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jscarbor

Texas food trail: Houston -- try something new!

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Coquitos, Comida Hondurena, 6121 Hillcroft, between High Star and Gulfton.

I had seen this a couple of weeks ago and was attracted by the sign showing they served Caracol, the Honduran conch soup (translated as snail on the menu) with coconut milk. Unfortunately they did not have it to serve when I was there. I asked the waitress, who spoke pretty good English, for a rec and she suggested the chicken soup, sopa de gallina, so I went for that. It was a very large bowl with part of a breast, a drumstick (both bone-in), large chunks of carrots, plantains, yuca and potatoes plus large pieces of cabbage leaves. The broth was very savory and the soup very filling with all those starches. You almost needed a knife and fork to deal with the large pieces but all I got was a soup spoon. This was served with plain white rice and 2 very thick, hand-made corn tortillas.

It was a very satisfying meal, $6.99 for the soup; they don't serve tea so I had horchata.

The restaurant doesn't look very promising from the outside but it's pleasant enough inside, reminiscent of Cafe Pita + but not as ornately decorated. Parking in front is very cramped.

They did not have a copy of the menu to go but I remember some things I want to try on subsequent visits - pastelitos, an appetizer consisting of snack sized fried pies similar to Argentine empanadas, mondongo - the Honduran version of menudo (there is another restaurant across the parking lot called Mondongo), and something which included rice, plantains and coconut milk and something else, mixed - revueltas. I also noticed shap-suey con pollo and shap-suey con pollo y camaron on the menu and soy sauce on some of the tables. There must have been some Chinese influence in Honduras' culinary history.

The food is not spicy; you do not get chips or salsa but there is Tabasco on the tables. I plan to try some other Honduran restaurants like Los Hamacas on Gessner @ Harwin.

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I was over on the east side Sunday and stopped off at El Volcan, a taco trailer at Telephone @ Wayside, in the parking lot of an Austobuses depot and in front of Taqueria Los Paisanos (in estilo Monterrey). Pollo asado is the thing announced as their specialty on the sides of the trailer and I ordered a half chicken. I got to watch most of the prep through the window. The chicken is held in a warming oven, taken out and heated up on flaming grill, then wrapped in foil and heated some more - it was about 10 mins prep time and it looked pretty good. There were also some foil packages on the grill that I never figured out what they were since I didn't get one. I was the only customer waiting but several people came up to pick up orders they had phoned in and the guy was on the phone pretty much of the time. In addition to the chicken I got a medium sized roasted onion, some lime wedges, a roasted pepper, apparently one of those TAMU jalapenos with almost no heat, a generic green salsa that tasted like it was probably out of a can or jar, and 3 corn tortillas for $6. I rushed home to enjoy.

I had stopped off a few months ago at one of the El Norteno trailers on Long Point that was written up in Robb Walsh's taco truck blog last year and had some awesome pollo asado ($10 for whole chicken). This was a little disappointing compared to that although it wasn't bad. It was actually better as a late night snack, chilled.

Signs on the trailer indicate they also serve salchica mixta, fajita, burritos, al carbon, hamburguesas and apparently platillos from Los Paisanos. I may try something else here some time. I also noticed another taco trailer about a half block away which had D.F. in the name -- I've seen a number of these around town but have yet to try one. I'll heartily recommend El Norteno if you're on Long Point and this is okay if you're on they southeast side and need something to eat relatively fast.

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Las Hamacas - Honduran restaurant, Gessner @ Harwin

I had a very pleasant surprise at a taqueria in Baytown recently, an excellent piece of fried chicken that accompanied an order of enchiladas rojos con pollo. I've been meaning to try the pollo frito on the menu on another visit but haven't yet, but when I saw on b4 that Las Hamacas' fried chicken is something to try, I headed over. There are 4 of these around town. As noted in the reviews on b4, the jukebox can be quite loud and seems to get louder with each selection, then resets to a lower level. Nevertheless, I recommend sitting as far away from the jukebox as possible. I did not experience any of the excessively flirtatious behavior that was complained about by some female posters on b4!!!???

I had the Baleadas Sincilla ($1.50) - a hand-made thick flour tortilla with queso, refritos rojos and crema. It was very good. You can get this with meat, egg and avocado for a buck more (Baleadas Especiales).

The pollo frito was a surprise - a smallish leg and thigh portion on a very generous pile of banana chips (both bananas and plantains appear in different dishes on the menu - these were bananas), topped with a Central American curtido, mildly pickled slaw, with both green and purple cabbage, with a Thousand Island/Russian tasting dressing, served warm. It was good, although the chicken had obviously been pre-cooked and kept warm under a heat lamp and was quite dry. It was also quite a mess to try to pick up and eat.

I'll probably try other things here but may pass on the pollo frito again. They have the Sopa de Caracol - Conch soup ($13.00) a bowl, as well as a crab soup (sopa de jaibas - $8.25) that looked good in the pictures.

