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Need Dinner Recommendations - Clear Lake Area

Driving to Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake Hotel in November for a conference. Please advise of best dinner restaurants. Need not be upscale.

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    1. re: Lambowner

      I ate at Cullen's for lunch once and it was awful. Everything was way way oversalted, the meat, the potatoes and the spinach. I've heard that same complaint from others also. I couldn't eat but one bite of each and pushed it aside. I had a piece of my friend's pizza and it wasn't bad but not anything special either. At least it was edible. The dessert was like something off a 7-11 shelf. I was sadly disappointed because it's very convenient for me. It IS a beautiful building but the servers were inexperienced and seemed out of place in the upscale atmosphere. Lots of my friends go there to have drinks and listen to the live music but they don't eat there.

      Perry's Steakhouse used to be excellent. I haven't been there in about 5 years. Excellent food and professional service unlike my experience at Cullen's. Perry's Italian Kitchen is good too.

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      Perry's Steakhouse Bay Area
      487 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, TX 77058

      Perry's Italian Kitchen
      1001 Pineloch Dr, Houston, TX 77062

      1. re: Lambowner

        Had a girl's lunch today at Cullen's. My burger was delicious. The other two girls that got burgers agreed. Fries were very good but almost cold when they were put in front of me. They were still good but would have been outstanding had they been hot or even warm. Margaritas were good too.

        One girl had a cobb salad and didn't eat more than 2 bites, said it was awful. It looked awful. One girl had calamari and I sampled it, excellent!! The other girls had soup and 1/2 sandwich and all said it was "okay".

        I have to say that the service at lunch is pretty amateurish. I had to ask 3 times for some things that should have been brought to the table without asking. We were there almost 5 hours and the whole time there weren't 7-8 other tables of 4 or less served so it wasn't that they were crowded. There were 3 servers working.

        The service is slow, too slow for an upscale place like that. Someone said they must keep their pro waitstaff for the evening meal which could be so. The server was friendly and got all the orders right, but it just took so long for every little thing.

      2. Not too far from the hotel is a restaurant named Frencie's. It is an italian restaurant. Lots of neat NASA stuff as this has been a fav of the astronauts over the years. Great sushi also just down the road, Masa Sushi. Decent chinese at the 888 Bistro. A little further but excellent Indian food is on Bay Area Blvd - Moguls.

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        888 Bistro
        16744 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cookie Baker

          Last time I went to Frenchies the lasagna was still frozenn at its center, obviously made very far ahead, like days.

        2. The places we eat at regularly, along with what we usually order. I don't know that I would call them chow hound worthy but they are good.

          Perry's Italian-my husband loves their steak, oso buco, & lamb (special). Crabcakes, spicey calamari. It's just slighly less upscale then Perry's Steakhouse. The Steakhouse is good too.
          http://www.perrysitaliangrille.com/about

          Market Seafood-catfish and fried shrimp, red beans n rice, hush puppies
          http://www.b4-u-eat.com/houston/resta...

          Greek Cafe-gyro, roasted chicken, or pork loin. (owner is usually pretty gruff but it tastes like you're in Greece
          )http://www.yelp.com/biz/greek-deli-an...

          Seabrook's Classic Cafe-sandwiches, fish or shrimp tacos, tortilla soup, breakfast (weekends only
          )http://www.seabrookclassiccafe.com/

          Angelo's-margharita pizza
          http://www.angelospizza-pasta.com/

          888-anything in garlic sauce, egg rolls, fried rice. They have the secret chinese menu
          http://www.888chineserestaurant.com/

          Masa Sushi-we just like this place
          http://masasushitexas.foodcoral.com/i...

          Mom Alone
          http://www.momalonerestaurant.com/

          Boondoggles-foods ok or maybe I haven't found the right thing but we love it because it's a local hang out place (family friendly) with allot of different beers. Monday night they have a steak special and Thursday night they have crab leg special. I crave their complimentary popcorn but you have to ask for it.
          http://www.boondogglespub.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: tlegray

            The right thing a Boondoggles is the ceviche. It is fantastic.

          2. Ate at Joe Lee's over the weekend and it's still very good. Very reasonably priced fresh seafood. Really good fried shrimp.

            http://www.joelees.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: texasredtop

              I'm going to have to try this place. I'll drive into the loop before I go to the other side of the lake to eat :-/

              1. re: tlegray

                For years Joe Lee's was my favorite in Kemah. When the boardwalk moved in, they packed up and left and their building was torn down. It was awhile before they reopened south of the lake. It's just a couple of minutes off of 146 so it's really not far at all. Most of the food is as good as it was then. I was disappointed that they didn't have a lot of crab dishes like they did before. We had the boudin balls and I wouldn't get them again. They were okay but there are several places I like them better than there. The fried shrimp on the po-boy do not do their fried shrimp justice because they are small. Just get the fried shrimp plate. Fries were blah so next time I'll try the new potatoes or some other side. I think they still put the little shrimp in their cole slaw. The price is about half of what you'd pay on the boardwalk and the food is twice as good.

