Absolute must-eat places in Houston

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Duesy
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2008/03/29 19:08:38 (permalink)

Absolute must-eat places in Houston

I've searched the forum and found lots of valuable recommendations, but I want to know, What are the absolute MUST-eat places in Houston? Places I should actually feel guilty about skipping if I left without trying them?

Goode Co. is the only entry on the list so far. I prefer casual spots.
#1

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    slaster138
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/03/29 19:47:34 (permalink)
    here's a few places i like:

    the hobbit- near richmond/greenbriar- good burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. funky casual place.

    niko nikos- near montrose and fairview- awesome gyros. always packed.

    lucky burger- near richmond/mandell- great burgers. good fried rice. tiny little burger joint.

    late nite pie- westheimer(elgin) near smith- divey little pizza joint. best pizza in town.

    lankford grocery- near welch and taft- great burgers. divey joint with a great slanted floor.

    bombay sweets- near hillcroft and harwin- vegetarian indian food. great sag paneer. divey but good.



    #2
    stazerd
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/02 18:59:23 (permalink)
    My brother lives in Houston, I have eaten in lots of places. Goode Co was Okay at best.

    for bbq, go to Pappas BBQ or Hickory Hollow

    for amazing food, go to Red Onion

    59 Diner has great boneless chicken wings

    get a rueben at victor's

    chocolate cake to die for at House of Pies

    pizza? Fuzzy's, hands down.

    connie's custard

    avoid pappasito's and pappadeux

    or just go to central market and munch your way through the grocery store....what a place.
    #3
    mland520
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/02 19:04:58 (permalink)
    I'm with "Stazerd" - Central Market Hands down! The best samples in town!
    #4
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/02 22:20:15 (permalink)
    My sis, stazerd, gave away almost all my secrets except one:

    KANOMWAN, our very own "thai nazi". This is superb Thai food, in a dive, on a street that may scare out of towners, the notorious Telephone Road. Owner is gruff but the food is as good as it gets. BYOB, no corking fee. Frequented by artist types, it's always busy and you may wait an hour for your meal. But it is a Houston one-of-a-kind.

    Pappas BBQ is also home to one of our best burgers and a mountainous slice of excellent cheesecake.

    Cafe Red Onion is the great tex-mex-honduran fusion, but if you wan the best seafood in town, bar none, you need to go to Cafe Red Onion Seafood y Mas. The Cafe Red Onion places are in oddball spots, but all still run by the man who invented the astonishing food. CAFE RED ONION is THE MUST, in any form.

    There is a superb site for full, client-driven reviews of every eatery in houston; check out my recommendations there.

    b4-u-eat.com


    #5
    Texianjoe
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/03 08:29:14 (permalink)
    Goodsons Cafe in Tomball for CFS. No website here is a review from b4ueat.

    http://www.b4-u-eat.com/houston/restaurants/reviews/rsv1412.asp

    Magnolia Grill on Richmond for cajun.

    http://www.magnolia-grill.com/

    Monument Inn in La Porte for seafood.

    http://www.monumentinn.com/

    Christians ToTem on Washington for burgers. No website here is a review from Texas Burger Guy.

    http://www.texasburgerguy.com/2004/12/revew-3-christians-totem-houston-texas.html


    Kim Son downtown for Chinese/Vietnamese.

    http://www.kimson.com/

    Sylvias Enchilada Kitchen for Mexican.

    http://www.sylviasenchiladakitchen.com/

    The taco trucks at the Farmers Market on Airline.

    I hope you enjoy our little corner of the world.

    joe

    #6
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/03 10:40:28 (permalink)
    Hey. he said MUSTS. All these places are good, but unless he's gonna be here ten weeks...

    so seriously all, if you had to boil it down what DARE HE NOT MISS?

    Easy call for me. No other city in the world had Cafe Red Onion's seafood enchiladas!
    #7
    Texianjoe
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/03 12:13:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by torgotom

    Hey. he said MUSTS. All these places are good, but unless he's gonna be here ten weeks...

    so seriously all, if you had to boil it down what DARE HE NOT MISS?

    Easy call for me. No other city in the world had Cafe Red Onion's seafood enchiladas!