There is a website - las-hamacas.com

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Dairy Treet - Yoakum, Texas

I know you’re probably thinking ‘What th..???’ But Dairy Treet in Yoakum serves one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. It’s not a special sauce it’s a special cow, specifically Akaushi beef from Heartbrand Beef in nearby Harwood.

I had read about this recently and wanted to try it so I went out of my way to stop by on a recent trip. I’ve never had a Kobe beef burger and on the way out I was wondering what condiments to get, if they offered a 6 and 8oz variety, etc. The decision was simple - the Heartbrand beef burger is on the menu in just one configuration, a 4 oz burger for $3.99 (vs. $2.50 for a regular burger). I decided to go with the flow and said yes when the lady asked if I wanted that all the way, thinking I could scrape the excess off if they over-dressed it.

Fortunately the condiments on the burger were a modest amount of lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and mustard and mayo; the focus remains on the very good beef. The bun was over-toasted, the hand-formed patty, a generous 4 ozs cooked I’d say, was over-cooked to my taste, but it was an awesome burger and very satisfying. Though it was over-cooked the burger was still juicy, a result of the marbling of this breed of cattle I suppose. Actually, 4 oz is about right for me as I’ve changed my eating habits over the last year and prefer smaller portions; I suppose they’d make a double meat burger if you asked for it, though it isn’t listed on the menu.

I'm wondering if this may have ruined me for my favs in Houston, Christian’s. Lankford and Blake’s. I certainly was impressed on the first bite and I now have a new route to Austin/San Antonio, etc.: down 59 to Edna and then 111 straight into Yoakum. Dairy Treet is located right downtown, one block from where Business 77A and 111 conjunct, in a building that also houses a Dollar General and a Beall’s. There’s window service or counter service indoors.

I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the menu and walked out so satisfied I didn’t think to ask for a to-go menu, but I remember they served Blue Bell, had okra (presumably fried) as a side in addition to fries and onion rings, and fry their dogs, which is not common around here.

According to the Heartbrand website their meats should be available in Food Town stores, Rice Epicurean and maybe some Kroger stores in the Houston area. I checked a Food Town near me and all they had were frozen burger patties, 32 oz for $3.99 (6 patties). I’m going to check a Krog Sig and Rice to see if they have the meat fresh.

http://www.heartbrandbeef.com/shop/?page=shop/index

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Dairy Treet - Yoakum, Texas

I know you’re probably thinking ‘What th..???’  But Dairy Treet in Yoakum serves one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.  It’s not a special sauce it’s a special cow, specifically Akaushi beef from Heartbrand Beef in nearby Harwood.

I had read about this recently and wanted to try it so I went out of my way to stop by on a recent trip.  I’ve never had a Kobe beef burger and on the way out I was wondering what condiments to get, if they offered a 6 and 8oz variety, etc.  The decision was simple - the Heartbrand beef burger is on the menu in just one configuration, a 4 oz burger for $3.99 (vs. $2.50 for a regular burger).  I decided to go with the flow and said yes when the lady asked if I wanted that all the way, thinking I could scrape the excess off if they over-dressed it.

Fortunately the condiments on the burger were a modest amount of lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and mustard and mayo; the focus remains on the very good beef.  The bun was over-toasted, the hand-formed patty, a generous 4 ozs cooked I’d say, was over-cooked to my taste, but it was an awesome burger and very satisfying.  Though it was over-cooked the burger was still juicy, a result of the marbling of this breed of cattle I suppose.  Actually, 4 oz is about right for me as I’ve changed my eating habits over the last year and prefer smaller portions; I suppose they’d make a double meat burger if you asked for it, though it isn’t listed on the menu.

I'm wondering if this may have ruined me for my favs in Houston, Christian’s. Lankford and Blake’s.  I certainly was impressed on the first bite and I now have a new route to Austin/San Antonio, etc.: down 59 to Edna and then 111 straight into Yoakum.  Dairy Treet is located right downtown, one block from where Business 77A and 111 conjunct, in a building that also houses a Dollar General and a Beall’s.  There’s window service or counter service indoors.

I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the menu and walked out so satisfied I didn’t think to ask for a to-go menu, but I remember they served Blue Bell, had okra (presumably fried) as a side in addition to fries and onion rings, and fry their dogs, which is not common around here. 

According to the Heartbrand website their meats should be available in Food Town stores, Rice Epicurean and maybe some Kroger stores in the Houston area. I checked a Food Town near me and all they had were frozen burger patties, 32 oz for $3.99 (6 patties).  I’m going to check a Krog Sig and Rice to see if they have the meat fresh.

http://www.heartbrandbeef.com/shop/?page=shop/index

So imagine my surprise when I open the Texas thread this morning and mentioned is the Dairy Treat from my hometown. I ate at this place countless times growing up and although I haven't been in a while, my parents say the burgers are quite good. I had a discussion a while back with John Scarborough about Heartbrand Beef and that they are putting out a great product. If you happen by Eddy Pack Co. (the distributor for Heartbrand), in Yoakum, you can pick up their meat for a substantially lower price. Call ahead and ask for Cindy Martin. Place the order and you're good to go.

