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Ghana House Restaurant

r
ruta66 Jan 24, 2011 06:32 PM

Hi
I will be visiting Houston in a few weeks and was curious about this restaurant after I heard about it online. I have a few friends who live in Accra the capital of Ghana so I would be very curious to try some food from that region of the world. Has anyone here been to or heard anything about Ghana House Restaurant in Houston? Is the food good and worth trying or not?
Thanks

  1. b
    brucesw Jan 25, 2011 02:18 AM

    Is this the one that was down on S. Main at Hillcroft? I think that's gone; the whole shopping center fenced off.

    I know of a Ghanaian grocery store but no other restaurants. We do have maybe a dozen Nigerian restaurants, most small hole-in-the-walls; it's very similar food, I think.

    7 Replies
    1. re: brucesw
      r
      ruta66 Jan 25, 2011 02:24 PM

      The address I believe is 14109 S Main St would be a shame if it has closed down!
      What about those Nigerian places can you recommend any of them in particular?

      1. re: ruta66
        b
        brucesw Jan 26, 2011 04:23 AM

        Yes, that is the one I went looking for a couple of months ago and could not find. More on that below.

        Here is a website with a listing, probably the most complete, of Houston's African Restaurants. For some reason they've left off the two Moroccan and one Ethiopian and I've just discovered a Sudanese/Egyptian place that I haven't gotten listed yet.

        http://www.b4-u-eat.com/eat002.asp?Z=&A=&H=99&N=&S=N

        Besides Ghana House, Motherland Kitchen near you, Genesis and Healthy Home.Food Restaurant are closed, I think. I've been to Suya Hut, Sweet Hands and one that is now closed that isn't listed.

        Finger Likkin Bukateria is probably the best known (and largest - it's in a former Bennigan's). I've never been because, as you can read, it gets a lot of complaints about rude service. However, the reviewer for the Press recently reviewed it and gave it very good marks so you should look up that review for more info.

        Suya Hut is also well known but is much smaller, 4 tables seating no more than 3, but it is very good and pleasant. It's mostly takeout. I have a review on my blog which you can find on my profile page if you want to look it up. I particularly remember the chicken suya (meat kabobs), masa or wainu, and fish pepper soup. But note the use of ground nut flour, i.e., peanut. If you have a nut allergy you'll want to avoid this place. (website below

        )

        Sweet Hands is pretty new and very near me. I went once when they had been open a couple of months and they couldn't serve any of the things I wanted - Nigerians have a fondness for some English and Jamaican foods and I wanted to try the Scotch egg and patty, plus the moi moi, a pudding of sorts made from ground, dried black-eyed peas, but they couldn't serve any of them so I settled for fish pepper soup. It was better than what I'd had at Suya Hut, a whole catfish carcass! I had a lot of fun picking all the meat off the skeleton. It's kind of a ratty place and service is not at all smooth. (website below)

        I think Traditional Foods is actually a caterer; I drive by frequently and never see any activity that looks like a restaurant open for business. United Sisters is near me, too, but I've never been and there isn't much about it online. Most of these places are virtually deserted during the day but can be very busy at night. I thought Sweet Hands probably wasn't going to make it since I never see any cars there but I went by once in the evening and you couldn't have squeezed a mini-bike into the parking lot. United Sisters is packed on Sunday for dinner, with expensive cars and families all dressed up from church.

        I stuck my head in Afrikko once to pick up a menu but the smell was too unpleasant and I left immediately. Don't know what it was - didn't smell like sewage so I presume some food they were cooking!!

        Here is the Ghana grocery in case you want to browse, Makola Imports:

        http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGLL_en___US410&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=makola+imports+houston&fb=1&gl=us&hq=makola+imports&hnear=Houston,+TX&cid=15746734334482187985

        The map is off; it's actually south of the intersection with Westbrae, not Creekbend. There is another small African grocery at Gessner and S. Braeswood, just a few blocks north.

        I went into Alief African Meat and Fish Market just this weekend. It's in the same center with Calabar, which is Nigerian and very new. Fascinating meat market, amazing collection of herbs you have no idea what they're for. They had a little kitchen and whatever they were cooking smelled awesome but there was no menu board and I have no idea what it was. Looked like something involving beef ribs.

        Now, about Ghana House, since these locating services can be off, it wouldn't hurt to try calling the number and see if you get an answer. It's also possible they have just moved. I couldn't see any street numbers on the buildings (back too far from the street and fenced off) and didn't think to check the street signs for numbers since I was sure I was in the right place from the map and I drove a couple of blocks in all four directions without seeing anything. There's not much at that intersection. But it's possible I was more than a couple of blocks off.

