Food

I talk about food A LOT - mostly Houston food, but I love to document food in other cities. I am currently trying to make my way through Alison Cook's Top 100 Restaurants in Houston for 2014 (she's the food critic for the Houston Chronicle). All links are to my own posts about each place. If you have a question about a place I've been to (in bold) and google can't answer it, let me know and I can try to help.

Updated 8/2015: Visited 53/100, far fewer than the 70something I visited on 2013's list. I blame the high number of places that are nowhere near where I live or work!

1. Oxheart - Probably my favorite on this list. Reservations are hard to come by and fill up fast. For (mostly) adventurous eaters, only. Portions are small and wine pairings are always delicious. Read about other trips here and here. Oh, and here's another with lots of detail. 
2. The Pass - The chefs bring you the dishes themselves in many cases. Also a meal meant for an adventurous eater, but I had the best tofu I have ever had in my life here. Loved my first visit, didn't enjoy my second.
3. Killen's Barbecue - Love the creamed corn, hate the wait. I also really like their turkey.
4. Common Bond Bakery & Cafe - I crave their chocolate chip cookies all the time and the almond croissants are amazing. The lunch offerings are also great - my go-to is the chicken torta.
5. Caracol - Love their brunch and the baked oysters with chipotle butter.
6. Indika
7. Underbelly - One of Houston's best and its chef just won a James Beard Award. Casual atmosphere and something on the menu for everyone. The plates are small so order several. Unfortunately, the restaurant's price tag seems to have risen with its popularity.  Here's another visit with more pics.
8. MF Sushi
9. Coltivare - My opinion has done a 180 since my first visit. I adore everything about Coltivare but the wait to get in. The cauliflower is the best I've ever had anywhere and I wish I could have the spaghetti with the pepper, olive oil and parmesan a few times a week, easily.
10. Melange Creperie - This place is so cool. It's trying to go brick and mortar soon, but can currently most often be found inside the Montrose HEB. The owner/crepe maker is such a friendly,  happy guy that I don't even mind standing in the long line. Totally worth it.
11. Hugo's - I like this place for dinner but I love it for Sunday brunch! It's a buffet that features real Mexican food. I could fill up on the avocado salsa and flan alone. A bit pricey, but so worth it.
12. Pax Americana - I was terribly unimpressed with this place. It was LOUD, first of all, annoyingly so. The food wasn't all that great, especially for the price. It will be hard to convince myself to visit again.
13. Himalaya - This place is in a crummy strip center and the owner's desk is in the middle of the dining room. I had low hopes for it based on the grimy menus, but it is so good. And cheap! Worth a drive to a not so great part of town.
14. Pondicheri - This feels like trendy Indian food and there are others on the list that I would prefer. That said, I did enjoy their morning thali at brunch and the Pondocheri Bake Lab upstairs in the same development is also very good.
15. Mala Sichuan Bistro - I don't get this place. I don't care for Americanized Chinese food and apparently, I don't care for the real thing, either.
16. Triniti - Visited for lunch and I liked it. The cocktails were also good. I definitely want to return.
17. Kata Robata
18. ReefI went here a few times when I first started getting into food. Honestly, I don't remember a whole lot about it other than the fried mac and cheese looked better than it tasted. Perhaps if I were a bigger seafood fan, it would stand out to me more.
19. Roost - This is a tiny, homey place. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't memorable, either.
20. Pho Binh Trailer
21. Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca - A little more expensive than your average pizza place because the ingredients are high quality. Great patio and perfect for a long dinner.
22. Killen's Steakhouse - Great steakhouse! The au gratin potatoes were memorable and the coffee service with the siphon is a cool experience worth doing.
23. Good Dog Houston
24. Hubcap Grill - People love this place. It's good, but it isn't my favorite. If you go, get the stinky fries, though. Those are pretty yummy.
25. Da Marco
26. Etoile Cuisine et Bar
27. Tony's - I went here for a rehearsal dinner. I remember it was good, but not much else. Still counts, though!
28. Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana - I went often when I lived on the west side because that location was BYOB with no corkage fee, fast, and delicious. I love this place and its unique ingredients- it's rare to see potatoes as a pizza topping, and it's great.
29. Latin Bites
30. Giacomo's Cibo e Vino - Underwhelming first visit, but a follow-up for lunch proved successful. Lots of flavor and well-priced.
31. Great W'Kana Cafe - My favorite chicken biryani, ever.
32. Uchi Houston - I am not a sushi fan but I still enjoyed this place! Enough cooked options for people like me that are unique enough for you to have a fabulous experience.
33. Huynh Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine - Not my favorite for Vietnamese (that would be Cafe TH), but my coworkers love it.
