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tops in eating out
in this sprawling megalopolis have the bull by the horns these days, and
they're barbecuing the hell out of it. Imagine a situation where
the economy is robust but the entree prices are often anemic. Where portions
are hefty and dining options are vast. Where the hired help comes
cheap but is still hospitable. That's Houston. The oil boom is back,
but this time it's gushing from deep-fryers.
love their superlatives, and it turns out that Houstonians eat out more
often than the residents of any other major U.S. city, according to the
Zagat Survey restaurant guides. Diners here strap on the feed bag
in public 4.6 times a week, just ahead of Dallas at 4.4. But here's
the kicker: Zagat's surveys of 40 major markets also show that Houstonians
pay the second-lowest average meal tab, $14.86, behind Kansas City, Mo.'s
$14.01 (New Yorkers pay the most, $29.28). And the city is among the national
leaders in restaurants per capita, with about 8,000 places for a population
of 4.3 million." - Jerry Shriver, USA
Texas, steak houses and barbeque are a given, and the city has a wide selection
of each. Seafood is plentiful due to the proximity of the Gulf of
Mexico. Being an international city, Houston also offers a multitude
of Chinese, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican,
Korean, Cajun and South American restaurants.
Local and Regional Restaurants
Please note: Some restaurant
reviews have been edited for space considerations
1800 Post Oak Blvd
Tropical, earthy cuisine
draws on indigenous New World foods in traditional and experimental ways,
all in an eye-popping, chimerical setting.
"Besides the jaw-dropping,
New Age architecture designed by architect Jordan Mozer and the way-out
interior decor, you'll relish America's food. Famed chef-owner Michael
Cordua has created a menu that merges the bold, rich flavors of South America
with touches of the Caribbean and Mexico. Although the menu is similar
to its sister restaurant, Churrasco's, expect a wider seafood selection
and more futuristic plate presentations. Speaking of showy, these rock-paved,
cave-like surroundings are straight from your wildest dreams with psychedelic
light fixtures and curvy banquettes in dramatic purples and reds.
Things are pricey at Americas,
but lunch selections are more affordable. Generous salads are bathed
in rich, creamy dressing. Try the garlic-laden Caesar de pollo (with fork-tender
grilled chicken) or the ensalada de pollo asada (grilled vegetables and
achiote chicken breast). Dinner might start with the signature hearty
black bean soup served in a bread boule but the Chilean redwood-smoked
salmon filled with roasted corn mousse is more luscious. If going to the
max, order the two grilled baby lobster tails with yuca polenta and smoked
crab fingers or the beef tenderloin medallions over Chilean bordelaise
sauce with crimini and portobello mushrooms. Finish with tres leches cake,
notably more flavorful and moist than others around town. If just
stopping by for a bite and to ogle, think tapas. The intriguing downstairs
bar area offers fine Chilean wines and traditional South American cocktails.
Salut! This is not a dream." --Robin Barr Sussman, MSN/citysearch.com/font>
Famous Po'Boys & Deli
Here for Locations and Phone numbers
In 1962, the late Jalal
E. Antone opened the first Antone's store near downtown Houston, Texas.
Mr. Antone insisted that his store have an "old world" feel, so he decorated
with turn of the century decor and surrounded it with an aura of old world
charm. He specialized in ethnic foods and fine wines, but the heart of
his business was a 9" fresh bun filled with meats and cheeses for the lowest
price per inch anywhere. Originally sold for $.50 each, their popularity
grew through the Houston community. The Antone's family continues
to operate a few stores in the Houston area under the Antone's Import Company
but are not affiliated with Antone's Famous Po'Boys & Deli.
The po-boy can be traced
to the early part of the century and a tiny French Quarter restaurant in
New Orleans run by Benny and Clovis Martin. The brothers served copious
15-cent sandwiches on long loaves of French bread with numerous fillings.
In 1929, the city's streetcar conductors walked off their jobs in a bitter
labor dispute. Out of sympathy for the workers, the Martins offered
the strikers free sandwiches; when a striking union member walked into
the restaurant, the story goes, Benny would call to Clovis, "Here comes
another poor boy! Since that auspicious beginning, po'boy sandwiches have
spread throughout the United States, however, no chain of po'boy shops
has ever been developed until Antone's.
Bar & Grille
2016 Main Street,
"A surprising treasure easily
"A great downtown hideaway"--Houston
Located across the street
from the downtown bus station and adjacent to the Pierce Elevated where
locals tend to dine in dumpsters Baich's Bar and Grille would appear
to be the last place in Houston to find a sumptuous meal and some of the
city's best jazz players. Susan Hill opened Baich's on the ground
floor of the 2016 Main high-rise in June 1992, and high-rise tenant Maria
Johnson, a pianist herself, suggested Hill add live jazz to the fine dining
experience, a suggestion the owner took. Now some of Houston's best jazzers
including saxist Horace-Alexander Young and guitarist Mike Sunjka plop
their gear down in the space behind the bar wall, providing the coolest
and most sophisticated background music you'll find in town. Chef Jose
Silva offers a cuisine that he calls "new American with a Southwestern
flair," which means seafood, steaks and pasta served with a little spice - Tim Carman
Continually voted one of
the Best in Houston, the restaurant is known for it's top quality, freshly
prepared mesquite grilled burgers, chicken, fish and steaks. Much
has been written about their "extra stout" Hershey's® chocolate and
fresh strawberry shakes. Four of the seven
locations have drive-thrus. You may enjoy Houston's beautiful
weather and great food on one of their decks covered under umbrella tables.
|2424 Dunstan #125
(beween. Kelvin & Morningside)
5922 Washington Ave
Modern American Cuisine.
New York Chic. Southern Tranquility. The place is benjy's
restaurant and the lounge which opened in December '95. This
beacon for the hip and hungry has an incredible chef, new menu, and has
become Houston's oasis for the mod-set. The menu pulls from different
ethnicities and is lighter and more flavorful than most in this Restaurant
|500 Louisiana St, Houston
"A great Italian restaurant
and a heck of an Irish bar." The new and improved version of this
stodgy, middle-aged restaurant chain has lightened up the interiors and
tightened up the kitchens. The old Birraporetti's served ersatz Italian
food for more than 20 years, but its reworked menu is the new Italianate
jazz contemporary riffs on old classics. You might like the wood-grilled
salmon, lamb chops with white beans, warm roast beef sandwich or pizzas. -
|13616 Memorial Dr, Houston
Eyelet covered lamps and blue
and yellow dressed tables will keep you cheerful even if you rub elbows
with neighbors on both sides. Provence excels with its saucy chicken,
beef stews and many grilled items. They tend to be dry but all is forgiven
after adding surely the most authentic bernaise in Houston. Purists may
be quick to order the confit de lapin, a simmered red rabbit confit with
candied onions and prunes, or even the oddly textured tripe. And even the
fearful will be comforted with four different pizzas and several soups.
But if you ever want something perfect to eat, but aren't sure what, just
order the pate du chef, served with lightly dressed greens and the sprightly
house vinaigrette. Spread that fresh pate on the warm Fougasse bread, wash
it down with Vouvray (this crisp semi-sweet wine with green apple overtones
is one of four whites available by the glass), and you'll forever sing
the praises of Provence. All the wines are French and desserts include
natural citrus sorbets, rice pudding with caramel, and a homey baba au
rhum, a grainy house sponge cake smothered in rhum syrup with a poached
apricot and whipped cream. Aren't the French charming?
