got kicked out, it went to hell. horrible, horrible, horrible service, and the food was mediocre. but they seem to have gotten their footing back.

                              closed: goodfellaz and john's grill.

                              the building for john's grill is now occupied by the 3rd former ruiz restaurant, railway cafe. as i understand it, ruiz's ouster happened just before it opened. oh, you can tell. it has NONE of the atmosphere he brought to his other joints, the food is mediocre, and the service was some of the worst i've ever endured (i've eaten all over the world, so that is saying something). we won't be back there. a true shame, as we need a good breakfast place in town.

                              for sushi, we still love sake in port arthur or koi in beaumont. tonight though, we're going to check out the former ichiban in port arthur, now apparently called red door.

                              and if you really like good southeast food, join the "southeast texas foodies" group on facebook and help us build a little community!