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Jul 20, 2013 07:20 PM

Houston Food 101

Hi! I'm putting together a pitch for a local show strictly on Houston food and the surrounding cities. I'm looking for chowhounds (or anyone) who can show me around or make suggestions on food trucks, ethnic hang outs, pubs, fish shacks, whatever!

Or maybe you are doing something really cool with food/farming/eating. I'm all over these great posts trying to hit as many places as possible and canvasing the neighborhood for stories that celebrate how outstanding, diverse, and world class Houston eats are... if you only know where to go.

Help me whittle down my list of potential places for a 3 to 6 episode pitch. If you were watching a late night local show what places would you expect to see? What places have you been curious about? What food neighborhoods do you brag about to your friends in other cities?? Where do you always take out of towners?? I can't wait to hear your suggestions! Thanks ahead of time.


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    1. Airline Drive between the North Loop and North Main is an incredible collection of Chow-worthy stops that I drive about half an hour to visit every few weeks.

      Starting north and going south:

      Connie's Seafood. Never been there but I've heard good things. Soon.

      Triple A, (or "Trips"). Old Timey Diner with old timey waitresses. My mom says it's not as good as it use to be. (But what is?)

      Canino's Market - Fresh seasonal produce. The little stands in the back also carry dried beans and peppers, and some really interesting and unusual items.

      El Bolillo Bakery. Beautiful and colorful Mexican pastries as well as breads and tortillas.

      Flores Spices. They used to have a stand in the back of Canino's but opened this free standing store a couple of years ago. I've made the drive over there just for their dried Mexican oregano. If you like mole', try theirs. It's rich and complex. (Just like it's s'posed to be.)

      Houston Dairy Maids - Cheese shop with a focus on Texas and then domestic cheeses. No imports here. Say "Hi" to Lindsey and her crew. Really nice folks.

      Tampico - Haven't been there in years, (but it's been there for YEARS!)

      Chicago Italian Beef - Never been there but "DO WANT!".

      Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe - Always in the Top 10 Tex Mex lists. Been there once and it was good.

      All of this in less than a mile of really bad asphalt road in a decidedly, non-touristy, non-scenic area of town.

      I love it.

      Also, may I highly recommend a ten minute driving radius from my house. There's a thread or two around here somewhere...

      1 Reply
      1. re: DoobieWah

        Flores looks really interesting. Have to try there first. Houston Dairy Maids I am going to reach out to. I'll tell them you said hi!

      2. Another choice might be ethnic markets.

        I would suggest Phoenicia, 99 Ranch Market, Hong Kong Market, H-Mart, Nippon Daido, Patel Bros, Fiesta, La Michoacana Carneceria, etc. etc. etc.

        Good luck.

        6 Replies
        1. re: DoobieWah

          Fiesta, specifically the Bellaire and Hillcroft location.

          1. re: James Cristinian

            Ive been to Hong Kong.99 ranch. The rest are Mexican Markets right?

            1. re: DERECKSWIFEY

              Patel Bros - Indo/Paki
              H Mart - Korean
              Nippon Daido - Japanese
              Phoenicia - Med/Eastern Europe

              Also, Polonia - Polish

              1. re: DERECKSWIFEY

                Look, I love 99 Ranch as much as anyone. But it's not a "Houston thang." It's a fairly large chain that originated in Orange County, California. It's only had a Houston presence for, what, a couple of years?

                My son lives out in San Jose CA and we've been going to the one in Malpitas for a decade or so.

                1. re: Jaymes

                  True, but I was focusing on the vast variety and quality of ethnic groceries more so than them being "homegrown".

                  1. re: DoobieWah

                    Well, you're certainly right about that. And I do agree completely that any mention of local Houston "ethnic markets" should definitely include them.

            1. re: Jaymes

              You had me at the giant cup of espresso... fumbling to find shoes. GREAT FIND!!!!! I wish they had a bigger website. With pics.

              1. re: DERECKSWIFEY

                Hope you read the website closely enough to read about the two partners. When it comes to food purveyors, they're the very definition of "local."


            2. Wow! Awesome. Has anyone been to the new Houston food truck park? I heard they had to close to get more shade. Did they work all of that out yet? What are your favorite food trucks? I know I want to devote a little time to the food truck scene for sure.