Barr Sussman, MSN/citysearch.com
Black Labrador Pub
4100 Montrose Boulevard,
The cozy English-pub setting
in a former church is perfect for enjoying a pint of ale, a game of darts,
perhaps a bite to eat. The kitchen is not strictly English (burgers and
Tex-Mex dishes turn up among the shepherd's pie and bangers and mash),
but it's probably much better than its equivalent across the Atlantic.
On the patio, a human-size chessboard is designed into the paving and even
occasionally used. As the evening winds down, try the Scotch apple pie
and a Samuel Smith Taddy porter. On the few frigid afternoons that Houston
weather calls for a fireplace, crowd around this one with your beer and
Brennan's of Houston
3300 Smith, Houston
Unarguably one of Houston's
most beautiful restaurants. Brennan's showcases its New Orleans roots
with its famous courtyard and French Quarter inspired interiors.
The Creole menu utilizes Texas ingredients with regional items included
seasonally. Tableside preparation of flaming Cafe Brulot and Brennan's
famous Bananas Foster makes any meal a special occasion. - Texas
Best Restaurants, 1996
For 33 years, this "impressive"
Downtown "Texanized" sibling of the renowned Commander's Palace in New
Orleans has been ordained Houston's "Creole heaven", with a romantic courtyard
and an "elegant" room; Carl Walker serves up "turtle soup that will
cure whatever ails you", "creative fish dishes and divine Bananas Foster",
and dinner at his private table in the kitchen is "a classy treat"; all
in all, this is "a superior restaurant in every respect." - Zagat
America's Top Restaurants
Brenner's Steak House
10911 Katy Freeway, Houston
Tucked away in a nondescript
building alongside the relentlessly congested Katy Freeway, Brenner's exudes
a relaxed if well-worn charm that few Houston restaurants will ever match.
A west-side institution since 1936 (original address: "Katy Highway, seven
miles west of Post Oak Road"), Brenner's has seduced generations of local
diners with its top-of-the-line heavy aged beef, attentive service and
This is steak country, and
the prime fillets and rib eyes arrive at the table masterfully seared on
the outside while retaining a full-flavored tenderness that saturates the
taste buds of even the most ambivalent carnivores. Once you descend from
the top of the food chain, however, the neighborhood starts to get a little
chancy. Appetizers and side dishes are largely unremarkable, and most diners
end up opting for a generous helping of German-fried potatoes to accompany
their steaks, a surprisingly homey touch to this otherwise upscale dining
Change may be inevitable
now that the restaurant has acquired new owners, but for now Brenner's
seems remarkably unaffected by the passage of decades. The veteran waitstaff
still recites the evening's menu for each table by heart, and the dinner
salads remain firmly wedded to the lettuce and tomato tradition. One welcome
update to the menu, however, has been the addition of a small number of
seafood offerings, which can be ordered with a crab, shrimp and capers
topping to provide a respectable, if pricey, alternative to the main attraction.
Paul Jennings, MSN/citysearch.com
1728 Post Oak Blvd
Sophisticated bistro where
lavish attention to detail starts with chef/co-owner Robert del Grande's
outstanding and unusual Southwestern menu.
"Innovation floods the menu
but Del Grande still believes that less is more. Too many ingredients on
the plate can create havoc with the final result. Witness the correct balance
of citrus, spiciness, and richness in mussel soup spiked with ancho chile
jam, cocoa roasted chicken with BBQ sweet potatoes, and wood-grilled lamb
chops with black Oaxacan mole. The City Lunch is a way to enjoy a multi-course
meal at a fair price (including some very affordable wines by the glass).
Start with Summerfield smoked salmon or black bean terrine with goat cheese
and fresh tomato salsa, then move on to rainbow trout with saffron aioli
or Texas Hill Country venison sausage with red chile barbecue sauce and
Dinner appetizers sparkle.
Favorites include the rare yellow fin tuna with shaved beets and truffle
vinaigrette or fresh corn tamales with wood-grilled shrimp and crema fresca.
Entrees such as Texas farm-raised redfish with barbacoa pork tamale emphasize
the interior of Mexico flavors that Cafe Annie favors. Also expect rarities
such as South Texas antelope with dried cherries and Casabel chile sauce,
also deftly prepared."
--Robin Barr Sussman, MSN/citysearch.com
5000 Westheimer Road, Houston
Scan the menu at this trendy
Dallas import, and you turn up a virtual encyclopedia of Southwestern buzzwords,
from cilantro pesto to chipotle mayonnaise to adobo garlic marinade. This
is a concept restaurant, more about being and seeing than eating and drinking,
yet it seems to please the huge crowds that have waited for tables since
the day it opened. Try one of the many taco or quesadilla choices, King
Ranch chicken casserole, chicken-fried steak or a grilled steak. The dining
room has a Santa Fe lodge look, with exposed pine timbers, Southwestern
gewgaws and Fiesta-style dishes, a merging of wit and kitsch. The balcony,
with French doors thrown open, is a stunner, overlooking Post Oak Boulevard.
Other steak choices range
from 14-ounces to 24-ounces: sirloin, porterhouse, or a fancy-pants steak
au poivre with Courvoisier cognac cream sauce. Side vegetables are not
as impressive but portions are massive--the baked potato is a full pound!
Stick to that or the cottage fries. Appetizers are also hit and miss--smoked
Norwegian salmon is safe but don't be tempted by the lobster and crab cakes.
We must say, though, that the copper-inlaid bar and luxurious lounge is
one of the best looking to ever grace Houston. In all its opulent glory,
not only is this a see-and-be-seen restaurant, it's a must-see.
Barr Sussman, MSN/citysearch.com
If you're looking for excess,
go to the politically suggestive Capital Grille. With two giant lion sculptures
"guarding" the entrance, the United States eagle emblem in the lobby, and
the wine lockers displayed with gold name plates, you'd better feel at
least protected, if not exclusive. Every decor detail, including the glassed-in
meat locker, is masculine to the max and overdone to the infinitum. There
are enough extravagantly framed oil paintings on the walls to open a small
museum and the dining room banquettes and chairs are either leather or
velvet. So quit gawking and order a steak--we recommend the 14-ounce towering
filet mignon, a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece (it's dry-aged).
The family owned, non-franchise,
locations. Simply, some of the best Italian food in Houston.
|3115 Kirby Drive, Houston
|1399 S. Voss Road, Houston
"Johnny Carrabba's kitchens
perpetuate their nuova rustica reputation with well-tended grills and some
of the best pastas in town. Don't overlook the surprisingly good pizzas
on chewy, slightly charred crusts, either, or the seafood salad, a smartly
dressed toss of bitter greens, grilled shrimp and scallops. Comfortable,
dependable and expensive enough to make patrons feel indulgent, Carrabba's
are unabashed yuppie havens. There's always a crowd. Best seat in the house
for eating pizza is at the open kitchen bar next to the oven nonstop
action and great aromas prevail."
