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Jan 19, 2011 07:40 AM

Looking for something simple, but impressive.

So my gf's birthday is coming up and I want to find someplace that is simple/cute and on the affordable side, but still impressive food-wise. I don't live in Houston, so assume I don't know anything about the food scene. We do lots of both Mexican and Tex-Mex when I come into town, so I'd like to go in a different direction unless there is a place that does it in a really interesting way. Otherwise, any suggestions are welcome as we are both open and adventurous eaters. For reference about affordability I am hoping to do this dinner for under (or at least around) $100 including tax and tip. Thanks in advance!

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  1. If you like Thai try Kanomwan (also known as the Telephone Thai) on Telephone Road (you can google the address). Plain bit just about the best Thai in Houston.

    There's some nice Vietnames places too. A lot depends on where you'll be staying and how mobile you'll be.

    1. The Hollister Grill in Spring Branch fits your description. It is small, but with very good food. They have byob for wine with a corkage fee. They are only open for dinner Wednesday thru Saturday. They do serve lunch Monday thru Saturday, with a totally different menu, burgers and such.

      2 Replies
      1. re: James Cristinian

        I just had this place recommended to me. Looks great. May have to try it soon, probably for lunch.

        What have you tried and liked?

        1. re: DoobieWah

          This place is two different places for lunch and dinner, the website I'll post will explain. Lunch is simple, burgers a good but thin chicken fried steak with good mashed potatos and a gravy I like better than BBQ Inn. Dinner is more refined, but they have drastically changed the menu since we went. To be honest I don't remember everything we had, but I know we had scallops and risooto, and it was all good. They now have a chicken fried ribeye at night that I've got to try.

      2. Try Zelko's Bistro in the Heights. Do a google search.. Terrific food and service, seating is tight but the rave reviews are warranted. Another option is Giacomo's on Westheimer for some nice Italian served in not the typical fashion. For a walk on the funky side, Empire Cafe on Westheimer serves up something for everyone.. The deserts are killer,, you order at the register then served.. small tables make it intimate but also great people watching venue. $100 dollars doesn't go very far anymore,, darn!

        1. I'd recommend t'afia - Monica Pope's restaurant in midtown. You should be able to get in and out of there for around $100 (before wine) and Ms Pope is one of the finest chefs in Houston. Her menu changes daily, based upon the availability of fresh local ingredients -- Ms Pope is an adherent of Alice Waters' slow local food philosophy. Her dishes are simple, fresh, locally-sourced and delicious.

          Bon appetit!

          3701 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002

          1. Thanks for the ideas. I love them all actually. I am leaning towards either t'afia or Zelko's at the moment. t'afia is somewhere I've known about and for some reason didn't think about until it was suggested.

            3701 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002