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Dec 18, 2013 12:52 PM

Spending Christmas at MD Anderson Cancer Ctr. Need recs.

A ton of my family and I are taking over the Hampton Inn on Spanish Trail and will need recs. My sister and her brood of 3 boys are budget conscious while the rest of us aren't. But... we all want to stay together. Really. We do.
Needing recs for Monday, Tuesday and possibly even Christmas Day for the area. Something chowhound worthy. Sister is driving in from Florida, so know she will want to get her texmex on. We prefer not to dine at chains to promote a sustainable economy, so no recs for Pappacito's please. We'll have children ages 2 to 8 so most of the places will need to be kid friendly.

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  1. I'll stick to Old School cause that's what I know best and let someone else suggest the trendy and hip spots.

    El Real for Old School Tex Mex

    Cleburne Cafeteria for Old School Cafeteria (complete with blue Jello for the pups).

    Fred's Italian Corner for Old School Red Sauce

    Sorry, but it's not my area of town, so that's really all I've got. As noted, hopefully someone much younger will be by shortly to fill in the gaps.

    Lastly, A "ton" of your family are obviously not descending on MD Anderson for someone's checkup so please accept our best wishes. You're in good hands. I've unfortunately spent some time there myself the last few years, but always as a visitor, Thank God.

    I hope Houston is kind to you and yours.

    Merry Christmas.

    2 Replies
      1. re: DoobieWah

        I haven't been to the area in ten years, but I wanted to echo what Doobie said. Your loved one will be in great care at Anderson. They worked wonders for my grandfather. There's not a better cancer center in the country, I believe.

        Hang in there. Merry Christmas.

      2. It's not my area of town either, but that's not too far from Rice Village. Lots of options there, my favorite is Local Foods. A little farther up the road is Amazon Grill--it's the fast casual sister restaurant to Churrascos/Americas--we don't have kids, but there are always a bunch of families when we go. Best wishes to your family.

        1. Good cajun food which won't break the bank is to be had at Beaucoup Bar and Grill, a couple of miles east of the Hampton Inn on Old Spanish Trail. Order the gumbo, it's dark and delicious.

          Next door is Guy's Meat Market which does very good smoked burgers. The ribs and links are decent too but their brisket is to be avoided. No seating though.

          1. Rice Village is convenient to MDA.. Benjy's restaurant is upscale, cozy, nice.. Next door is Local Foods for fresh sandwiches, soups. B4-U-EAT might give you some ideas for XMAS meals. Hugo's for upscale Mex.. award winning chef/owner, restaurant. MDA is a terrific treatment center. Best wishes to you and your family..

            1. I echo the sentiments of all the other Houston hounds with my sympathy for your reason for being here during the holiday season. Best wishes to the concerned parties and welcome to Houston.

              There have been numerous threads about dining options near the Med Center - it's one of our most common requests. Try using the fabulous (sarcasm) search feature here on CH to pull them up for lots of guidance. Use terms like medical, Anderson, cancer. Most threads will probably make it clear in the title if they're relevant. Any thing posted in the last couple of years is probably still relevant; there isn't much change in that part of town.

              Many posters are looking for places to walk and the short answer is there isn't anything really chowish. You have a leg up in that you'll have transportation and can roam farther.

              As others have noted, the closest chow places will be in the Village, about 1/2 mile away. My favorites are Local Foods and Pasha (Turkish) but there are many options. Istanbul Grill, also Turkish, is very popular, also. Note parking can be tight in the Village, observe parking restrictions as posted to avoid getting towed.

              Just a bit further to the NW is the Upper Kirby district where Amazon Grill, a cluster of Goode Co. restaurants and more are located. Due north on Main then up Montrose Blvd. from the fountain circle is Montrose and Lower Westheimer, our current restaurant row. One of my favorites anywhere is there, Radical Eats, formerly strictly vegetarian/vegan Mexican but now with meat entrees. Also, Nico Nico's, tremendously popular, casual (counter service, long lines) Greek. That is also where El Real is located, excellent choice for classic (pre-1970s) Tex-Mex, re-creating famous dishes or historical Tex-Mex eateries across the state. The kids will love the movies on the wall, too.

              Here is B-4's Xmas openings list:


              Note you can use filters at the top of the column of listings to sort if you know the zip of your hotel, etc.; as for part of town, the Village is listed under West U.

              You can use the same filters on the left side bar to search the site for places not limited to those open Christmas.

              I know I saw a similar list just a few days ago on Eater Houston and there should also be lists on the Chronicle, Culture Map Houston, the Houston Press and maybe Zagat. It's a hectic time of year and I haven't been keeping up. The b-4 list will be the most comprehensive.

              I notice Monarch at the Hotel ZaZa is open Christmas day. The chef there is Jonathan Jones, a local foodie fave. They try to offer fare that is familiar to travelers but also more adventurous stuff. I haven't been.

              Of course with out huge ethnic population there will be many small places open in Chinatown and the Mahatma Gandhi district, especially. Ask if you're interested in that sort of adventure for your group.