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Carrabba's Italian Grill
was founded in Houston by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in December
of 1986. Many of the recipes on our menu are those of Damian's mother
Grace and sister Rose. Damian has preserved the Italian authenticity of
Carrabba's food by traveling the world in search of unique Italian dishes
and by taking numerous trips to his grandparents' native Italy.
In January, 1995, Outback
Steakhouse, Inc. acquired the rights to develop Carrabba's nation wide.
There are currently 72 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations with another 10 planned to open in 2000. In addition, the family
retained two locations, and they go by just "Carrabba's", dropping the
Charlie's Coffee Shop
1100 Westheimer Road, Houston
You've left the Land of
the Low-Fat Latte, kids. What Charlie's provides is a decent burger sided
with thick, crispy steak fries, basic diner fare right down to the featured
Daily Special, and your old-fashioned bottomless cup of coffee. Extra,
but at no additional charge, is the ambience, which looks lifted straight
from either Five Easy Pieces or Pink Flamingos, depending upon what time
of day (or night) you decide to drop in. Charlie's is always open and the
service is friendly. The sharp new outdoor signage can't change the
local flavor, or Charlie's status as an old-school anchor of a chunk of
Westheimer that was once before the Burger Kings and Eckerds moved in
more strip than strip mall. No amount of renovation, no matter how thorough,
will extricate he history from Charlie's, one of the neighborhood's longest-lived
and livelier haunts. Laura Lark
Chez Nous French Restaurant
217 S. Avenue G, Humble
Gerard and Sandra Brach
preside over what feels like a little French country inn in a former Pentecostal
church. In the middle of a modest residential neighborhood in Humble, a
few blocks off Main Street, it's the kind of place you'd brag to your friends
about discovering on a trip through Napa Valley, say, or Vermont. It's
a French restaurant of decades past, so full of charm you almost expect
the bartender to wear a straw boater. Most of the menu's offerings are
sturdy, classic dishes with good sauces, and there's a generous wine list.
9755 Katy Freeway, Houston TX 77024
A great little hideaway
with a northern Italian menu that includes plenty of heart-healthy selections
as well as good seafood. It's always noisy and crowded, but, if need be,
you can buy Ciro's various pasta sauces at most grocery stores for preparing
similar meals at home.
Daily Review Cafe
3412 W. Lamar Street, Houston
Owner and executive chef
Claire Smith has brought a heavenly piece of "God's country" (California)
to the Daily Review Cafe. Alumnus of Greens and Oliveto in San Francisco,
her creations are comforting but vibrant, emphasizing local freshest-available
ingredients on the daily menu. One of only a handful of talented
women chefs in Houston, she's achieved a local following and celebrity-chef
status after only five years. Daily Review was named a "Best New Restaurant
of 1995" by Esquire magazine and Smith continues to appear on national
television and guest chef spots.
The chicken pot pie, redolent
of fennel, carrots, and celery in a rich cream sauce, is not anything like
what Mom used to serve. Other signature items include the baked goat cheese
salad with grilled apples and spiced pecans; cheesy calzone with roasted
chicken, bechamel, and feta; and grilled pork chops with house-made apple
sauce and potato gratin. Daily dessert choices, as well as the baked on-site
sourdough bread, are exceptional. A quick review: apple caramelized tart,
chocolate whiskey pot de creme, or apple-cherry crisp. Brunch is popular
but consistency hit and miss.
Sparse with industrial-chic
decor, the surroundings are sleek-casual and well designed (that is, if
you don't mind being nudged up to your neighboring table). The low-key
garden patio looks onto a lovely lawn and herb garden. In or out, you'll
most likely be in the company of food-smart diners who are willing to pay
top dollar for top-notch goods. --Robin Barr Sussman, MSN/citysearch.com
Damian's Cucina Italiana
3011 Smith St. (Dowtown
There is novelty Italian,
then there is Damian's. Perched on the edge of downtown, it's maintained
a sophisticated freshness while standing the test of time. It remains resoundingly
popular with the business class because of its suitable location, unobtrusive
service and authentically robust Italian cuisine.
An off-the-menu secret: Begin
with the perfectly balanced, zesty Caesar salad prepared tableside. Antipasti
selections like peppers and anchovies or steamed mussels in white wine
sauce are delicate and of a civilized portion size, just as they should
be. From simple to sublime, pasta is really the winner here. Choose agnolotti
di alba (half moon pasta stuffed with veal in sage butter), mushroom lasagna
with tomato cream sauce, or spaghetti with lobster tail and lump crabmeat
for over-the-top meals. Besides veal piccata, grilled pork chop and
filet mignon, expect a wide seafood selection including grilled swordfish
steak with tomato, capers and black olives and grilled sea bass over creamed
spinach. The wine list is a refreshing collection of white and red Italian
finds including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Barolo Riserva, Chianti Riserva,
Merlot, and some super Tuscans. Big-name California choices are extensive
and well-chosen .
For a beautiful finale, focus
on the tried and true: pudding-like panna cotta with raspberry sauce, tiramisu,
chocolate pecan tart, or the signature Infusione de Cioccalato--layers
of brownie, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream.--Robin Barr
6010 Richmond Avenue, Houston
From early lunch to late
dinner, you have a wide variety of selections. Choose from D&B's Classic
BBQ Ribs to their gourmet personal pizzas, pastas and more - whatever you're
in the mood for you'll find the menu. When you wander into the Million
Dollar Midway, you'll discover one of the best places on earth to get lost.
With everything from the absolute latest in electronic simulators to all
your tried and true favorites, this is the place to shed a few inhibitions
and rediscover the kid in yourself. Dave & Buster's has grown
from a single restaurant in Dallas to more than 20 in the U.S. and two
1702 Post Oak Blvd @ San
Houston is home to the second eatZi's,
opened in the Summer of 1997. Created by Phillip Romano, the creator
of the Fudruckers chain, the restaurants are modeled after upscale grocery
stores like Dean & Deluca and Balducci's in Manhattan. They sell fresh
meat and quality produce, along with fancy prepared dishes. The chain
is jointly owned by Mr. Romano and Brinker
At the Houston eatZi's, a
customer walks right into the kitchen. The aroma of cooked food and freshly
baked bread hits you. Classical music plays loudly. Customers and employees
scurry about like it's dinnertime on the Titanic. At 9 p.m. a horn
blows and all of the prepared food is sold for half price. There
are no steam tables at eatZi's. Chefs in white paper toques and jackets
serve from their skillets and cook most of the hot, to-go entrèes
to order. A small eat-in dining area is available at the back of the store.
Fuad's Continental Restaurant
6100 Westheimer Road, Houston
The mystery continues at
this Continental-style throwback from the money-slinging, oil boom '70s
that specializes in rich hors d'oeuvres and flaming dishes. The secret?
Dark and quaint with extremely high standards, Fuad's has no menu but seems
to produce whatever your heart desires.
From sweetbreads to steak
Diane or bananas Foster, it's all available and justly prepared. Consider
starting with the crisp Caesar salad, a feisty balanced king, prepared
tableside. Move on to the boneless quail; such a convenience not to have
to fool with tiny bones. Baked pita chips with zesty homemade salsa are
also a suitable munchie to have around.
