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Austin hound staying at galleria over christmas

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I'm a former houstonian (UH grad '00) and will be back in Houston for Christmas. I'm planning on Lankfords for burgers on christmas eve lunch and will be at the houstonian for brunch on Christmas day.

After reading the boards it looks like el tiempo is the best texmex in the area and was thinking indika for lunch/dinner on the 26th.

Since I'm from Austin I'm not looking for bbq, but we are lacking in excellent asian cuisine. any recommendations near the galleria? Also looking for excellent greek, italian, or french cuisine. price max is $100 per person without alcohol. Thanks!

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  1. I really love Vinoteca Poscol (charcuterie, Italian small & regular plates). I have heard great things about Da Marco (owned by the same person), but I have never been and I have heard it's pricey.

    Not sure if you are interested in sushi, but Kata Robata is fabulous (and not incredibly far from the Galleria).

    For Vietnamese, I really like Huynh.

    Definitely recommend Indika-- it is awesome.

    You might also consider Feast-- it's unique and one of the most interesting restaurants in Houston.

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    Huynh
    912 St Emanuel, Houston, TX 77003

    Da Marco
    1520 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006

    Indika
    516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

    Kata Robata
    3600 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098

    1. Go to Hugo's on Westheimer for Mex and skip the texmex, you'll not be disappointed. Indika is a sure bet (had the bar food at happy hour last night and was exceptional, as always). Hi-end Italian, Da Marco is a must (reservation is a given) or for more casual, Dolce Vita for terrific Italian style pizza (sit at the bar on the far side). My Greek friends swear the seafood dishes at Yia Yia Mary's is the place they go. If you want quick and casual greek, try Ekko's Greek,, on Richmond (its a gas stn w/small sit down space,, really tasty! For French, head to Au Petit Paris on Colquitt (its near Shepherd),, converted house/restaurant,, terrific! Asian,, Thai Bistro on 59 near the Buffalo Speedway exit in a strip mall.. A Japanese restaurant is next door. RA Sushi on Westheimer is usually packed. Enjoy! Let us know how you do... BTW,, I had Franklin's BBQ last wk in Austin,, Monroe/I35.. Best BBQ i've had anywhere. Stood in line 45min and was worth every second!

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      Da Marco
      1520 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006

      Thai Bistro Restaurant
      3241 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77027

      Indika
      516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

      1. Is there a particular asian cuisine you're looking for? There are quite a few... :)

        For sushi/robata I'd second the recommendation of Kata Robata. They've also got an interesting selection of innovative fusion dishes put out by their consulting chef Seth Siegel-Gardner.

        For ramen, I'd recommend Umai on Bellaire, east of Chinatown (see below).

        For Vietnamese - I'd recommend heading into town, to Cafe TH (formerly Thiem Hung) which is on the east side of downtown, behind the George R Brown convention center. Vietnamese may also be had in abundance in the midtown area (roughly Elgin/Main area) -- lots of sandwich shops and pho shops.

        For Chinese - I'd recommend heading out Hwy 59 to Bellaire, and heading west from there to Beltway 8. You will find an amazing collection of Chinese places. I like Hong Kong Food Street, HK Dim Sum, Fu Fu Cafe, Central China. Most of these places will be open (and busy, LOL) on Christmas eve. You could literally eat at a different restaurant every night and not eat at the same place for a whole year, though.

        For texmex, El Tiempo is good, but I'd also recommend Pico's on Bellaire (not as far west as Chinatown).

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        Central China Restaurant
        9390 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

        Pico's Restaurant
        5941 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77081

        Fu Fu Cafe
        9889 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

        Hong Kong's Cafe
        1632 S Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450

        Kata Robata
        3600 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098

        6 Replies
        1. re: grbroderick

          Christmas eve - for lunch we had lankfords... I ordered a double cheeseburger med rare and got a single well done! I sent it back and got what I requested but wasn't pleased that my order was completely screwed up and it wasn't close to the best burger I've ever had. I think since they've been featured on DD&D they've let their standards slip. My native houstonian fiance said her memories of the place in high school did not match what we received...

