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Sep 11, 2013 12:45 PM

Alison Cook's Top 100 Houston Restaurants 2013

Released today, September 11, 2013

Any observations? Or ho-hum another list.

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    1. Half of the places on there are ones most people will never go. Just by looking at the photos. I'm one of them

      1. My reaction is a mixture of ho hum and oh no, not another list. I've been to even fewer of the restaurants on the list than last year but I tend to follow my own muse when choosing where to eat and don't go chasing critics recommendations, trendy places or chefs. I think that's true of most people who post here regularly.

        There are some curiosities - Bernie's Burger Bus disappears but both Hubcap and Burger Guys are still there) (altho Hubcap took a dive), Bijan over Kasra?, and some others but I really don't care enough to analyze them all.

        The only reason these lists exist is as a gimmick for the advertising department to sell ad packages.

        19 Replies
        1. re: brucesw

          If I never hear another word about Oxheart.... It reminds me of Doug Flutie. Anyone remember that guy? So much was opined about his pigskin abilities that someone on SNL crafted a badly tuned song called, "Don't Want To Hear No More About Doug Flutie." That's how I feel about it and that's all I have to say about that.

          1. re: Lambowner

            I don't mind hearing about them so much anymore. When my computer crashed this summer and I was without for 3 weeks, I got out of the habit of checking the Press which was really bad about free plugs for their favorites. I seldom look at that blog anymore and I'm not seeing that much about them in the real world.

            I know there are sometime posters here who are into places like that and that's fine with me. In fact, I wish those people would post more often. One thing this board definitely needs is more regular posters - 4th most populous city in the nation, a much acclaimed developing food scene plus great ethic cuisine diversity and we've got like what - 5 or 6 regular posters? Pathetic.

            1. re: brucesw

              The Press food blog has become completely irrelevant, to me at least, and I don't check in much either.

              1. re: brucesw

                brucesw, we're not the only ones with few posters. DFW is no hotbed, maybe a little better than us but marginally. Chicago has relatively little activity. The busy boards, NYC. Boston, Toronto, LA, SF can have 4 or more posts in an hour, while a good day for us and DFW is the same in a day, and we've all seen 2 or 3 days go by. The Mountain States, where Denver resides, is a wasteland.

                1. re: James Cristinian

                  Could it be, that one of the first blogs, certainly one of the first food blogs is outdated? Many original Houston folks have moved on to what I would characterize as a staid, uninteresting yahoo group and FB page. Yawn. Lots of talk about where to meet for lunch and tons of vacay pics and endless conversation about the best way to communicate. "I don't trust FACEBOOK! It might find my address and, well, FIND me!" Trust me, the internet has already found you.

                  1. re: Lambowner

                    Sorry, you lost me on that. I'm not on any social media. CH certainly changed, and not for the better, when they started allowing threads to be chatty. Now, chattiness is what people come here for (referring mostly to the national boards now, not such a problem on this board). Used to be the mods would step in with a reminder that we're here to talk about great food, not to make jokes, etc. What drives everything these days of course is running up page views for the ads so if threads get highjacked for a chatfest or a string of attempts at punchlines and puns and the topic itself gets abandoned, that's just fine..

                  2. re: James Cristinian

                    thanks James. I haven't been doing any checking out of other local boards but I am aware just about every discussion board I participate on is experiencing a lot less traffic than it did a few years ago and it's not just food boards, either. Heck I even posted here recently I find it hard to work up the motivation to post on my own blog and the same applies to threads here on CH that I previously would have jumped right into.

                    I was just needing to vent a little bit and hoping maybe to shame some lurkers into posting!

                    1. re: brucesw

                      Well, I'm doing the best I can out here in Katy. But I know I'm usually just talking to myself.

                      Y'all city folk ain't really interested.

                      1. re: Jaymes

                        OBD and I were out there kinda unexpectedly last Saturday and drove up and down Mason and I didn't see anything that I recognized from your posts.

                        And I was lookin'!

                        We were on our way to Dozier's in Fulshear for sausage and whatnot but didn't really want to eat there.

                        We wound up going to...

                        I ain't tellin', but let's just say I won't be going back.

                        We also hit the Aldi on Mason and got milk, cheese and maybe a couple of other things.

                        At Dozier's, I got sage sausage, bacon AND bacon ends, salami and beef jerky. The peppered bacon ends were the deal of the day. $1.99/lb and perfect for beans, etc.

                        Changing subjects:

                        I don't know why this board doesn't get more traffic. Fourth largest city, acknowledged food mecca, sparkling contributors already on board...


                        (Is it me?)

                        1. re: DoobieWah

                          Of course it's you. I only post locally and on other boards to add credibility so I can zing some TU crud (Ole Miss.) Seriously Doobs, Dozier's was the place for BBQ in my formative years. Maybe I (we) didn't know any better, but I thought the ribs and brisket were fantastic. Doesn't sound like you had any BBQ, but we've always liked the bacon, and those peppered ends are right up the wifeacita's alley for one of her many bean dishes. A roady is in order and I will try the BBQ again and report back, and no more UT jabs, I'm too wide open with my UH. Thanks for the report, the wifeacita will enjoy the mini roadie.

