[HOU] Houston Lunch Options 2011
Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:33 PM
Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:24 AM
Also some fun ethnic food places near Montrose and Westheimer, including Niko Nikos (Greek) which some people think is lackluster but I like a lot, good food for not a lot of money served from a counter. Also in the same neighborhood is a divey kind of cafe calles "Ones A Meal" or something along those lines, open 24 hours and great gyros.
And of course you're hip deep in Tex-Mex. And seafood.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:36 AM
There's also a number of decent lunches at nicer restaurants if that's what you want (just had lunch at Haven a couple of weeks ago and it was quite good; Reef and Catalan do good lunches as well). If you have a weekend lunch I highly recommend the Sunday Brunch at Hugo's.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:44 AM
Niko Niko was also on DD&D and didn't need the publicity beforehand. I haven't been in years. One's A Meal around the corner is better for Greek but I hear the best gyros are at Al's Quick Stop on Waugh just a few blocks away but I haven't tried them. Little Bigs for the fries and sriracha remoulade but that's not my idea of sliders (I'm a traditionalist).
Ruggles Bakery for desserts but my favorite in the Village is Pasha for Turkish (doner, etc.). Istanbul Grill, around the corner is more popular and not bad by any means.
Hunyh, east of downtown, is getting a lot of talk for Vietnamese but I haven't made it yet. Of course we do have a huge Vietnamese population and lots of options.
Little India - SW Fwy (59S) @ Hillcroft - Northern Indian/Pakistani - Himalaya - just go for the lunch special if you can't decide what to order. Southern Indian Vegetarian (my current fascination) - Shri Balaji Bhavan (Udipi - Masala Dosa, Khachori, Thali), Shiv Sagar (doesn't peg itself but I've identified Gujurati and Marathi dishes; Dabelli is excellent). If you need any Indian spices or flours, etc., check out Chandrika Masala next door to SS.
Something you might want to consider - oysters. The recent Foodways Texas Symposium in Galveston has been much in the foodie news. Read Robb Walsh's report and followup here with mentions of some places already offering a sample to the general public. I've been seeking out oysters from Jeri's for years but I thought they were supposed to be 'Smith's Point' so I don't know if this is something different. I'm waiting until some places start offering comparison sampling options.
Spec's liquor warehouse downtown on Smith has good sandwiches and a great specialty food store, plus a huge offering of beers and wines and liquors. Another foodie shopping mecca is Phoenicia specialty foods way out on Westheimer - Middle eastern, mainly. Many foodies rave about the in-store deli (and new place around the corner in the same Center) but I haven't been wowed and just go for the shopping. It's been called a Sam's Club of spices.
Oh yes, back to tacos, you could check out the Original Ninfa's on Navigation (don't go to one of the chain operations, separately owned) - this where the fajita craze launched in 1973 - Tacos al Carbon or maybe Tacos a la Ninfa is the way they'll be on the menu. Tex-Mex - El Tiempo on Washington, run by the descendants of Ninfa with supposedly her recipes.
Edit to add: I like Calliope on Jefferson a little better than BB's for NOLA style po'boys, especially the roast beef. Former is run by Katrina evacuees, latter is really Tex-Cajun and has some unique dishes if you're not looking for traditional Cajun/NOLA stuff.
You'll find lots online about all of these places except perhaps Shiv Sagar which doesn't get as much foodie love as Shri Balaji Bhavan.
Edited by brucesw, 11 March 2011 - 09:48 AM.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:06 AM
Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:39 AM
The Burger Guys make unique burgers and shakes (with homemade ice cream...like Bacon Vinnaigrette and salted caramel). They also have huge and delicious hot dogs, like the idaho one wrapped in potato ribbons and deep fried. The Fries are the best in town IMO, finished in duck fat. Give it a shot if you have the time.
I'm looking for ideas for lunch in Houston, especially favorite local haunts and anything that's unique to the HOU area, though a fantastic burger or tacos would not be objectionable either.
Feast, is a favorite and a carnivore's dream with offal thrown in for good measure. It's rustic British/Spanish food done well with great ingredients. The place got written up in the NYT by Bruni at one point I think. I was just there last night and enjoyed the Bath Chaps very much (you got to go to find what those are).
For Vietnamese, the midtown area has several joints, one of my favorites is Van Loc. It has what is possibly the best tofu dish ever, the Tofu Luc Lac. Their soups are great as well.
There are a ton of options in Houston and if you are here for a few days, I'd be happy to meet up one day.
hope these options help.
Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:25 PM
Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:59 PM
Places in Little India tend to start serving latish -- 11:30am or 12. I'm pretty sure Himalaya isn't open til 11 or 11:30; Shiv Sagar is open a couple of hours earlier - I was there last Sunday about 10am.
Spec's will be closed on Sunday by law.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:34 PM
Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:57 AM
Had lunch at Himalaya yesterday and it was excellent. It was a little intimidating because they just came up to the table and asked what sort of thing I wanted to eat, there wasn't a printed menu that I could ascertain. But the food was very good: the portion sizes were massive however. I felt bad because when the waiter came back with boxes for the leftovers I told him we didn't want them (I don't think you can bring curry through airport security): he had a shocked and then dejected look on his face, I had to reassure him several times that we liked the food quite well, we simply couldn't take it with us!
A little late now, but my friend has taken octopus from One's a Meal through security, and I took a huge box full of cake and other goodies from my wedding through security several times (flight issues). You just put it on the scanner, no problem. Just for future reference.