Personally, I have found the skirt steak and flat-iron's to be consistently delicious. Always check the meat before you leave though--occasionally, a cluncker might find it's way into the stash. They are really good about making things right though. I've also had a chuck roast which turned out really well after smoking it on low heat for about 3 hours. Of course the ribeyes are great too. $28.50 at the distributor versus $45.00 on the internet.

On another note, and for what it is worth, a good friend of mine's family raises Akaushi cattle for Heartbrand. She told me that they actually have Texas Rangers that patrol the property and keep the security extremely tight to make sure nothing happens to the herd. These are some mucho $$$$ cattle.

I've gone through close to 10lbs of their hamburger meat and really enjoy it. Since the fat is mono-unsaturated, it is a healthier hamburger than is typical. My only complaint is that IMHO, they grind it too finely, which can result in a bit of a mealy texture. But you might not think that.

Anyway, thanks for giving the Dairy Treat some good press. When growing up in Yoakum, the hamburgers weren't such the big deal as it was the only place in a 20 mile area to get hand dipped Blue Bell ice cream.

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Thanks for all the info Morgan. I'm looking forward to getting out there again in a week or so. Eddy - is that the sausage/brisket people? I see their products all over these days and have tried a couple of items. I'm a big fan of Texas sausage makers.

I saw the very brief Wiki article on Heartbrand which mentioned the Rangers involvement. For the benefit of concerned taxpayers perhaps it should be pointed out they were/are off duty!

I want to make some chili with this stuff.

Do I need to use your name when calling this Cindy Martin?


Edited by brucesw (log)

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Do I need to use your name when calling this Cindy Martin?

Bruce, you can tell Cindy that I said to contact her. She is a good friend of the family and my folks actually go to the same church as she in Yoakum. Call the day before and she'll make sure everything is ready to go when you pick it up. All of the meat is frozen in cryovac, but you can still take a look at it to make sure it is good. I only say this because once I received a flat-iron that was too marbled to eat. One might not think that is really a problem, but the fat never rendered out during the cooking process.

I told Cindy about it next time I was in town and on my next order she threw in an extra steak to make it right. My mom picked up my initial order with the faulty flat-iron and she wasn't completely sure what to look for. If you briefly look the steaks over when you pick them up, it is really easy to see if something is too fatty. Isn't it great to have to check for meat that is actually over-marbled in these "lean" days of beef--it is a 'problem' that I don't mind having...

I hope everything works out well for you. Eddy Pack is near the Yoakum "Airport". They are indeed the manufacturer's of sausage, brisket, etc. Another fine Yoakum meat company is Yoakum Pack. They do a lot of international trade.

As far as a route to Yoakum goes:

Instead of heading down 59 from Houston, I prefer to take Spur 10 off of Hwy 59 to Hwy 90 and go to Yoakum through Eagle Lake and Halletsville. If you have time to stop for lunch at Austin's BBQ in Eagle Lake or Novosad's in Halletsville, it should be worth it. They are both mentioned in Robb Walsh's BBQ book. Go straight at the first stop light in Halletsville, merging onto 77A to Yoakum. As you head out of Halletsville, on your way to Yoakum, you will pass Janak's Sausage Co. It is also worth a stop--they have great Czech-style sausage...some of the better representation of Czech sausage in the area, unless you're going to Shiner. Shiner will just give you more options in sausage, though it is not necessarily better than Janak's. You can't miss it, it is on the right and the sign reads, "If It Ain't Janak's, It Ain't Sausage."

Good luck. I look forward to hearing about your excursions and your findings.

Edited to add:

If you're not in the mood for a hamburger and want some of the best beef enchilidas known to man (at least that I've come across), go past Dairy Treat and into the "downtown" section where the street becomes one-way. Take a left at the first stop sign and proceed until you see a restaurant called Mi Casa, on the right. Hopefully they'll be open. They kind of open and close the restaurant when they feel like it. The salsa sucks, I'll get that out of the way, but the enchiladas...oh man...yeah.


Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)

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Thanks for the tip on Janak's -- I've seen it before but never stopped. I'm very familiar with Austin's, stopped at Novosad's on the way out, and picked up sausages and wieners at Patek's and Maeker's in Shiner again this trip.