    I gave enough choices so he can pick what looks good to him. For seafood enchiladas I like Tortugas. Red Onion has catered some dinners at work they are good but they use too much cheese on everything.

    joe
    #8
    vwgto
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/03 13:01:08 (permalink)
    Houston is a sprawling city, so your location has alot to do with what might make sense. Many places are good, but after driving an hour out of your way - - they may lose their appeal. I agree Cafe Red Onion has unique/good food, and out-of-towners typically enjoy the choices and presentation. Prices are moderate. Somebody mentioned Goodson's - -totally different kind of place, and on the northern outskirts of Houston.
    #9
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/03 13:03:41 (permalink)
    Good point about location -

    and also I must correct myself, Cafe Red Onion SEAFOOD is NOT casual. All the regular CROs are.
    #10
    SPACE_CITY_RYAN
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/04 16:12:14 (permalink)
    A few notable places to try:

    Thelma's BBQ- Great brisket, ribs,and fried catfish. It is a shack located in a rough part of town, but don't let that deter you.

    Felix Mexican Restaurant- One of, if not, the oldest Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston. Reviews seemed to be mixed, but their queso and enchiladas are exceptional.

    Pappas Bros Steakhouse- A very pricey steakhouse that serves one of the best ribeyes I've ever tasted. Make sure you call for reservations.

    Whataburger- If you eat at Pappas bros, you won't have any money left! Try a #5 combo with a vanilla shake. They make a great fast-food burger.

    Enjoy your stay and let us know if you tried any of these places.
    #11
    Duesy
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 08:12:49 (permalink)
    Thanks folks, sorry I haven't checked this in a while!

    Pappas BBQ is now also a must-hit, as the friend I am visiting also loves it. I feel obligated to go to Goode Co., if only just once.

    The other places I'm still sorting out. This site is a goldmine.
    #12
    brittneal
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 08:30:46 (permalink)
    I was there over Xmas of 80. On the way in we hit seafood shack just left afetr turning into Kima. All I remember is what I ate. A platter of fried scallops and fries. It was about $3.50 and twice what I could eat. Im on a crab freak here in Dayton(none!) Oh for the day.
    No one mentioned Tookies!. That "marinated" burger was the best I ever had!
    #13
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 09:22:39 (permalink)
    The original NINFA'S

    I do GOODE COMPANY BBQ rather than Pappa's, which is always good too.
    #14
    Kam7185
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 10:25:15 (permalink)
    Pappasitos, The river cafe, cafe jadelite
    #15
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 11:29:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    I was there over Xmas of 80. On the way in we hit seafood shack just left afetr turning into Kima. All I remember is what I ate. A platter of fried scallops and fries. It was about $3.50 and twice what I could eat. Im on a crab freak here in Dayton(none!) Oh for the day.!


    KEEP FAR AWAY from Kemah which has been transformed into a schlocky tourist trap full of landry's crap. Last i heard, that crab shack had gone away.
    #16
    Duesy
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 11:54:19 (permalink)
    OOOH...I forgot about Ninfa's! Okay, now three definites.

    Magnolia Grill looks a bit fancy?
    #17
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 12:27:59 (permalink)
    NInfa's a must? Eh. Only as a historical marker, out of respect for the woman who started it all. The food is, nowadays, average - In My Humble Opinion you could do as well or better and MUCH cheaper at any of a dozen other places. There isn't anything on the menu at Ninfas that isn't available pretty much everywhere.

    So, you kinda should consider, what do you want in your meal? What's more important?
    Something you can't easily get elsewhere?
    or
    Something that speaks of Houston's history
    or
    Something so delicious you'll swear you never had it before?

    Wherever you end up, you can't go too wrong. Just stay away from anything run by Landrys, or nationwide chains. Anything run by the pappas family will be good but anything except their BBQ is pricey - and the eateries noisy and crowded.

    Hey, what kind of age group? There is s superb place in the Heights called Onion Creek and it is full of hip students and artists... and the local lawyers...

    #18
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 12:38:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Duesy

    OOOH...I forgot about Ninfa's! Okay, now three definites.

    Magnolia Grill looks a bit fancy?


    Magnolia Grill,
    regardless of how it looks is

    CLASSIC ROADFOOD

    In fact it was written up by the Sterns in one of their previous roadfood books
    #19
    Duesy
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 13:15:40 (permalink)
    OK, scratch Ninfa's, add Magnolia (hopefully).

    I'm really just looking for good food that won't break us (no $60 prime steaks).

