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Eating options at IAH (outside security) or in vicinity of the airport?

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Hi, Houston 'hounds,

I will be dropping off someone at IAH for a 6pm flight and then spending the night at an airport hotel (not chosen yet) so I can fly out early the next day.

Can anybody recommend a good place for dinner inside the airport (but outside security)? I've looked at past threads and pre-security pickings look pretty slim, with a deli being just about the only option. Anyone know of anything else?

In the alternative, can anyone recommend a nice restaurant for a solo diner in the vicinity of the airport hotels? I don't mind booking a hotel within safe walking distance of a good place to eat or a modest taxi ride (won't have a car at that point).

Thanks for any any guidance you can give. I'm happy with any cuisine but really would prefer not to end up with indigestible fast-food joints. I've got a long flight the next day!

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  1. This topic comes up frequently. Unfortunately your options are limited. In the airport, but outside security, I can only think of a coffee hutch.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831256
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622314
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668980

    Ironically, the best food options are past security. The food is quite good at the airport. This list shows a couple of places pre-security:

    http://houston.eater.com/archives/201...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      Thanks very much for those links. I had missed seeing the recommendations for Jimmy G's seafood place, and google indicates there are a couple of good hotels right near it, so that looks like a worakable solution.

      Do you have any idea if it is safe to take a 5-minute walk after dinner in the dark in that area, or would I do better to take a taxi? (Woman alone.)

      Thanks again!

      1. re: barberinibee

        Well -- scratch that!

        I just researched safety issues for the neighborhood around Jimmy G's, and it looks like one of the least safe areas of Houston. Won't sit well with my stomach. Guess I'll just pick a safe hotel with a restaurant. :-(

        1. re: barberinibee

          Definitely not. Jimmy G's is pretty good, but it's not a highly populated area and as you found, not considered a safe area at all. There is a Marriott on the airport premises with a tram to the terminals. There is a luxury hotel that was built as an Intercontinental Hotel some years ago that I once had a meal at and it was quite good. It sold though and I don't know the current name. It's on the Beltway 8. Maybe someone here knows what it goes by now. Let us know what you decided and enjoy your trip!

          1. re: Lambowner

            What I was able to do was book a night flight, and thus will now be able to eat in the post-security zone of the airport once I drop off my travel partner. I see lots of detailed reports of the in-terminal choices in the links you provided, so I'll study those.

            Had I not been able to get that night flight, I would have booked the Marriott, which advertises itself as having 2 restaurants.

            Thanks for the assistance! I especially appreciate the candid advice about the 'nabe. On some Chowhound boards, people start to badger you that you ought to be willing to risk your life for a better meal!