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Feb 11, 2013 08:56 AM

Only in Houston

A list from the Chronicle, many, probably most, concerning food:


I've never had the tamales from the guy in Friendswood - anybody?

Never had a drink mixed by Chris Frankel nor the beers mentioned, can't remember ever having a killer brownie from Rice nor have I ever had the fried bologna from Gilhooley's.

Any additions or deletions recommended?

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  1. I have had the tamales from the guy in Friendswood on several occasions. They are pretty good, but certainly not award winning. He actually makes a better queso dip that you can get to go with a bag of chips.

    1. Killer brownies are good! I would add Treebeard's Red Beans and Rice, drug through the garden; and Lopez. I've been driving directly from IAH to Lopez after every trip for a couple of decades now. Also on the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lambowner

        I think I've read somewhere else of someone who also makes a beeline for Lopez when getting back in town - do you have a standard order?

        I've been trying to think of others for the list but come up short.

      2. I'll throw in Flying Saucer Pies, for deletions, Goode Co. and the so called original Ninfa's. They changed the menu and now they are gutting the interior. It's original only in location.

        2 Replies
        1. re: James Cristinian

          I winced when I saw Goode Co. It isn't clear if the list is just reader suggestions or if the suggestions were 'curated' by the Chron, and of course, it isn't clear what the standards were for people who made suggestions or what standards the Chron employed in curating the list.

          I can't comment on FSP as I've never been nor had any pies, but does Houston really have a 'pie culture?'

          Also, didn't know there were gutting Ninfa's; I presume the reason for inclusion was its historical significance as much as food.

          1. re: brucesw

            Oops, maybe gutting is wrong on Ninfa's as I just reread the article and my original reading comprehension wasn't quite up to par. I still don't like the new menu, as I miss old favorites, although dishes are still there, the taste isn't, specifically carnitas, and Ninfaritas. I go back to the mid 70's and I know change is necessary I just don't like it in this case.


        2. One on the list I just don't get is James Coney Island. I have never had a good experience at James. Not sure why there is such a love for them among so many.

          2 Replies
          1. re: swamp

            I love them swamp. Plus, where else can you get a Delaware Punch? I like the original coney, no cheese, sometimes onions, but I respect your opinion and can see how others might not like them.

            1. re: swamp

              Keep in mind its 'only in Houston' not 'best of Houston.'

              I love 'em - cheese chili coney all the way, please. I realize they're very mediocre as far as hot dogs go and JCI's domination of the market is a big part of the reason it's hard to get a really good dog here - other operators are cowed - but it is an iconic Houston food.

              I can't imagine an 'only in Houston' list without JCI.