    The age group: a 19-yr-old and his parents, both in their early fifties. We are all adventurous eaters and we'll try anything once.
    #20
    stazerd
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 13:33:14 (permalink)
    Your 19-year old will be bored silly at Magnolia Grille. The food is pedestrian at best.
    Victor's Reuben, I'm telling you. It may not be classic houston food, but it is amazing.
    #21
    Duesy
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 17:41:18 (permalink)
    I am the 19-year-old... I guess I sound...distinguished?

    I'm not a big Reuben fan, sorry. Otherwise I'd definitely shoot for Victor's.
    #22
    stazerd
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 18:01:51 (permalink)
    How about pizza? There is legendary fuzzy's. Have I mentioned doughnuts? If you are at interested in the lightest sweetest doughnuts every, Shipley's. There is only one great location, though, so be careful.
    #23
    plb
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/07 20:56:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    quote:
    Originally posted by Duesy

    OOOH...I forgot about Ninfa's! Okay, now three definites.

    Magnolia Grill looks a bit fancy?


    Magnolia Grill,
    regardless of how it looks is

    CLASSIC ROADFOOD

    In fact it was written up by the Sterns in one of their previous roadfood books


    Try their Duck!
    #24
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/08 02:41:20 (permalink)
    My single "must-eat" place in Houston is no more. I would have definitely sent you to Williams Smokehouse for the best BBQ in Houston - far better, in my mind, than Goode Co., Otto's, and Pappas. Unfortunately, they burned down a couple of months ago and have heard of no news that they have or will re-open.

    Absent Williams, my choice would also have to be Magnolia Grill. I have taken a number of colleagues there when in Houston (including a vegetarian) and no one ever left bored. As a matter of fact, I can't even fathom where the bored comment could have come from - in addition to excellent regional cuisine, most times that I have been there, they have a lively outdoor music scene. I am a fan of the stuffed redfish and the shrimp gumbo.

    My next "must" place that I haven't yet hit in Houston is Lankford Grocery for what is widely considered to be one of the top hamburgers in Texas. I am kind of surprised that no one else has mentioned it as a "must" before now. TexanJoe has mentioned Monument Inn on more than one occasion and I still need to go there. He knows Houston like few others around here, though, so I trust what he says.

    If you ask me, these are true Houston experiences. You can get pizza anywhere - and you can probably get better pizza anywhere. Shipley's Donuts are OK - nothing that I would call a "must" and their coffee was subpar. As others have mentioned, Houston is an enormous city and you could easily spend an hour or more if you are staying on one side of town and take a suggestion on the other side of town.
    #25
    priyanka
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/09 04:36:28 (permalink)
    I would suggest Prince's Hamburgers, on 3899 Southwest Fwy. The restaurant has a relaxing and fun atmosphere, Price is very affordable along with good service. They have got a great variety.
    #26
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/09 13:49:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by priyanka

    I would suggest Prince's Hamburgers, on 3899 Southwest Fwy. The restaurant has a relaxing and fun atmosphere, Price is very affordable along with good service. They have got a great variety.


    AND there are more prince's in town, depending on where you're staying. the one at I-10 near Echo Lane is my stop.
    #27
    torgotom
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/09 13:52:51 (permalink)
    OH NO I forgot one - on the gulf freeway, near the gulfgate mall, DOT'S 24 hour diner. This is a classic diner run by PAPPA'S! Awesome comfort food on all counts - and a few extra treats like superb gumbo.
    Although like a real diner, they don't do substitutions easily... you get what's on the menu.

    Duesy, you'll just have to stay an extra week and try it all.
    #28
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/09 14:06:04 (permalink)
    I'm hesitant to recommend Luling City Market due to The Travelin Man's negative experiences during his last two visits, although I enjoyed it when I visited 3 years ago- lets put it this way- when I was there it was far superior to Angelo's in Forth Worth which I visited on the same trip. However I would like to recommend the Avalon Dinerfor breakfast and El Pueblito Placeon Richmond for Mexican-
    #29
    Duesy
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    RE: Absolute must-eat places in Houston 2008/04/10 08:18:00 (permalink)
    We needed a breakfast place, thanks.

    A lot of our final decisions will be based on where we're staying or close to when we get hungry. I'll map out some of these spots. I've got until the first week of June so...

    And yes, I do wish I could stay another week and try them all. Unfortunately...
    #30
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