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Recs for a few days?

I'll be staying late March at a hotel in the museum district, adjacent to Hermann Park (Hotel ZaZa), but I don't know ANYTHING yet about Houston geography or the foods, except that the food is supposed to be good to a degree that surprises outsiders like me. The hotel actually offers free transpo to anyplace within 5 miles, plus I have an expense account. So I'm thinking I'll have time to take 2-4 outings from my work to worthy destinations, elevated or humble.

My tastes: If I'm going anywhere, I like to try what's distinctive to the place (hoagies in Philly; pizza in NYC and CT, etc). I could suppose that BBQ is one thing to look for in Houston, but I don't even know that for sure.

Mexican or other ethnic foods would certainly interest me. If there's great Indian food in Houston, I'm there. (The more regionally specific, the better.)

Also, I don't know if Houston has the food-truck culture of some other places, but that could be worth trying, too. What I'm told is that the museum district doesn't really have many good food places nearby, so I would think that food trucks would be a great idea in such an environment.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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  1. Adding to my query: I'm seeing there's a lot of Chinese places. Would especially like recs. for Dim Sum and especially any place with worthy xiao long bao (soup dumplings).

    1. Skip BBQ and try the Tex Mex. El Real on Westheimer is not far from you. Houston has a vast Chinatown and I've been to Mala Sichuan there, but others can reco your specific dish. It is not within 5 miles. We also have a Mahatma Gandhi district on Hwy 59 @ Hillcroft that has amazing Indian food at places like London Sizzler and Himalaya. On Kirby near 59 is Pondicheri, an award winning Indian casual eatery, and on Westheimer near El Real, its upscale sister Indika is pricier and more elegant and that menu utilizes local ingredients where possible. Danton's Seafood is within 5 miles, I imagine and is excellent Gulf Coast Seafood with a Cajun flair. There are high end steaks everywhere. Vic and Anthony's downtown is a good choice for that, and is also a people watching location. Sport celebs like to eat there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lambowner

        Boy, that's a lot of great recommendations! Thanks. I'll be investigating.

      2. Chinatown is a bit of a cab ride away, but if you go here are some places.

        http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

        At the end of this top ten there are a more top ten locations that will give you some ideas.

        1. Hugo's chef Hugo Ortega is again nominated for James Beard top chef southwest. Mexican, not Tex-Mex but I love my Tex-Mex, see Lambowner.

          http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/

          http://hugosrestaurant.net/

          1. You'll be very close to Rice Village -- check out Prego or Coppa Osteria for Italian; Shiva for Indian. Dolce Vita has legendary pizza. Hugos is THE go-to place for authentic Mexican. El Real Tex Mex is ... Tex Mex and some of the best. For national recognition, don't miss Underbelly. All of these are within 5 miles of Zaza.