Your entree could possibly
be a thick slab of grilled salmon with bernaise (or maybe you just prefer
a fresh squeeze of lemon, tell them that) with some fat, steamed asparagus
spears. A meatier option could be a thin-pounded chicken breast with jalapeno
glaze or a filet mignon with mushroom-red wine sauce. Fresh al dente vegetables
are served family style--incredibly rich au gratin potatoes, cauliflower,
and garlic sauteed spinach. The pampering, professional service and accommodating
menu is quite a luxury--a very expensive luxury enjoyed by the select few. --Robin Barr Sussman
With no menu as a guideline,
Fuad's reminds you of that old saying,"If you have to ask how much, you
probably can't afford it."
Goode Co. Barbecue
|5109 Kirby Drive, Houston
|8911 Katy Freeway, Hedwig
This urbanized Texana-clad barbecue
landmark has remained wildly popular due to Jim Goode's expertly and consistently
mesquite-smoked brisket, faultless ribs, sausage, and honey-glazed smoked
turkey breast. Sides such as potato salad and coleslaw aren't Hall of Famers,
but the soft, homemade jalapeno cheese bread is a star player.
Moist smoked duck and chicken lean toward the oil slick, but the thick,
sweet-spicy-smoky barbecue sauce is in a class by itself. Belly up to the
always-long cafeteria-style line and snag a cold beer or root beer from
the vintage cooler while you graze. You can squeeze into a cramped table
indoors, but there's plenty more room to spread out with your posse outside
at the covered picnic tables.
With barbecue this accomplished, a second location was inevitable. Wild
West residents and businesses are mighty grateful for the Katy Freeway
outpost. Thank your lucky stars you live in Texas and celebrate with another
piece of rich pecan pie.
Goode Company Hamburgers & Taqueria
4902 Kirby Drive, Houston
Another Goode idea: Serve two top Texas food groups under one roof.
Hearty, sizzling grilled platters of chicken, beef fajitas, pork chops,
quail, and catfish come with mounds of vegetable-packed Mexican rice, astounding
guacamole, and creamy refried beans--it's enough to make you forget about
the credible hamburgers and first-rate fries.
Place your order at the busy counter and nestle indoors or snag a table
on the funky, neon-lit patio. This home away from home for hunters, families,
and quick solo diners also features assorted enchiladas and fine chicken
tacos encased in thick homemade tortillas along with buckets full of zingy
pico de gallo and smooth salsa on the fixings bar.
Ranch-style weekend breakfasts including comforting tacos, migas, and huevos
rancheros are worth waking up for, and the lemonade and cinnamon shakes
are just the tip of the big taco in the sky.
Goode Company Seafood
2621 Westpark Drive, Houston
Just thinking of Goode's cool, inviting counter in the summer conjures
up visions of frosty beer and refreshing ceviche. This bustling seafood
emporium will also warm your soul during winter with satisfying ettouffee
or buttery seafood gumbo.
The brilliant menu of Texas Gulf Coast, Mexico, and Louisiana culinary
influences appeals to the masses as does the novelty railroad car that
houses this wonder of water treats. Expect accomplished frying (oyster
po' boys, stuffed crab, shrimp) but equally fine mesquite grilling--the
grilled catfish con salsa verde, topped with buttery onions and avocado
pico de gallo, is swoon material. The richer yellowfin tuna or salmon filet
also swim to the top. These and the fried dinners are generous, served
with garlic bread, empanada, seafood rice, red beans, hush puppies, or
vegetables (whew!). Besides all that, count on friendly service, nice wines
by the glass, and chocolate cream pie to take the edge off any off day.
--Robin Barr Sussman
Bruce Molzan of Ruggles
has dropped the heavy French accent at his glamour grill and is now more
nouveau American. This chic shopping pit stop for ladies who lunch now
offers the original Ruggles fare with a few stylish accessories thrown
in. Still, expect to see svelte cigarette smokers puffing away and wine
sippers casually resigning the midday away in fashionable banquettes.
We suggest that you begin
with the Hudson Valley foie gras with pineapple-mango salsa. Too rich for
your blood? Try the spicy shrimp tostada with queso fresco and guava habanero.
Savvy salad choices like the house-smoked salmon with artichokes, caviar,
and walnut vinaigrette or the roasted pork loin with pear-pesto Merlot
will make you sit up and take notice. Grilled sandwiches (chicken
foccacia club, bleu cheese burger) are available for the less adventurous.
The entree list is extended with dazzling choices such as duck breast with
honey-glazed barbecue mango sauce or seared snapper with shrimp, avocado,
fontina cheese and cilantro, along with the required grilled peppered Angus
New York steak. Desserts are just as ravishing as the original Ruggles.
You're primed--ready, set, shop.
--Robin Barr Sussman,
|6401 Woodway Drive, Houston
|3920 Westheimer Road, Houston
Tony Vallone sold this matched pair of noisy, oversize
cafes to Landry's, along with La Griglia. They're less dressy than La Griglia, his first attempt at informality,
and the food is not as fussed-over, but they're distinguished all the same
by Vallone's insistence on first-rate ingredients and polished service.
As at La Griglia, a wood-fired pizza oven roars year-round in the center
of the dining room, turning out respectable, if not stellar, pies. (The
yuppie drinking crowd that packs the waiting area after work certainly
seems to like them.) It's hard to go wrong with a bellini, one of the excellent
pastas or grilled meats and a wickedly caloric dessert. If calamari steak
is available, give it a try the kitchen knows how to pamper it with olive
oil, lemon, herbs and a gentle undercooking.
House of Pies
It's three in the morning. You
must have pie. There is only one place to go. That the pie isn't really
all that great (and that the rest of the short-order food on the menu is
decidedly not great at all) is beside the point. People come here because
people come here, and that bit of circular logic has remained pretty much
unbroken since the place began serving up slices of chocolately Bayou Goo
and other such niceties in the 1970s. Initially embraced by the gay community
which earned it the affectionate nickname "House of Guys" this round-the-clock
establishment has become a general mecca for those wanting to nosh and
watch the human parade pass by. Part all-night diner and part pastry shop,
it has all the decorative appeal of a bowling alley, with a vinyl-and-Formica
motif that seems stuck in time. But that very lack of pretension is appealing,
particularly given its location between River Oaks and West University,
those two pillars of Republican elitism. Delivery truck drivers dine beside
society matrons, Gen Xers next to bidness men, curfew-busting high schoolers
alongside off-duty cops... all are welcome amid the aroma of cooling pies
(and, OK, a little grease). Two other locations, one near Inwood Forest
the other in the Galleria area, offer the same menu fare but not the same
atmosphere. - Eric Gerber, MSN/citysearch.com
|3112 Kirby Drive, Houston
|6142 Westheimer Road, Houston
* Historical note: The Kirby location is also famous for being the birthplace of Houston's
Compaq Computers. The founders of Compaq spent many long nights in
a booth at the House of Pies figuring out how to reverse engineer IBM's
BIOS to make the first 100% compatible PC clones.
|5888 Westheimer @ Fountainview
|4848 Kirby Drive,Houston
Despite the name, this chain
is actually based in Atlanta, with more than 40 locations from San Francisco
to Manhattan, and Chicago to Miami. While Houston's is not a local
chain, it does have a strong following. The Kirby and Fountainview
stores are quite popular and are usually packed for lunch and dinner.
