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Jul 2, 2013 01:33 PM

your favorite Houston food spot....

I know, a big ol' wide open question. I'd like to hear your ONE favorite Houston food spot. Doesn't have to embody the city, just has to be excellent. What is it and why is it compelling? I'm visiting later this week, and I'd love to add some interesting spots to my must-do/eat list. I already have quite a bit of grocery-store-tourism planned....

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  1. Maybe it's because there are too many restaurants to pick a single one that explains the lack of response here! Our repeat places are Danton's Seafood, Tony Mandola's Mex-Italian fusion, Lopez Tex-Mex, Patrenella's Italian on Jackson Hill, Dolce Vita Pizza, Van Loc Vietnamese. Our preference is seafood, but it depends on the mood! We tend to repeat visit the established and proven restaurants instead of the new and flashy, although I do like Underbelly, which is new and flashy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      I know, it was a broad query. But I'm looking for the things that really speak to people....rather than the critics' best-of lists. What would you miss most if you moved across the country tomorrow?

      1. re: Lambowner

        We ate at Danton's for the first time a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. How have we never been there before. VERY gulf coast seafood, very traditional so I agree with that choice.

        If there is something Houston, Danton's or Christie's would be my choice.

        For Mexican, it would be El Patio. Very traditional Tex-Mex (and they also have some of Felix's old recipes). Possibly the original Ninfa's, although I don't think it is as good as it used to be.

        For italian, any Mandola/Carabba owned restaurant.

        Then there is James Coney Island and Antones.

        And of course BBQ Inn but not for the BBQ.

        For a nicer meal it would have to be Tony's and then Ouisies.

      2. What would I miss if I moved across the country? I'll give a few, not just a favorite and assuming my new town has nothing equivalent. I noticed a few tamale posts from you on the New Orleans board, so the homemade at Alamo is a must, plus the rajas and carnitas. In the same area fried chicken, oysters, shrimp, and chicken fried steak at BBQ Inn, followed up with Flying Saucer Pie. Close to home, new favorite Pancho's Meat Market on Long Point for carnitas, flautas, and asado de puerco, some Spanish is a must, more Asado de puerco, Laredo's Washington Perhaps the best for last, Frenchy's fried chicken on Scott Street that puts New Orleans original Popeye's to shame, and destroys their fraudulent red beans and rice with creamy goodness, plus good Andouille sausage, oh yes greens as well.

        1. Forgot the non-chain Carrabba's Kirby, start with crab cakes, El Tiempo Washington blue crab nachos and prime fajitas, and East Side barrio favorite El Jardin Harrisburg anything grilled and queso flameado, go on a weekend night and rub shoulders with Eastside Mexican-American families and mariachis. Loud.

            1. re: girloftheworld

              girloftheworld, do you visit Houston often? For the unaware, the girl is a mere thirteen, but one of the more savvy posters/food experts around. I follow her. Any other Houston favorites?

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Good to know, James! I may start following now, which I haven't done before. Is it like stalking? :) If I left Houston, the very first place I would go upon return is Lopez, but that is a homey place, not a visitor place. Long time memories, and consistently good food from a family owned establishment. Returned recently from a two week walk-about and headed straight there.

                1. re: Lambowner

                  Check out your home page. I'm following/stalking you!!! Remember, I know where you post. Whahahahah!!!!

                  1. re: Lambowner

                    The last time I picked up my brother from Hobby he wanted to go to The Blue Oyster Bar on I45. Too bad, closed but he was delighted with James Coney Island. Now he's a very healthy eater, but he also does Jack 2 fer 99 tacos when he gets here. I'll add one more to my list, rectangular fish at Luby's plus extra tartar sauce, the best around, for any seafood I fry.

                  2. re: James Cristinian

                    I do. My dad does business there once in awhile. I also like: Trevisio, Daniel Wongs, Tacon Madre Tacos, Oxheart, Lemmon Tree,Kenny and Ziggy's, Reef. as a sample

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      I went to Reef a few weeks ago and was sorely disappointed in my redfish on the half shell, which was overcooked and terribly dry. At $26 it was not a bargain either. It is unlikely I will go back again soon. What do you order there? The reason I like Denis' Seafood Kitchen is because they know how to cook a piece of fish properly and over and over again. Consistency is important to me.

                      1. re: Lambowner

                        My seafood hotpot was yummy
                        and dads Thi whole fish was amazing last time

                        also have been had the grouper and swordfish, very good scallops were ok

                        corn ravolli app yummmmy

                2. Nopalito Grill Texas City