Dinner near the metro (no car) - bbq, texmex, cajun all great
First time in Houston, don't have a car, and am staying in the inner loop (city center, i believe).
I am looking for a good dinner place on the metro (or a short cab ride). Pricing up to $25 per main dish type of menu.... Love bbq, tex mex, greek..... No italian or Asian.
Any thoughts? Is there a good area with a strip of restaurants that I can walk around in, or should I know what restaurant I'm planning on going to before heading out?
Any advice is much appreciated!!!
As dexmat suggested, by city center I'm going to assume you mean down town since you indicated inner-loop. There is actually an area of town called City Centre (formerly Town & Country) at I-10 and Beltway 8. If that is where you'll be the whole area is quite walkable with many options.
If not ,here are some additional DT/near DT suggestions using the Metro Rail/walking/short cab ride:
I definately second Brennans (still excellent!) & El Tiempo. I can't think of any BBQ in the area/close to the rail/close cab ride. Maybe House of Blues has BBQ, but I doubt it would really be "Texas" BBQ? (www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/houston/)
Cajun-ish (more Southern really) - Treebeards has several locations downtown, one on the Market Square (www.treebeards.com)
Other good options walking distance fromt he rail line are:)
Hearsay Gastro Pub (www.hearsayhouston.com
)Julias Bistro (http://juliasbistro.com/
)Monarch in the Hotel ZaZa (www.hotelzazahouston.com
Also the Mid-Town area is nice and really almost a part of DT. Young feel - quite a few restaurants and bars - good place for a little walk around. It would be a short cab ride or could be walkable from the rail - in daylight or if you are brave. The closest walk fromt he rail would take you by the DT bus terminal. Kind of like a port authoirty area. Mostly safe, but a little sketchy.
Specs, the best liquer store IMO in Houston is also in that area - they have a great deli in back that is open at lunch. (www.specsonline.com)
I recognize that these are not all exactly in line with what you suggested (bbq/tex mex/greek) above, but with the area restriction they can be hard to find.
Also - Houston Restaurant "Week" continues through the 21st - some good $35 menus and a good cause (www.houstonrestaurantweek.com).
Hope this gives you some options to check out.
2520 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
A clarification - by city center you mean downtown? and by Metro are you just referring to the one light rail line or anywhere by bus?
There isn't much downtown open in the evening but will be some options. There is no bbq downtown or near the rail line worth much. There is a Pappas on Walker, over by the Library. That's a local chain that doesn't get much love here on CH. Not sure if they'd be open in the. evenings. There are a couple of outposts of Otto's downtown, an old-line bbq place supposedly the favorite of George H.W.Bush; again, not sure if they'd be open in the evenings.
El Tiempo and Mardi Gras, mentioned by TexasRedTop, would be accessible by bus out Washington avenue or a relatively short cab ride; also out that way is a new bbq place called Phil's that's getting very mixed reviews; I haven't been. The best bbq in town would be Pierson's and it would be a considerable cab ride and not open in the evenings. Washington is kind of a hot spot right now for restaurants and especially clubs but Houston is very spread out and there'd be a lot of walking.
Mexican downtown of note is Irma's and Last Concert but there are lots of others. A business associate in town from Maryland last year found Cabo, which describes itself as Mix-Mex, and loved it but I've never been.
Actually, I haven't dined downtown in 25 years and that place is closed so I'm not much help.
Brennan's would be walkable from the rail line but it's very upscale, I don't know if there' s a dress code but you might want to consider a cab anyway.
I like two specific restaurants inside the loop. El Tiempo (I go to the Washington Ave. location as it is supposed to be the best one) and Mardi Gras Grill. I have no idea if they are easy access by Metro. I think without a vehicle, you should map out your choice and decide ahead if it's on the Metro route of if you're going to take a cab. I can't think of anywhere inside the loop where a lot of great restaurants are within walking distance of each other.
Also Brennan's is reopened and although I haven't been since the reopening, I've heard it's as good as it always was.
I know there are lots of good choices inside the loop. This is not "my" area of town so we don't eat there often enough to have more favorites than this. El Tiempo crab quesadilla is worth the 30 minute drive even if we don't have any other business across town :-)
And please don't forget to let us know where you ate and how you liked it.
Mardi Gras Grill
1200 Durham, Houston, TX 77007