The menu offers sandwiches, steaks, roast beef and chicken, served in a
comfortable atmosphere of exposed brick and wood accents. Seating
options include tables and booths in a variety of sizes.
1800 Post Oak Blvd.
A River Oaks and Tanglewood
crowd (including President George Bush) make this a prime people-watching
spot. It's also the city's best choice for Hunan food, served in an elegant
dining room by a crisply professional staff under the direction of Gigi
Huang. Try the thin-sliced roast spring lamb. - MSN/citysearch.com
|2001 Jefferson St., Houston
|12750 Southwest Fwy, Stafford
|10603 Bellaire Blvd., Houston
The roots of Kim Son Restaurant
can be traced back to Vietnam. In 1968, the La family opened Kim Son, the
largest restaurant in the city of Vinh Long. When the communist took control
of the country in 1975, the successful restaurant was forced to close its
doors. The family saved as much money as possible and began planning their
migration from Vietnam to the United States. They chose to leave together,
father, mother, grandmother, six sons and one daughter all ventured out
into the South China Sea on June 12, 1979.
Arriving in Houston in 1980,
the family quickly went to work to begin their work towards becoming restaurateurs
in America. In two years, the Kim Son would be reincarnated.
In February 1993, the family opened the largest Oriental restaurant in
Texas. The location at 2001 Jefferson (Kim Son I) was built to accommodate
350 persons on the first level, with the upper level banquet facility accommodating
650 persons. In the following years, more locations were opened in response
to the demand of Kim Son customers. Kim Son serves a mixture of Chinese
and Vietnamese dishes.
Korea Garden Restaurant
9501 Long Point Road, Houston
This is the spot for do-it-yourself
Korean-style "barbecue." A gas-fired hibachi grill is built into each table,
and the raw ingredients are brought to you according to your specs. The
best-known of the eight meat possibilities are bulgoki, which is sliced-lean
rib eye steak marinated in a sweetish garlic-and-red-pepper mixture, and
bulgalbi, fat-streaked short ribs in the same marinade. With your meat
order come a dozen or so little bowls and plates containing a variety of
pickled vegetables and condiments. There are strands of radish in a light
vinegar dressing, fire-breathing kimchi, fresh broccoli florets, fried
tofu, pickled soybean sprouts, spinach with sesame and much more. Use your
chopsticks to lay the meat and raw vegetables on the grill; turn after
a few seconds. In less than a minute, you're ready to eat. Most diners
lay bits of the cooked meat in one of the lettuce leaves provided; add
some of the vegetables, a dab of brownish-red, smoky-tasting bean paste
and some pickled things; then fold the lettuce into a little burrito-like
bundle. Eat it and cook another.
Colombe d'Or Hotel
3410 Montrose Blvd.
Every inch of La Colombe
d'Or invokes an air of royalty, from its plush, southern French decor to
the marble bathrooms in each of its five suites and penthouse. Listed among
the "World's Smallest Luxury Hotels," this small, European-style mansion,
was built in 1923 by W.W. Fondren, founder of Humble Oil. It was bought
in 1979 and restored to its present condition, still containing original
art and antiques. Peruse the menu from the hotel's main dining room which
might include coconut shrimp and mango-glazed grilled duck. --Darcy
De Leon, MSN/citysearch.com
Madeleine - French Bakery & Café
A Dallas-based chain with
62+ locations, la Madeleine has 13 restaurants in the Houston area, plus
a catering service. Click above more information or here
for locations and phone numbers.
Stepping into a la Madeleine
French Bakery & Café is like stepping into a storybook French
country village. Antique baker's tools adorn the walls. Exposed beams and
wood floors give the warm look and feel of a kitchen, library or wine cave.
One-of-a-kind brocant and rustic earthenware hearken back to a simpler
time and evoke the look and feel of the picturesque French countryside.
2011 Ella Blvd, Houston
Tucked away near the Brookhollow
area, this unrelentingly romantic restaurant will take your breath away
with its fairy-tale rusticity and classic French menu. On New Year's Eve,
the management hires a snow blower to frost the setting in silvery white.
No wonder regulars delight in surprising uninitiated friends with this
amazing hunting lodge. The classic French menu changes with the seasons,
and while it's not the finest of its kind in town, it's an earnest effort.
Among the current slate of offerings is a chilled seafood appetizer (or
entree, if you wish) that makes a dramatic presentation. La Tour d'Argent
earned many awards and different write ups throughout the World. Few of
these awards; Four Mobil Stars 1994, 1995, 1996, the Five Diamond Star
Award, Best of the Best Award, The most 200 Romantic Restaurants in the
Country and most recent the Top Twenty Restaurants in Houston by the Gourmet
Seafood Restaurants, Inc.
In 1986, Chairman, President
and CEO Tilman Fertitta bought an interest in the Landry's Seafood House,
opened in 1980, and Willie G's Seafood and Steak House, opened a year later,
and in 1988, acquired sole ownership of the company and developed it into
a recognized seafood chain with four distinct concepts.At a time when steak
houses and Italian estaurants were popular, Fertitta felt the seafood restaurant
business was untapped and decided to expand, envisioning his high energy,
full-service casual dining seafood concept throughout the United States.
No one since Red Lobster had the foresight to operate a national seafood
restaurant chain. Landry's Seafood, Inc. has become the 2nd largest
casual seafood restaurant chain in America. As an innovative marketing
approach to make his chain unique, most of the Landry's Seafood House restaurants
have neon movie-style marquees, while many are located on waterfront sites.
At the Cadillac Bar, they
serve authentic Mexican food in a fun, casual setting.
Joe's Crab Shack
It's so simple, someone
should have thought of it sooner. Build a tacky looking shack of a restaurant,
give the interior the feel of a Gulf Coast fishing camp and serve all different
kinds of crabs - cooked in a myriad of ways. Try the patio so you can chill
out and pound on some crabs while you're sipping some cool refreshments,
or if you're not digging on the great outdoor experience, you can slide
inside, kick-back and just jam on some awesome crab on a newspaper-lined
The Kemah Boardwalk has
quickly evolved from a waterfront dining experience to a weekend destination,
just 20 miles from downtown Houston. At the heart of the Kemah Boardwalk
are Landry's restaurants. In addition to the other names listed here,
Kemah boasts The
Aquarium restaurant which serves guests a great view of a 50,000 gallon
aquarium brimming with marine life. The Kemah Boardwalk is also home to The
Flying Dutchman. In addition to the food, Kemah boardwalk features
rides and amusements, quaint retail shopping and a new Boardwalk
2002 W. Gray, Houston
La Griglia means "the grill",
and it is no surprise that most of the food here is grilled at one of the
two huge grills in a center food preparation area. Fresh fish, creative
pastas, fresh vegetables are trademarks of the restaurant, as are also
sinfully rich desserts. If you like to eat a big lunch, you can start with
the basketful of pizza strips that precedes your order. The business lunch
is the best buy--a hearty field green salad, a pasta medley, and dessert
(with biscotti beforehand, in case you can't wait for your sweets). Just
remember to stay away from the proffered mineral water--those lavish refills
All Landry's Seafood Houses
feature fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy gumbo, blackened
snapper and shrimp Creole. Grilled or broiled flounder, snapper or shrimp.