            2. I live in Clear Lake and my personal favorites close to home are:
              Mom Alones for inexpensive Mexican and great weekend breakfast
              Bakkhus Taverna in Kemah for Greek food
              Swamp Shack (also Kemah) for Cajun Food
              888 Bistro for Chinese
              If you have time, and aren't looking for anything fancy, Gilhooleys Oyster Bar in San Leon has the best oysters I have ever eaten. A definite dive, but the food and cold beer are worth it. We enjoy going to Bacliff, and San Leon (about 20 minutes from the Hilton) and hitting some of the places along the water like Noahs Ark, Judges, and the 18th Street Bar Grill and Fishing Pier and enjoying appetizers and drinks along the way. Hope this helps....

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              Gilhooley's Restaurant
              222 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

              888 Bistro
              16744 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062

              4 Replies
              1. re: houstontxgirl

                We've been wanting to try Judges. What do you like there?

                1. re: tlegray

                  The shrimp burger and the onion rings are both good.

                  1. re: tlegray

                    Well, we always start with a frozen drink called boat fuel. It is blue, and taste yummy, and that is all i know about that because the bartender keeps the recipe top secret! My husband loves the seared Ahi Tuna appetizer and I usually go for the Shrimp Ceviche appetizer. We will usually get fish or shrimp tacos and share them. I have had the Wino Snapper and it is blackened with a cream sauce and baby shrimp. The oysters on the half shell are very fresh here as well.

                  2. re: houstontxgirl

                    We tried Gilhooley's this past weekend. We will be back. The grilled oyster on the half shell topped with shrimp will be a must. I don't know that I've ever had grilled shrimp that tasted so perfectly cooked. We also had raw oysters and these were also very good but I'd get the grilled over raw oysters. My husband ordered a burger that he enjoyed. I shared crabcakes that will be a must everytime I go. Great place. Wine and beer only. Service was great too.

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                    Gilhooley's Restaurant
                    222 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                  3. Frenchies on Nasa Rd 1....the best for Italian!

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: houstontxgirl

                        I am surprised by two recommendations. I tried Frenchie's once and it was *terrible*. I was actually embarrassed for them. I wrote them off after that. I guess I must have hit them on the wrong day. I will have to try them again. Besides the Lasagna, what else should I try?

                        1. re: Bibacious

                          I've been to Frenchie's several times and I haven't liked anything there. But everyone I know seems to love the place, they rave about it. I just scratch my head. The Italian place I like in Clear Lake is called the Italian Cafe. It is in a strip center on the corner of Kirby and Nasa One. Very fresh, very tasty. I haven't been there in 10 years though. http://www.theitaliancafe.com/

                          1. re: Bibacious

                            We tried Frenchie's once and never went back but the way most go on and on about it we may try it again.

                            My husband loves the Italian Cafe. To me it's ok but then I make Italian food at home and I compare everything to Italy Italian. What do you order there? Maybe I just order the wrong thing. I do like that you can take your own bottle of wine. And they do/did a good tiramisu but the last time I was there they made it with sponge cake and I prefer it with lady fingers which is how they had always made it prior to that visit. I will have to see next time. They do a good cappucino too.

                            1. re: tlegray

                              I remember eating spaghetti and meatballs there more than once as we sometimes went for lunch from work and it was very good. I've had several other things there just don't remember what they were.

                              As far as Frenchie's, I said the same thing, if everyone else loves it so much I will figure it out eventually. After the 3rd of 4th visit, I gave up.

                      2. I'll second the rec. for Gilhooley's. Definitely a dive, but truly scrumptions oysters. Add Clifton's by the Sea ( or Bay, I can't remember which) for very good gumbo and stuffed flounder. It's in
                        Bacliff and maybe not too far from you. By the way, what ever happened to the Topwater Grill? Ike?????

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                        Gilhooley's Restaurant
                        222 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                        Topwater Grill
                        1522 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: amazinc

                          I think Topwater Grill reopened a few months ago. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/688527

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                          Topwater Grill
                          1522 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                          1. re: texasredtop

                            We loved Topwater before the hurricane. We've only been back once since it reopened and didn't care for it. Don't know if we hit it on an off day but we haven't wanted to go back.

                          2. re: amazinc

                            Topwater is back. We went down a couple of weekends ago to check it out, but didn't really eat. We had stopped at Gilhooleys first!

                            -----
                            Gilhooley's Restaurant
                            222 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                            1. re: amazinc

                              Gilhooley's is a dive but yummy food! Love the oysters when in season. They even do a Thanksgiving spread that's pretty good I hear.

                              -----
                              Gilhooley's Restaurant
                              222 9th St, Dickinson, TX 77539

                            2. I sometimes drive all the way down to Clear Lake to go to Durango's on the Nasa Parkway for their specialty, Conchinita Pibil, Yucatecan roast pig. It's the best version I've had in the Houston area other than the original Merida many years ago. The staff is from Merida and they do it right, not overwhelming the pork with the spice paste as most places do. There really isn't much else Yucatecan on the menu - they present the dish in several different formats including burritos, salbutes and panuchos, which are variations on tostadas, always with the Yucatecan style pickled red onions and refritos negros. The beans are almost worth the trip themselves, with a rich, chocolatey-pudding like texture, almost good enough to be a dessert.

                              The rest of the menu looks mostly Tex-Mex; several dishes are labeled Tex-Mex and there are crispy tacos and tostadas. I've never tried anything but the conchinita pibil.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: brucesw

                                I'm going to have to try Durango's and their Conchinita Pibil. Thank you for letting us know what it is you like on the menu. Most restaurants for me are item specific.