Restaurants Near U. of Houston?
We are traveling to Houston for a volleyball tournament at U. of Houston in September and have decided to stay at the Hilton on campus. I am trying to figure out some restaurants nearby (we will have a rental car) to go to. I am getting the impression that particular area is not the greatest so we don't mind driving a littlle bit. I don't want anything too outrageous. We are partial to Italian food and like a nice sports bar to go to between matches. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
There are two places on I-45 South, just inside the loop that I like. Both are very casual, not too pricey and good food. Dot's Coffee Shop - great burger, fries, plate lunches, pies with huge servings. Breakfast at Dot's is awesome.
Also Boudreaux's just behind Dot's. I don't eat the shrimp at Boudreaux's because they are farm raised and have no taste. But the oysters, crawfish, fish and other dishes are good. I love their boudin balls and the St. James salad. The etouffee is good, I like it with their dirty rice which is also good. The cornbread is awesome! I guess about the only thing I don't like at Boudreaux's are the farm raised shrimp.
Both are about 5 miles south of where you'll be. You'd take I-45 going south and exit Woodridge for both of them.
I couldn't find a link for Dot's. It's been in the same place since I moved here in the early 70's so it is well-known.
If you want a good fancy meal, across the freeway from Dot's is Bonnie's Beef and Seafood. They have great steak dishes and the best salad bar around. I love their prime rib.
I'm going to have to do a little research on Italian, but for a great local institution, Frenchy's Fried Chicken is just south of U of H on Scott Street. Creole seasoned chicken, greens, and red beans and rice with andoulille sausage put Popeye's to shame
Frenchy's is # 12, plus check out the list, I'm no fan of Ninfa's anymore, I prefer a place not listed, El Jardin on 75th, not too far from campus.
re: James Cristinian
Second the recommendation for Frenchy's.
Mandola's Deli, Cullen @ Leeland, near the campus is a small Italian place run by a branch of the Mandola family which is an old line Italian family with many restaurants in Houston (started the Carraba's chain). It's a UH hangout; closes by mid-afternoon and closed on Sunday.
There's a good banh mi shop on the NW corner of the campus, Givral's Vietnamese bistro, the Original.
Further south on Scott past Frenchy's another mile is Thelma's, one of the better bbq places in the city.
Avoid Bobbie Que's bbq shack near UH on Scott.
Down past Dot, outside the loop at the Broadway/Park Place exit (to Hobby) is Kelley's Country Cooking. Classic southern meat and three place with huge portions in a time warp. Across the freeway is Taqueria del Sol, a 24 hour taqueria that is very good.
Dot is kind of a late night UH hangout, especially on weekends, I understand.
First observation of the OP is right, though, not much on that side of town.
4105 Leeland St, Houston, TX 77023
I thought about Kelley's. It's not a lot different than Dot, huge portions, lots of choices. But Dot's beats Kelley's in the taste department. Other than that, they are very similar. Dot's has REAL french fries too, some of the best around. Kelley's are yuck.
There's also Don Carlos on Broadway. I love their queso and their beef fajita quesadillas. How many other Mexican restaurants give you free queso with your basket of chips?
Don Carlo's Restaurant
8385 Broadway St, Houston, TX 77061
If you have a car, there is no reason to stay in that area. Drive up to Montrose or Rice Village areas for a bunch of choices in a much nicer atmosphere.
Sorry the response has been so lame. I don't do Italian so I'm not a good personal reference. Here's a link to a local site's collection of Italian reviews:
You can use the factors on the left sidebar to sort by parts of town.
Da Marco is usually considered one of the finest restaurants in the city and will be very expensive. The Mandola family restaurants are Damian's, Tony Mandola's, Nino's and Vincent's. Someone here recently went to Vincent's I think. Also the original Carraba's on Kirby is still family operated - if you want to go with the name brand stuff.
If you find something interesting you'd like more information on you may be able to post back and actually get a recommendation.
1520 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006