For a great dining experience on a water setting, visit locations in Kemah
The story goes back to the mid
1800s, when millions of Longhorn roamed freely throughout Texas. With the
taste of beef becoming a newfound favorite in the North, Texas ranchers
prospered as never before. Each winter the Longhorn were driven to the
Texas Gulf Coast to graze on the rich coastal saltgrass. And when they
headed for market, they followed the legendary Saltgrass Trail, known far
and wide for the best beef in the whole Lone Star State.
|8943 Katy Fwy, Houston
(713) 461-61114909 Interstate 45 N, Houston
|20241 Gulf Freeway, Webster
|9110 Southwest Fwy, Houston
(713) 771-1777520 Meyerland Plaza Mall
In 1952, this historic trail
ride was revived by four riders to publicize the opening of the Houston
Livestock Show and Rodeo. Today, the ride has become an annual celebration
of that original Texas spirit. The first Saltgrass Steak House still stands
along this historic trail. The Saltgrass Steak House recaptures the flavor
of the open campfire. Steaks, chicken, and seafood, chargrilled to perfection.
Complete with breads, soups and desserts, made fresh daily.
G's Oyster Bar, Seafood & Steakhouse
Since opening in 1980, Willie
G's has established itself as a favorite among the local business crowd,
area residents and travelers. The wide variety of delicacies at Willie
G's offers a multitude of choices for all guests. Whether you are searching
for a light lunch of citrus and almond rainbow trout or a spicy blackened
snapper ponchartrain as a dinner entree, they just what you are looking
Las Alamedas Mexican Restaurant
Cinco Ranch Blvd. @ Grand Parkway
This former Memorial-area eatery
looks like a grand 19th-century hacienda and the bar is as well known as
the menu, but it's still possible to eat quite well here. Check
out the new location this Spring 2010 when Las Alamedas re-opens at La Centerra at Cinco Ranch.
955½ Dairy Ashford
Lynn Foreman, a former legal
assistant, opened this romantically rustic steakhouse in 1985, and her
superbly understated menu has had a loyal following ever since. Try the
New York strip, brushed with salted butter and seared on a 1,600-degree
grill to give it a savory crust. Worthy side dishes include fat onion rings,
rich spinach casserole and steamy-soft baked potatoes wrapped in gold foil.
The award-winning wine list is unusually strong: Cabernet sauvignon is
king and usually found in verticals of at least five deep. Oh, yes, the
gumbo is excellent, too.
Situated in an old church
on lower Westheimer in Houston, Mark Cox, chef and owner of his namesake
restaurant, Mark's, has given Houstonians, who have anxiously awaited his
debut for years, a thoroughly unique dining experience.
Offering Cox's own brand
of American progressive cuisine, Mark's menu encompasses inspirations from
many distant lands, indicative of America's true melting pot heritage.
You'll find diverse styles of food are not intermingled in one dish, but
rather American regional ingredients are fashioned in such a manner as
to be reminiscent of a single culture's fare. Whether it's Asian or Italian
food you crave, Mark's takes you there and back, with taste sensations
which echo the authentic food of that land, coupled with Cox's own unrivaled
|1160 Smith St.
|1331 Lamar St.
Mike and Joe Massa carry on
a proud tradition providing Houstonians and visitors alike with the freshest
Gulf Seafood in Houston, from their two downtown locations.One restaurant
is across from the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Smith St, the other is across
from the Four Season's Hotel on Lamar St.
Both restaurant locations
offer comfortable happy hours at the bar, or attentive service in the main
dining rooms for lunch, dinner, meetings and parties. Mike and Joe's father
and grandfather began buying fresh Gulf Seafood in the 1940's straight
from the docks in Galveston, then serving it in their restaurant in Houston.
This tradition survived as the restaurant changed locations several times
over the years, prior to establishing permanent residence across from the
Hyatt Regency and Allen Center office complex.
The menu consists of favorites
such as Gulf Red Snapper, Gulf Fried Shrimp, Swordfish flown in from the
waters off the coast of Chile, and Asian Tuna. The shrimp dishes can be
prepared a variety of ways, but the Mango Barbecued Shrimp are awesome!
In following the Massa heritage, both restaurants serve freshly made-at-the-table
Greek Salads to accompany any meal. An extensive award winning wine list
of affordable vintages compliments any meal selection. Dessert selections
include Crème Brulee, Cheesecake, Sorbet, and several Chocolate
creations, among other offerings. Strong coffee or cappuccino served with
dessert finishes a perfect dining experience.
|9005 Katy Fwy, Houston
|20237 Gulf Fwy @ NASA Road
|5010 Richmond Ave, Houston
|7637 FM 1960 W, Houston
|12550 Southwest Fwy, Stafford
The original Mason Jar opened
in 1973. Over the years this popular restaurant has expanded and
is now the upscale family dining establishment so many of us enjoy.
Specialties of the house include such hearty favorites as Chicken Fried
Steak, hand-battered and served with a generous helping of cream gravy
plus your choice of any two tasty side items. Their full slab of
Barbeque Baby Back Ribs, will surely satisfy any barbeque craving one may
have. Certified Angus Beef Steaks are cooked to your liking and will
quell even the most ardent of appetites. Another Mason Jar favorite
is the Artichoke Spinach Dip, a very tasty dip accompanied by sour cream,
picante sauce and tostado chips.
On Sunday, the family can
all come in and enjoy a fabulous Sunday Brunch. Fresh, moist
muffins are brought to your table for you to enjoy while deciding on your
favorite entree. Choose from items such as quiche, Eggs Benedict
or French Toast To quench your thirst, Mason Jar offers specialty drinks
such as the Jarita, a house margarita mixed with fresh grapefruit juice
or the Sculptered Martini which is painstakingly chilled for three minutes.
Beer, soft drinks and ice tea are served in what else but an
old-fashioned Mason Jar.
307 Westheimer Road, Houston
Despite its reputation for
being a prom night dinner destination, the romantically named Michelangelo's
has other qualities that account for its loyal following. Amazingly, Houston's
first Italian sidewalk cafe has managed to hold on tight after 30 years.
The attraction? Maybe its the Montrose funkiness of the big, old house
with shady nooks and crannies, worn red carpets, candlelight dining and
live piano music. Consistent kitchen staff, management and ownership
Expect trustworthy pizzas
with dandy toppings such as the pizza Gamberonie e Carfiofi with shrimp
and artichokes or the Michelangelo Classico with ground veal, anchovies,
roasted bell peppers and caramelized nions. Noteworthy salads include a
usually impressive crabmeat salad along with interesting but approachable
antipasti such as carpaccio with pesto and toasted capellini crab cake
with sweet berries. Pastas can be bland and traditional Italian entrees
(chicken, veal, fish) are far from cutting-edge, although a recent daily
special of grilled mahi mahi with spicy crawfish was handsomely presented,
fresh and flavorful. The wine list is above average with Italian and California
choices and very affordable wines by the glass. A 15 percent tip
is automatically figured into every bill.Visit Michelangelo's for
down-to-earth food and prices without too many surprises (not counting
the indoor tree jutting out the roof of the dining room).