        Good luck an let us know what you find and have. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

        There was a thread on General Topics a few months ago about African food and why many people find it unappealing; if you've never had any of this, you might want to look that thread up for some pointers.

        http://www.suyahut.com/menu.html

        http://sweethandsafricancuisine.com/p...

        By the way if you look at these on a map of Houston, you'll see they're all on the far SW side of the city within a few miles of each other.

        -----
        Suya Hut
        11611 W Airport Blvd, Stafford, TX 77477

        United Sisters Restaurant
        8731 W Bellfort St, Houston, TX 77031

        1. re: brucesw
          j
          Jaymes Jan 26, 2011 05:50 AM

          I've been to Finger Lickin' twice. Had the feeling it was a more a 'regulars hangout' than an actual restaurant trying to please all comers. There was a very lively group of folks that clearly knew each other hanging around the take-out order window, and many other folks coming and going with takeout food, so somebody clearly likes it.

          The service was definitely indifferent, but I just soldiered through. Went more for a learning experience than to enjoy a grand meal.

          I'd recommend it along those lines.

          Interesting food. Edible for sure. Some things pretty good. Many things really odd. Hard to know what to order. Indifferent service.

          But hey, if you've got a boring Saturday afternoon...why not? As I said, I went twice. It was more like a school field trip than an enjoyable dining experience: "cuisines around the world day."

          1. re: brucesw
            r
            ruta66 Jan 26, 2011 09:17 PM

            Thanks for all the information and the links! My trip to Houston will actually not be until a bit later than I was expecting so that might give me some time to investigate some more. From your review and what I can find online Suya Hut looks like it would be worth a try. I think I'll also try to keep searching to see if Ghana House is open or if it indeed has closed.

            And if I get the time I will definitely have to check out some of those markets and stores you recommended. I'm from Mexico City and from what I've seen online a lot of African food seems to be quite similar to some of the things that are eaten in the tropical areas of Mexico (plantains, fish, etc.). So I would be interested to see what kind of products their markets have to offer

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            Suya Hut
            11611 W Airport Blvd, Stafford, TX 77477

            1. re: ruta66
              j
              Jaymes Jan 27, 2011 06:04 AM

              You say you're from Mexico City, but don't mention where you're living now. Don't know if you have access to quality Mexican products, but we have some terrific stores here. You definitely should check out Fiesta Marts - large supermercados featuring all sorts of imported items, with a focus on things from south of the US border.

              And, there's a great little restaurant called Mexico's Deli you should definitely try. The owners are from el DF, and are trying to produce authentic food.

              In addition, they're very friendly, and you'd probably enjoy a bit of charla.

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              Mexico's Deli
              2374 S Dairy Ashford St, Houston, TX 77077

              1. re: Jaymes
                r
                ruta66 Jan 27, 2011 07:05 PM

                Currently live in Kansas so my access to products from back home is for the most part very limited. I have seen Fiesta Marts on my previous visits to Houston (have to go about every 3 months or so) but have never thought of going inside. But since you mention that they have a good selection of products from Mexico I will have to check it out next time so I can maybe stock up on some things before leaving Houston.

                I have been to a few places in Houston that offer food that is almost identical to what you would eat in DF but have never been to Mexico's Deli.
                I guess I will be busy next time I am in town with checking out all the African and Mexican restaurants and stores in town. :)

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                Mexico's Deli
                2374 S Dairy Ashford St, Houston, TX 77077

                1. re: ruta66
                  b
                  brucesw Jan 28, 2011 03:09 AM

                  Not all Fiestas are created equal. You might tell us what part of town your in for recommendations of a good one near you. There are also several chains of supermercados and carnicerias you might find interesting, some with regional emphases - La Michoacana, La Morelliana, Teleloapan, Celaya.

                  Jarro Cafe on Gessner (restaurant and taco trailer) is run by a guy who had a chain of restaurants in Mexico City.

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                  Jarro Cafe
                  1521 Gessner Dr, Houston, TX 77080

      2. j
        Jaymes Jan 28, 2011 09:06 AM

        If you're craving good seafood there in landlocked Kansas, I often recommend Ostioneria Mar Azul, down at Hwy 59 and Bellfort. Excellent mojarra, ceviche, and their caldos are fabulous.

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        Ostioneria Mar Azul
        10822 W Bellfort St, Houston, TX 77099

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jaymes
          b
          brucesw Feb 2, 2011 09:33 AM

          I went there a few months back and had some enchiladas. There are several mojarra dishes on the menu. Which one do you recommend?

          For the OP, the restaurant has moved a block closer to 59 than the address listed, in a free-standing building. You can't miss it though.