          Christmas eve dinner was at hugo's. unfortunately it was a buffet and my experience with buffets is that you're often better off getting a la carte to get the best tasting items. Between the four of us we only liked a few items. Not worth the $40/head, but I can't wait to try it a la carte in the future based on recommendations from fellow hounds and houston locals.

          El tiempo was either closed or didn't answer their phones this night.

          Christmas - brunch at Olivette at the houstonian. The service at the houstonian is always amazing and today was no exception. lobster tostada, lobster bisque, and sweet potato tamale were the apps followed by strawberry stuffed french toast and a perfectly cooked tenderloin for our mains. I knew that their head chef, Miguel Riojas, had recently departed but i was glad to see that the quality of the food has not suffered much. brunch for 2 was $70 and was the best meal of our trip.

          we had late lunch at a family function and had tried to get dinner at one of the many suggested Chinese restaurants but none had reservations available so we just had snacks at the bar of the houstonian (tartar, baked oysters, ribeye sandwich - only the ribeye sandwich was tasty) and got nice and liquored up! Luckily we only had to stagger a few feet to our hotel room :)

          Sunday we had the brunch at Indika. I must admit I'm a big fan of north indian cuisine and the tandoori oven and naan, but was blown away with what I got at indika. the food was very flavorful and was so much better then what I could get in Austin. My only complaint was the poor preparation of the lamb in the biryani. but all of our other dishes were fantastic. at $25/head this is a steal.

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          Indika
          516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

          1. re: chrisdds98

            Yes, Lankford burgers are pretty bad. I don't know what all that hoopla was about. Next time, go to Christian's Tailgate (2 locations) for your burger fix. You will not be disappointed. My opinion of El Tiempo is pretty low too, so count your blessings they didn't answer. Over priced and over rated. Indika is a Houston treasure, glad you got in there.

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            Indika
            516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

            1. re: chrisdds98

              Sorry to hear about your Hugo buffet experience.. Do try to make it back for ala carte items.. Also, try Barnaby's for a burger on your next visit.. Fresh burgers of all kinds, no hormones, antibiotics,, really really tasty.. the sweet potato fries are terrific too! Glad you liked the Indika Sunday tapas.. You're right,, the quality, freshness, level of spiciness and variety sets Indika apart from the others,, daily and on Sundays too! If you thought Sunday's offerings were a steal,, go back for the happy hour. Bar food is half off the reg price.. The goat burger w/goat cheese, beets, on a bun made in-house, and thick, seasoned, fried sweet potato wedges are terrific along with the other items. Anita's new restaurant will be opening in Feb at the residential/commercial site at kirby and westheimer. Different menu offering, I'm sure it will be another a hit!

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              Indika
              516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

              1. re: bornie

                bornie, I saw on the Austin board that you had been to bombay bistro in Austin. How did it compare to indika and the other great places in Houston?

                1. re: chrisdds98

                  Hi Chrissdds98.. I tried to get to Bombay Bistro over the preXmas period and was turned away at the door as they were hosting a pvt holiday dinner party at the restaurant.. I did however have dinner there this evening. Bombay Bistro is an outstanding Indian restaurant that would compete with any Indian restaurant in Houston and is better than most,, maybe my top 3-5. In fact, the menu is more the classic Indian menu found most everywhere and is as good as it gets, anywhere.. Indika's is different, the menu is different, the flavors pop just a wee bit more,,,, Indika is flair and finesse, with palate packing underlying heat. flavors are delineated and layered and it just keeps coming, bite after bite., Bombay Bistro is straight ahead wonderful,, with the occsaional,, oh,, thats ginger I just bit into.. Bombay Bistro will be a reg stop on my trips to Austin. Service was terrific and the restaurant had a nice vibe, open kitchen, dimley lit, with music that didn't call attention to it. Very likeable restaurant

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                  Indika
                  516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

                  1. re: chrisdds98

                    oh, should have mentioned, I had thegarlic naan, bombay curry chicken with a 1/2 order of eggplant,, asked that they be kicked up a notch on the heat level.