Houston recs?

I’m going to be going to Houston next week to visit and learn about some very cool early childhood education initiatives.  But since I’m going to be there for several days, I could use some recommendations on places to eat. Feast sounds pretty awesome, but I’m not sure if I can do that for a solitary business trip (but I”m open to being convinced!). I’m going to be staying near Rice University and the Texas Medical Center, and would particularly appreciate recommendations that are somewhere near there and relatively inexpensive. I will have a car at my disposal, so if there are cool things off the beaten path, I may be able to check them out.


14 responses to “Houston recs?

  1. As a former Houston resident, Houston is a great spot for eating cheap ethnic food. However, the town is pretty spread out so be prepared to drive quite a bit.
    Les Givrals on Milam is famous for its banh mi, and a #1 (grilled pork & pate) is just $2.50. Stanton’s Grocery is a hole in the wall, you can’t sit down, but it has the best burgers in town. Hugo’s is great upscale Mexican, cheaper is any down-homy tacqueria, for a sit down meal on the cheap I like Teotihuacan or 100% Taquito. Soul food – I like This Is It and the Breakfast Klub. Biba’s Ones a Meal for Greek and Miguelito’s for Venezuelan. For barbecue I like Thelma’s or Gabby’s. The Hobbit Cafe for sandwiches/American food. There is also a lot of good Cajun, but I’m tapped on names right now.
    http://www.b4-u-eat.com is a site devoted to just Houston food and is a great place to start.
    Stay away from the local chains – any Landry’s or Pappas’ or Berryhill or Arandas or Alma Latina or Chuy’s or Mama Ninfa’s. They are mostly bad (or could be better) – with the possible exception of the Goode & Co restaurants.

  2. It isn’t food, but the Contemporary Art Museum near where you are staying is worth a visit.

  3. Le Givral’s has been under new ownership for several years, and I haven’t liked it as much. Across the street is Cali, and the ladies that run it make a great sandwich, and fantastic spring rolls.

    I second the Hobbit Cafe (On Richmond between Greenbriar and Kirby).

    For Greek I prefer Niko Niko’s, on Montrose.

    For Thai I recommend Khun Kay, also on Montrose.

    For Indian, go out to Hillcroft and look for the sweet shops. They all have buffets. I haven’t been there in years, but I used to love Bombay Sweets.

  4. What a Pandora’s box you have opened.
    You must try Feast. It is a culinary experience that you will not easily find anywhere else.

    HoustonPress just released their Best Of for 2010: http://www.houstonpress.com/bestof/2010/section/food-and-drinks-28916/

    Other cheap, delicious fare nearby Rice:
    Tacos: Tierra Caliente (truck) at W. Alabama at McDuffie (get the lengua, but try an assortment, they cost $1.50 each)
    Tex-Mex: La Tapatia (also serving more authentic Mex) on Richmond at Woodhead
    Cajun (lunch only): Treebeards or Zydeco, both downtown and easily found on Google
    Belgian: Jeannine’s Bistro or Broken Spoke, Westheimer at Bagby or Washington at Sabine
    Vietnamese: Thien An (cheaper than most other banh mi places with better/fresher ingredients), Travis at Anita
    French Bakery/Cafe: Croissant and Brioche on Rice Boulevard at Kelvin

    Pricier, but worth it, also nearby:
    Interior Mexican: I second the rec for Hugo’s above, on Westheimer at Mandell
    Seafood: The much acclaimed Reef on Travis at McGowen
    Indian: Indika, on Westheimer at Whitney
    “Tuscan Texan”: Stella Sola, on Studewood (same street as Montrose) at 10th
    French: Brasserie Max & Julie (Montrose at Oakley) or Cafe Rabelais (Times at Kelvin)

    I also second the recommendation for Breakfast Klub, Alabama at Travis and get the catfish with grits.

  5. I am a native Houstonian and agree with all the above recommendations. Houston has become a great food town. Our cuisine reflects the diversity of the city. If you have the chance head west to the new Chinatown/all things Asian area – Bellaire Blvd towards Beltway 8. Three or 4 large Asian-focused grocery stores (I’m partial to Golden Foods) and restaurants galore. Leave room in your travel bag to bring home the irresistible goodies you’ll find.

    Another place to consider closer to where you will be staying is Brasil – Westheimer/Dunlavy in the Montrose – inexpensive cafe/coffee/wine – make sure to check out the Domy bookstore next door.

    And if you are going to have an informal meet and greet for local followers of your online blogs please let us know!

  6. I second the Tierra Caliente truck. I ate there last night and it was excellent. It is in the parking lot of West Alabama IceHouse, which is a great place to grab a couple of beers, if you are so inclined.

  7. Are Dong Ting (the most amazing Vietnamese, south of downtown) and Tony’s (in River Oaks) still around? Those were my favorite high end places. I remember empanadas out near the Galleria, great cheap Chinese down 59… but then the year next to the Owls on my ring is pretty far is the past.

  8. Thanks for the recs, folks!

    New Chinatown was in between the school I visited this morning and the one this afternoon, so I stopped there for lunch and had a bahn mi and spring roll at Givral bahn mi and a black bean roll from Six Ping Bakery, which was awesome. Still trying to decide on dinner tomorrow and Wednesday.

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  10. Are you done with site? Too bad. But I would like to know so I can delete the bookmark!

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  13. This is making me hungry.

  14. yeah.. that post making me a lot of hungry

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