          1. re: brucesw
            j
            Jaymes Feb 2, 2011 03:47 PM

            I can't recall the exact name of the dish without looking at the menu, but it's the whole fried fish, head, tail and all, on the plate. Every time I've had it, it's been just terrific - cooked perfectly - never dry and overcooked. I think there's a picture of it on the menu.

            I've ordered enchiladas there and they're very good, but as it's a seafood place, that's really what they do best. When you went, you probably noticed many diners eating big bowls of something hot and steaming. Those are the seafood caldos, and they are wonderful. Especially on these cold days, they're a treat. Be sure to "doctor them up" with fresh limon, pico, and hot sauce. And have a warm tortilla handy, rolled up and ready for dipping into the flavorful broth.

            1. re: Jaymes
              b
              brucesw Feb 2, 2011 05:17 PM

              Okay thanks. On the menu I picked up a few months ago there are filete a la plancha, frita al ajo a la diabla ranchera and mojarra playa azul w/beans, pico mayo and tortilla. There is also a mariscada de mojarra. I guess it's number 2.

              I was on an enchilada kick that week. Actually there was only one other table occupied; I didn't pay any attention to what they were having but a caldo might be just the thing if i get there in the next couple of days.

            2. re: brucesw
              r
              ruta66 Feb 2, 2011 09:14 PM

              So Suya Hut is the one that has moved closer to 59?

              -----
              Suya Hut
              11611 W Airport Blvd, Stafford, TX 77477

              1. re: ruta66
                b
                brucesw Feb 3, 2011 12:09 AM

                No, Mar Azul. It's now at 10712 W. Bellfort instead of the 10822 listed on the sidebar. Sorry for the confusion. Much nicer inside.

                1. re: brucesw
                  r
                  ruta66 Feb 3, 2011 06:55 PM

                  Oh no that's fine! I'm just trying to make a list with the addresses of all the restaurants mentioned here in case I am able to visit them all while in Houston

          2. r
            ruta66 Jan 29, 2011 12:01 PM

            I will usually end up traveling throughout most of Houston. But the area were I normally have to stay at is on the west side of town like right on the border between Katy and Houston.

            I haven't had any good mojarra since I use to live and Mexico and travel to Acapulco on vacation so that sure does sound like worth giving a try!

            1 Reply
            1. re: ruta66
              r
              ruta66 Jan 29, 2011 02:37 PM

              Actually just started wondering if you know of any stores in Houston that might have "alegrias de amaranto" (Amaranth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth). As they are an extremely popular snack in Mexico City and I have searched for them when I have gone to LA and Chicago and have not found anything.

            2. r
              ruta66 Mar 12, 2011 10:46 PM

              Just thought I would post something after my visit to Houston. I ended up being able to spend a lot less time in town than I thought I would but I still was able to check out some of the places mentioned here.
              Went to Suya Hut and very much liked the feel of the restaurant, I enjoyed how it was small and simple inside also very much liked the African reggae and rock being played in the restaurant and which made you feel like if you really were in Nigeria. I ordered the tilapia meal which came with coconut rice and plantains and they were all very delicious. The fish was very nicely seasoned and had very nice crispy skin. The person I went with ordered the okra soup meal with corn (masara) tuwo for dipping in the soup. I tried the soup and it was very nice and aside from the okra also had some chunks of meat in it however this is probably one of the spiciest things I have ever eaten and being from Mexico I am very much used to eating spicy food! To drink I tried one of the Vita Malt sodas they had and it was very strange did not much care for the very strong beer like flavor it had at the beginning but really enjoyed the sugar cane like aftertaste that it leaves you with. One tip that our server did give us though since they seem to make everything fresh when you order it and because of this take a long time with your food is to order ahead of time this way by the time you get to the restaurant your food will be ready to be served.

              Also went to Ostioneria Mar Azul (guess I was craving seafood while I was in town) and had the mojarra which was excellent! Had not had a good mojarra like the one at Mar Azul in a long time.

              I will have to go back to Houston in a few months so I'll save all the other places you guys recommended for next time I am in town and hopefully I will have enough time then to give them all a try.

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              Suya Hut
              11611 W Airport Blvd, Stafford, TX 77477

              Ostioneria Mar Azul
              10822 W Bellfort St, Houston, TX 77099

              1 Reply
              1. re: ruta66
                b
                brucesw Mar 13, 2011 12:05 AM

                Thanks for the report and glad you enjoyed both places. Yes, I've been to Mar Azul, too, and had the Mojarra al Diablo and it was excellent. I need to get back over there and try one of the other versions.

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