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Alison' Cook's Top 100 Houston Restaurants

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  1. I wonder if these are in no particular order? I haven't been to the top two, but Oxheart is very recently opened. And Hubcap Grill is no. 8 while DaMarco is 20?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      I don't think it is really a "rating" but she probably does consider Oxheart far and away better than Spanish Flower.

      1. re: Lambowner

        I shared your concern and question at first. Hubcap Grill the 8th best restaurant in Houston???? HELP! Alison has been covering the Houston restaurant scene for 40 years and this is it?

        Eater Houston has an explanation, however: this is not a list of 100 'best', but, according to Alison "these are the restaurants that matter most to me right now; the ones that make me the happiest, that stir the keenest anticipation and convey the richest sense of place."

        Otay. Makes a lot more sense. Interesting but, really, 100 places??? Full article to be published on 29-95 later this week.

        The Press is so obsessed with lists (and they seem rather contrived to me); I'm guessing this is a reaction and trying to put a little more sensible spin on coming up with a list since any list that long is necessarily going to be very subjective..

      2. I have a love/hate relationship with these types of lists. I do like to see which restaurants made a list to see what I might have missed...I live in a corner of Houston so it's hard to know what's happening in another far off corner. But, I'm never happy that some of my favorites make a list because then it may be more crowded the next time I go. Selfish I know. I don't really care how they are ranked though.

        I do prefer a list that speaks more about dishes then just an overall restaurant.

        6 Replies
          1. re: tlegray

            If I created a list of top places I am most comfortable at while eating consistently great food it might look somewhat like this, although the food at the top place - Oxheart - looks more like an experience of culinary art than a satisfying dining experience I would want to repeat again and again. I see Mark's is missing, which also comports with my opinion that it is over-rated. I disagree with a number of her choices, but that is the nature of opinion! It's interesting to see one person's choices, especially one so steeped in the Houston dining scene.

            1. re: Lambowner

              BTW, I count 40 of these restaurants that I have visited. That means I spend too much money eating out, probably.

              1. re: Lambowner

                I've been doing a comparison of eating out and eating at home and WOW, I have cut way back on eating out. I'm trying to save it for really special great meals, not just every day. Meals eating out seem to keep going up and up or the meals are getting less in quality.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  My point - we went to El Tiempo today. My crab quesadillas that were about $14 or $16 are now $12.99 but you only get half of what you used to get. They now offer a lunch size which used to be the dinner size but now only half of that and they offer a medium and large size. Shrimp nachos went up $4. $52 for two apps and 2 margaritas. Yikes! It was delicious though!!! The previous size meal was too big for me anyway. I finished it today and was stuffed. One tortilla folded over was just right for me. I came home empty handed and tomorrow will regret not getting the larger size and having it for another meal or two.

                  1. re: texasredtop

                    Apparently, that is why we don't hear from you very often anymore, Red! :(

          1. I have to say I am very impressed with this list and all the work that went into it. Lists are a dime a dozen and you don't get what you pay for a lot of the time but this is a fascinating look at her favorites. And I do think they should refer to this as 100 favorites instead of 100 best as she has explained how she ranked them. All lists are necessarily subjective, this one perhaps more so than most and that's why I like it - it's just so unmistakeable that it's a very subjective ranking.

            I also love where some of my favorites came in; I love that a couple of food trucks and Melange Creperie made the list (also love that some of the other trucks that I think are just hype didn't).

            I counted and was amazed to discover I'd been to 35 of these, quite surprising since my predilection is for hole-in-the-wall ethnic places and I almost never do white table cloth places. Upscale eateries has always been Alison's forte as far as I'm concerned but this list is nicely balanced.

            I'm still working my way thru the voluminous gallery of pictures.

            1. I like the list, I have been to almost 70 of the places on the list. I really would put Tampico on here.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jscarbor

                I need to get working to catch up with some of y'all. :-)

              2. After a few weeks or months now, what's the word on Oxheart?