Molina's Mexican Restaurant
|5227 Buffalo Speedway, Houston
|7901 Westheimer Road, Houston
|3601 Highway 6 S., Houston
This name has been a Tex-Mex
institution since 1941. Founder Raul Molina started in the food business
as a dishwasher at James Coney Island before buying his first restaurant
on West Gray. Today his mini-chain is known for its green enchiladas, homemade
pralines and, at the Westheimer location, frequent George Bush sightings.
Crispy chicken tacos spicy, shredded, full-flavored chicken, topped with
lettuce and authentic sauce in fresh taco shells are among the best in
the city. No matter what you order, it will be enhanced by some of the
best hot sauce and pickled carrots around.
here for Locations
Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant
years and still cooking
doesn't sound like much, but a lot can happen in
a quarter century. Ninfa's restaurant has long been a Houston institution,
as is Ninfa herself. Entertaining Houstonians from all walks of life, Ninfa's
is well established as the hallmark of casual dining with the perfect combination
of great food, warm atmosphere and personalized service. Currently
with 18 locations in the Houston area, and more to come, Ninfa's is one
of the most successful chains in the city.
Over the years, her restaurant
began to prosper. It was her unique regional Mexican recipes that began
to attract the crowds. Critics were raving about her new dishes, Flautas
de Pollo (deep fried chicken tacos), Chilpanzingas (ham and cheese turnovers)
and the unforgettable Sopapillas (fragile, crisp, hand-rolled pastries
drizzled with honey). In fact, Ninfa's invented the fajita and their award-winning
green sauce still attracts guests from around the world. (Houston Chronicle,
January 1990 - Sauce of the Decade) In 1997, the Serrano's Restaurant
Group (David Quintanilla, Adam Gonzales, Jimmy Moreno, and Jorge A. Gutierrez)
from Austin and Houstonian Neil Morgan acquired Ninfa's and have continued
to improve the already high standards for quality and service.
4 Riverway (Omni
Enjoy a signature fine dining experience. NOÉ offers inspired Progressive American Cuisine with Japanese aesthetics.
3939 San Felipe
With airy, country chic
interiors full of artistic touches and charming antique finds, what's not
to ike about Ouisie's Table? Named after creator/owner Elouise Cooper Jones,
Ouisie's even sounds friendly. This American neo-rustic eatery located
in a meticulous River Oaks shopping enclave (shared with sunny Smith &
Hawken) has maintained a loyal following since its rebirth from smaller
Alluring, but what about
the food? The enterprising menu reads as stylish comfort food with a southwestern
slant. Hearty farepecan-crusted chicken stuffed with Brie, or shrimp,
bacon and cheese gritswaits in line beside svelte choices likegrilled
tuna over mesclun or heart-healthy poached salmon. In lieu of Sunday, Ouisie's
offers Saturday brunch with the usual a.m. eye openershuevos rancheros,
eggs benedict and the mandatory omelet. Shrimp tacos, grilled flank
steak and Ouisie's prized crabcakes served with sugar snaps and marinated
cucumbers also reign. Most saladslike the signature Stilton kit
with toasted walnuts, pears and Belgian endiveare snazzy, although some
salad specials are bland and disappointing. Sweet endings also
run the gamut from frilly fruit-filled tarts with Amy's sorbet to mega-rich
Lucy's Porch, the garden
room, is a sought-after perching spot for birthday, bridal and other group
celebrations. Lucky is the diner who pulls up a chair in the
delightful herb garden, complete with whimsical bear statues and a trickling
fountainthe place to be on a on a crisp fall day. Not as lucky is the
patron who picks up the tab. No question, the prices are proud. Some may
not be able to fathom a $14 macaroni and cheese dish; others won't even
bat an eyelash.Robin Barr Sussman - MSN/citysearch.com
- 9 Locations -
Cousin Pappadeaux was an
old Cajun relative of H.D. Pappas, a Greek immigrant who traveled to America
in 1897 and opened numerous restaurants in Arkansas and Texas. A wise Cajun
cook, Cousin Pappadeaux taught H.D. the magic and mystery of Cajun cooking.
He was proud to pass on his secrets of success. They were: "Give'em freshness.
Give'em plenty to eat and make it spicy. Give'em plenty to drink
and some festive Dixieland music. Leave the rest to your guests."
Today, the second generation of the Pappas restaurant family continues
to offer the highest quality food and service in a lively atmosphere. H.D.
Pappas' sons and grandsons remember Cousin Pappadeaux's words of wisdom.
- 6 Locations -
A mainstay of the Houston
barbecue circuit since 1967, this chain (formerly known as the Brisket
House) faithfully follows the big portion/big price formula shared by other
members of the Pappas restaurant empire. It's a winning strategy with many
Houston diners, judging by the line that extends outside the door of the
downtown location during the typical lunch hour.
Menu-wise there are the usual
suspects: beef, pork, ham, sausage, ribs, turkey and chicken. Mass-produced
barbecue to be sure, but some of the damage can be limited by having the
gooey sweet sauce served off to one side. Vegetable side dishes show slightly
more promise, with spicy rice and yams taking their place alongside the
unremarkable ranch-style beans, coleslaw and potato salad.
Just about everyone, however,
will be impressed by the baked potatoes that are roughly the same size
as a small electric toaster. Fully loaded, these behemoths come with a
third of a pound of chopped beef accompanied by generous helpings of shredded
cheese, sour cream, barbecue sauce, bacon bits, chives and what appears
to be an ice cream scoop of butter. - Paul Jennings
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
5839 Westheimer Road, Houston
This flagship steakhouse
was Houston's forerunner in the glitzy '90s status steak wars. With almost-believable
1920s glossy, brass-rimmed decor, the softly lit ambience is reminiscent
of an opulent dining car on the Orient Express. (Complete with a cramped
smoky bar, private cigar lounge, and single bar seats with TV viewing).
If you manage to secure a table or private booth, rest assured--the old-fashioned
phones really do dial out and never fail to break the ice at a quiet table.
High-dollar steaks come in
all shapes and sizes (10- to 12-ounce filet mignon, 16- to 22-ounce prime
ribeye, 26-ounce porterhouse) served in melted butter--hello cholesterol.
Seafood selections are slim including Maine lobster or a broiled filet
with jumbo shrimp, lump crabmeat, capers, and tomatoes in white wine sauce.
The menu is surprisingly simple for all the hoopla. Totally a la carte,
expect fairly typical appetizers (crab cakes being the highlight) and salads
including an admirable house salad with crunchy croutons, creamy blue cheese
dressing, and crisp bacon. Infallible sides include creamed spinach and
devilishly rich au gratin potatoes. Also take note of the bar entrees which
are smaller steak portions served with mashed potatoes. House-made
desserts end things impressively. The highly garnished collection has to
be rolled out on a cart. After consuming one of these larger-than-life
creations, you may have to be rolled out on a cart. Rely on Key lime tart
with pistachio graham crust (a personal favorite), chocolate midnight cake,
or New York-style cheesecake with sour cream sauce and fresh strawberries. --Robin Barr Sussman
Pappas Seafood House
- 7 Locations -
Fried calamari, stuffed
flounder and all kinds of oysters and shrimp have made this Pappas chain
a hit with big appetites. Soft-shell crab is a must-try, when in season.