                        2. re: Jaymes

                          Well I certainly wasn't talking about you Jaymes. I do look forward to your posts and do wish you would post more. Now if there were just some way to rotate Katy on the grid around to where it's closer to where I live. I have been out that way a few times but during the dog days of summer (June thru September!) I stick pretty close to home.

                          Actually it would be great if there were more posters like you from all the widespread parts of the area. We used to have several posters from the Clear Lake area that have not been heard from in a long while.

                          1. re: Jaymes

                            Doobs, do you mean the ALDI on Fry? Or is there another one? I would like one closer, other than that whole corporate attitude we heard about on another post. ANYWAY, I also value Jaymes' posts! There is a vocal minority that advocate ITL dining that I generally disregard as uninformed. I also should say I probably overstated my case on social media, above. Many people have legitimate reasons for not participating and mea culpa.

                            Brucesw has been diligent in notifying us of quality food OTL, and I always appreciate that. I'm an OTL gal and shy away from the glamour place of the day. At the same time, I'm just not a food truck person, but I love hearing about them. Call me what you will, but when I eat good food, I want it to be in air conditioned comfort.

                            Perhaps it is me, after all.

                            Still, wish the Houston forum was more active. Sooo much going on here now.

                            PS did you all see Anthony Bourdain's recent visit to Houston? There is a move afoot to meet at the seafood place on Bellaire in Chinatown that he went to. Don't actually know how to coordinate that here given the restrictions on communications. But it would be fun!

                            1. re: Lambowner

                              The Aldi was at Mason and Oak Park Trails, a couple of miles north of 1093.

                              I missed the Bourdain show; was it the new one on CNN?

                              Can you be a bit more specific on what place he went to on Bellaire? There are more than a few...

                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                He went to Crawfish and Noodle, whose website inexplicably plays "Hey Soul Sister" when you open it so turn down the sound first:


                                But I miss-typed. It was on Andrew Zimmern's show Bizarre Foods that aired on September 2:


                                  1. re: Lambowner

                                    Delicious rain soaked Friday evening, hope everyone is high and dry and enjoying the rain as the wifecita and I am. Lambowner, was Bourdain on that 9/2 show? I saw the photos on the website and show summary and no mention of him. Andrew eating crawfish, Bryan Caswell blast n cast, no TB. I tried to find out when this show will air again, but the Travel Channel website is annoying. I couldn't figure it out after multiple tries. If anyone else can let us know.

                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                      No, James, my first post above is wrong, it was Zimmern that was here. If you happen to have Comcast Cable and the On Demand feature, it is there for you to watch at your leisure. The shows repeat all the time, but I don't see it scheduled for the next week. I'll pop in here and let you know if I see it coming up in the future. His Austin segment is replaying Monday evening.

                                      1. re: Lambowner

                                        I was shocked that Bourdain would actually eat a meal here, from what I've read it's sign books or do his tour and outa here. Now, I do enjoy his show, but somehow I find him dismissive of Houston. I saw a show with Zimmerman I believe and they were eating tacos in Brooklyn, and he seemingly discovered tacos at a food truck and said this is no gloopy Tex-Mex but the real deal. My immediate thought was there are a thousand places as good or better than his epiphany in Brooklyn. No Comcast here, Direct TV. I'm sure they'll rerun that AZ segment many times and I'll catch it.

                                1. re: Lambowner

                                  ITLers - amusing or pathetic? Typically younger types in my experience. Some seem to think food itself hadn't been discovered until their generation came along.

                                  Is that the 'real' Houston CHers? Shouldn't they be meeting at the 'real' Luling City Market on Richmond?

                    2. For me, it's Underbelly. Each time we go to El Real, my wife says we need to try that, each time I say why? I don't want artsy fartsy food, paying extra for the presentation

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: rexster314

                        What do you and your wife get at El Real? I still haven't been and need to go.

                        1. re: James Cristinian

                          Until Rexter comes back, I can say I love the cheese enchiladas and Enchilada Borunda (pork stacked enchiladas). I've been to Underbelly a couple of times but it's not a place I think of when I'm hungry. And frankly, the "small plate" trend has overstayed its welcome in my view.

                            1. re: DoobieWah

                              Appreciate the response folks, cheese enchiladas and puffy tacos sound great.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                Here's another vote for the Enchilada Borunda.

                                1. re: Jaymes

                                  They're down my list from Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas I grew up with and San Antonio import puffy tacos, which I've enjoyed there. To be honest, I'd never heard of them until a couple of years ago as they were on no Tex-Mex menu here in Houston in my 50 some very odd years.

                        2. Mark's not being on the list is like the thirteenth chime of a clock. It not only discredits that utterance, but all that precede or follow it.