34. Provisions - When it first opened, this was my favorite restaurant in Houston, but each visit has become subsequently worse. It features small plates and inventive cocktails, a casual atmosphere with basketball flooring on the walls, and a unisex bathroom. But the food just isn't consistently good.
35. Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
36. Local Foods - Very cute and a lighter, healthy menu. People go crazy for the kale salad. I liked it but didn't love it.
37. Corkscrew BBQ - One of my favorites in Houston. I especially like the potato salad and the cobbler.
38. Costa Brava Bistro
39. Brennan's of Houston
40. Pico's Mex Mex - Probably my least favorite place on the list, but it just moved from a shady area to a swanky part of town so they must be doing something right. I don't know that I need to try it again, but you never know.
41. Fielding's Wood Grill - I went for brunch and ordered a bunch of sides. I would go back for a real meal, or for the baked goods alone.
42. Cedar's Bakery
43. Cuchara - I didn't enjoy this place at all! Nothing I was served was that good.
44. Andes Cafe - I liked this place and want to go back. I've stopped in for the lucuma lattes but have only eaten there once.
45. Bernie's Burger Bus - Loved the bus, and I really like the restaurant. The shakes are great and the burgers are messy and huge.
46. Irma's
47. Hai Cang Seafood
48. Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen - I know I've been here, but I honestly don't remember a lot about it. I should try it again.
49. Américas - I went for lunch with coworkers and enjoyed my meal. My favorite part, though, is the plantain chips with chimichurri sauce that start the meal.
50. Shri Balaji Bhavan
51. 60 Degrees Mastercrafted
52. Ciao Bello - I loved the corn pansoti dish I had here and would recommend it to anyone, but I don't remember much else about the meal.
53. La Casa del Caballo
54. Coppa Ristorante ItalianoI remember enjoying an amazing meatball at the original location in the Heights. I have since been to the new location in West University and was less impressed, though I didn't dislike it.
55. Revival Market - Their Saturday breakfasts change each week. The kolaches are always amazing, and I love that they serve Greenway Coffee. The lamb pastrami is also an excellent lunch choice.
56. Pappas Bros Steakhouse
57. Gatlin's BBQ - Other than the long wait, I remember little about this place. Come with lots of time on your hands when you aren't too hungry because from what I've heard, the brisket is great if you get it before it's gone!
58. Confucius Seafood
59. Vic & Anthony's
60. The Original Ninfa's on Navigation - The margaritas are strong and the Tex-Mex is good, though I don't know if it's worth all the hype.
61. Kris Bistro 
62. Heights General Store - I went here for happy hour, and the specials were good but the food wasn't exactly memorable.
63. Vieng Thai - One of my favorites, but to be fair, I nearly always order the same thing: the papaya salad and Panang Curry with chicken. Occasionally I'll mix it up with Tom Ga. It's BYOB with no cork fee and is completely mismatched. I adore it.
64. Cajun Kitchen
65. RDG + Bar Annie
66. Rainbow Lodge
67. Mezzanotte
68. Piqueo
69. Kasra Persian Grill
70. Hubbell & Hudson Bistro 
71. Kiran's 
72. El Tiempo Cantina 
73. Bijan Persian Grill - I love this place! The basic meat/rice/veggies/hummus with a relaxed atmosphere.
74. Paulie's - Italian place with lots of pizza and pasta. The pasta is homemade so I would strongly suggest that.
75. Lupita's Mexican Restaurant 
76. Pho Hung 
77. Eatsie Boys Cafe - No longer open. My one and only trip there, there was a hair in my pancakes so no love was lost.
78. Rice Bowl Indonesian 
79. The Breakfast Klub
80. Karanchos 
81. Yum Yum Cha Cafe 
82. Cafe TH - It's close to my office and it is ridiculously inexpensive. Love the chargrilled pork!
83. Brooks' Place - I've only ever eaten off of Andrew's plate there, but it was pretty good.
84. Bon Ga Garden Korean Restaurant 
85. Taqueria Laredo 
86. Que Huong 
87. The Shack - Very cool, mostly open-air burger place. Huge menu of both beers and burgers. It would be a great place to meet a group of friends.
88. Banana Leaf Malaysian 
89. Goode Co. Seafood
90.La Guadalupana - Parking is terrible but the cheap menu makes up for it. Great coffee and you can order any part of the menu anytime. Enchiladas for breakfast? Sure...
91. Virgie's Bar-B-Que 
92. Pollo Bravo - One of the only good restaurants in Katy. Simple Peruvian rotisserie chicken with rice and a salad make up most of the menu, but the bravo sauce is what takes everything to the next level of wanting to come back again.
93. Classic Kitchen 
94. Bosta Wine & Coffee 
95. FuFu Cafe 
96. Seabrook Waffle Co. - The idea is cute, but I don't think it would be on my top 100 list. The waffles are good and unique but I wouldn't go back unless I was in the area.
97. Alpha Bakery & Deli 
98. Frenchy's - I went to one in my suburb, so perhaps that affected my enjoyment. I didn't think the fried chicken was any better than any other chain fried chicken place. Perhaps a visit to an original location is in order.
99. Gilhooley's - I ate baked oysters here and I think I liked them. There was also boudin and other cajun food. For some reason, minors aren't allowed, regardless of the time of day. I think it's because there is risqué decor inside, but I sat outside so I'm not sure.
100. Xin Jiang BBQ


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