The huge Greek salad for two will feed a family. Finish with the cheesecake.- MSN/citysearch.com
- 11 Locations -
The more Pappasito's Cantinas
there are, the more people seem to love them. All are huge airplane-hangar-size
restaurants decorated like bordertown cantinas. Brace yourself for the
noise (watch your waitress strain to read your lips), circuslike atmosphere
and, during peak times, a long wait for a table. All of which has not discouraged
the lemmings (us among them) who have made this chain the most popular
in Houston. And who can fault the sizzling platters the size of manhole
covers? Fair tabs also make it a good value, and the service is seemingly
indefatigable. If strolling mariachis who sing "La Bamba" every five minutes
get tiresome, escape to the pleasant patio.- MSN/citysearch.com
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J
| K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ |
|9535-A Katy Freeway
|10455 Briar Forest
|3899 SW Freeway, Houston
|11460 Fuqua #100
|930 Main St. (@ McKinney), Houston
Prince's Hamburgers was founded
by Doug Prince in March 1934. The restaurants were quite successful during
the 1950's and 1960's as Houston's prime cruising destinations. Saturday
nights would be spent driving between the South Main and Bellaire locations.
Car hops dressed in majorette-type uniforms would bring out food to the
cars. Contrary to some Houstonians recollections, Prine's waitresses
were never on roller skates. Although no longer a "car hop",
the atmosphere inside the restaurant is much the same. Every inch of the
restaurant is covered in 1950's and 60's memorabilia, making is feel like
a trip down memory lane.
2011 Ella Blvd., Houston
The Rainbow Lodge is as
much about rich sights, sounds, flavors and history as it is about the
sport of hunting and fishing. The antiques, mounted trophies and collectibles
complete the historic surroundings and are part of an extensive private
collection. An emphasis on the quality of food, a great chef and an owner
whose eyes are focused on the 90's have made Rainbow Lodge restaurant what
it is today - an updated award-winning historic restaurant with a wide
variety of choices on its expansive menu.
Featuring contemporary Gulf
Coast regional cuisine, the Rainbow Lodge has received national acclaim
for both its menu and wine cellar, and has been voted Most Romantic Restaurant
four years in a row from the Zagat Houston Restaurant Guide. In addition
to our fine dining, Rainbow Lodge's lushly landscaped grounds, waterfall
and gazebo have become a favorite backdrop for garden weddings, receptions
and romantic engagements.
Another Phillip Romano creation
featuring large open kitchens with trained chefs, strolling opera
singers, large portions of authentic Italian specialties, fresh gladiolas,
jug wine, string lighting and crayons on the tables. The menu offers signature
items like Scallopine di Pollo, Penne Rustica, or Pasta Milano, along
with fresh foccaccia bread and "Italian butter," delicious Caesar salad,
and a choice of desserts. The chain is owned by Brinker
|1122 Lake Wdlnds Dr., The
|5802 Westheimer Rd., Houston
|7607 FM 1960 West., Houston
The Ruggles Grill
Even with reservations,
there's always a wait. It's worth it, though the hipness index has declined.
Excellent food in huge quantities is the draw.
Seoul Garden Restaurant
9446 Long Point, Houston
3818 FM 359, Richmond
About a mile west of Pecan
Grove Plantation, the Swinging door offers authentic Texas Bar-B-Q in a
There are plenty of country
and western and Cajun dance halls in the small towns that surround Houston.
The Swinging Door goes most of them one better by also offering excellent
barbecue and side dishes. (It also enjoyed a burst of movie stardom when
parts of the film "Rush," with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric, were
shot there rocker Gregg Allman played a bad-guy bar owner.) Servings
are huge, so don't eat too much if you plan to two-step. Call ahead to
confirm the music schedule, but generally you can count on dancing Friday
and Saturday evenings, from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am. - MSN/citysearch.com
of Texas Restaurant
10505 Katy Freeway, Houston
Taste of Texas serves only
Certified Angus Beef, the finest steaks and prime rib money can buy. You
and your guests can choose your own steak from the butchershop, where butchers
will gladly help you pick out the steak that is right for you! A special
featured item is Ribeye steak by the ounce, come to the butchershop and
have your own juicy ribeye steak cut as thick as you like it! Jose
Vitela, Jr. of Spring, Texas is the current ribeye record holder. He ate
114 ounces (that's 7 pounds!) of rib eye in one seating in January 1998.
The wine list has over 280
selections including champagnes, cabernets, merlots, chardonnay, and white
zinfandels. The list includes a big bottle section with bottles that
are 1.5 liters and up and a a small bottle list, which is wonderful it
you and your guest can not decide on the same wine. Also available is a
private collection list.
3755 Richmond Avenue., Houston 77046
A homage to excess, a private
clubhouse for the rich and famous and a damn fine place to indulge in very
expensive French-Italian cuisine. Houston's most prominent restaurant
in recent memory, Tony's remains near the top statewide with new Chef Bruce
"Top-notch posh but more
flamboyant than proper, Tony's is internationally recognized by visiting
celebrities, dignitaries and royalty. Proprietor Tony Vallone remodeled
his landmark restaurant in 1997 and is enjoying a healthy comeback in his
art-filled, rouge-hued glamorous retreat. It's a world where the tabletops
glisten with Christophe flatware, Riedel crystal and Versace china.
Renowned executive chef Bruce McMillian procures the finest available ingredients,
whether it's exotic wild game, porcini or white truffles fresh from Italy.
Want to taste a rare vintage
wine that's not available by the glass? No problem. The sommelier boasts,
"This is Tony's," your wish is their command. The French-Italian continental
menu presents a wide range of delicacies but also mainstream choices.
Not surprisingly, this elite menu changes often according to the seasons.
Majestically presented desserts are many. Die-hard souffle fans order this
classic at the beginning of the meal in myriad flavors of apricot, chocolate
or bananas foster, to name a few. Tony's is pushed aside by some
as an overrated and overpriced "playground for the ultrarich." Sounds like
sour grapes. What's wrong with being recognized by the rest of the world?"--Robin
5350 Westheimer, Houston
Trulucks has what most
other restaurants want, a popular, attractive crowd, seven days and nights
per week. The specialty of the house, monster crab legs flown in fresh
daily, bring the crowds back asking for their same favorites again and
again. The selection of seafood and steaks makes it nearly impossible to
leave Trulucks hungry, especially after the creative and impressive dessert
tray is brought to your table. Look up Trulucks
in Concierge magazine for pictures of the largest and freshest crab
legs you have ever seen!
2401 Fondren Rd., Houston
Since 1965 Vargo's has been
a Houston Tradition for Weddings, Proms, Anniversaries and Elegant dining.
Several Presidents have been guests at the restaurant, as well as their
wives - The Lyndon Johnson's, Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Mr. & Mrs.
George Bush and others.
Enjoy dinner with a beautiful
view of Lake Vargo filled with white and black swans, wild ducks
and turtles. Later take a stroll in their breathtaking gardens, accessible
through four bridges that lead to two waterfalls fed by natural springs.
There you can also see rabbits and about 50 adult & baby peacocks strut
their beautiful feathers.
Houston Dining & Restaurant Sites