I've usually gone out to Rosenberg to get on 90A - or, because of the back-up on 59, got on 90A even before Sugar Land. Now that the 59 widening has opened up so far, the back-up may not be such a problem so I thought I'd try the other route for a little diversity. I'm starting from the SW side so it's probably about the same mileage either route and I've been meaning to stop at Nowak's in El Campo for years but never gotten around to it. I also usually stop at Besetney's in Hallettsville for kolaches and home-made bread, but didn't this time.

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Sabor Venezolano - food truck, Westheimer @ Fondren - mentioned in the past by Robb Walsh and I think jscarbor on this thread? I had the patacone(s), a Venezuelan sandwich that uses slabs of plantain, grilled or pan fried, as the bread, with some shredded beef, lettuce, tomato and (?) mayo (?). $5. Included some avocado and a small strip of ham. Smaller, more expensive, and not as good as the patacones at the late Pana's Cafe on Scarsdale which had more meat, thinner plantains, and a home-made green garlic dressing instead of mayo and some mild white cheese.

# 1 Xetalan (or Xatalan?) - Long Point @ Wirt - panaderia, Guatemalan. Doing a good business despite the difficulty of reaching their parking lot due to construction in the intersection. Bakery items are displayed in charming old wooden cases. I got a puff pastry thing that I think had the word Mia in the name, but I forgot to write it down. Kind of heavy for a puff pastry. Also a chuchita, $1.25, a 'snack-sized' Guatemalan tamale with chicken - actually was bigger than a standard Tex-Mex tamale, wrapped in corn shucks, with a big chunck of chicken breast inside; masa dough was very firm but not too dry. Interesting. Better was the full sized tamale de puerco, ($2.50) about the size of 4 or 5 Tex-Mex tamales with a creamy textured masa and a generous portion of pork.

I also got atole de elote - warm corn drink - a warn corn milk shake, if you will. They oughta have these on the menu at burger joints -- you could get some fiber and roughage at the same time you get your sweets! Very rich and excellent. $1.25 for a small.

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Brother's-in-Law BBQ, 503 Freeport, north of I-10E. I hit this on one of my trips to the Baytown area after reading on b4 that it has killer chili. Place was absolutely packed at 1pm; fortunately had a take-out window.

Chili was mild, hamburger grind, probably made with Gebhardt's. I'd guess home-made rather than out of a can but nothing to write home about. Some bits of tomato and onion, worked well on some hot dogs at home! After sampling the chili I was going to go ahead and get a beef sandwich to sample their oak-smoked bbq while I was there but the line at the window was too long and I wanted to get back on the road. I'll have another chance to try it in the future.

Decent chili is even harder to find that great Q. I like the venison chili at Armadillo Palace, frozen beef chili from Guy's Meat Market on OST, and the chili at Spec's downtown isn't bad. Anybody know of any other that isn't out of a can?

BTW - every other restaurant on Freeport from I-10 up to Brothers (about a mile) was either a taqueria or a taco trailer. I don't know if I've ever seen a bigger concentration of taco trailers in a stretch like that but about half of them weren't open.

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Anybody know of any other that isn't out of a can?

I've been enjoying the chilli that Whole Foods sells fresh. It beats the canned stuff that i've had. They sell it in bulk near the fresh soups.

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Update on the Akaushi beef quest: found only their fully cooked beef sausage at the Kroger Signature store on Westpark @ Buffalo Speedway, regularly $5.49/12 oz on sale 2/$5. It's really not comparable to Texas sausages like Holmes, Chappell Hill, etc., more like knockwurst. Very good. I'll use it as a plump hot dog.

Rice Epicurean on Holcombe had ground beef, sirloin tip steak and filet of sirloin, plus the sausages and summer sausage (out-of-stock) for $6.99-7.99. Not really the cuts I was looking for so I went back to K and got some more of the sausage on sale.

I went ahead and got some of the frozen hamburger patties at Foodtown. 6 patties/32oz for $3.99. Handformed patties a little over 5 oz each; makes very good hamburgers and not a bad price for that quality of beef.

Don't know when I'm going back toward San Antone, could be any day.

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They have got great sausage. Bought some from a BBQ vendor and that's where he was getting his sausage. It was better than anything I've been able to get locally.

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I was in Hillje about a year and a half ago and they told me they were going to be in some Houston stores soon. I believe you may find them in some Super WMs.

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I was headed over to El Temucano for congrio the other day and spotted a new restaurant, Carioca Brazilian and Latin American grill. I went back today to try it out. The port-a-sign says there's a home-style Brazilian buffet for $7.99 and I thought I'd try it to sample several different dishes but it turns out buffet is all there is. There's no printed menu and the dishes on the buffet change every day according to the very friendly and helpful young lady who spoke only halting English but tried to explain all the dishes. She also ran down a quite extensive list of her repertoire of dishes. This is your Houston-typical strip center restaurant in a very new strip center just north of Bissonnett on Synott.

The buffet today included rice, black beans, a fish stew with coconut milk and probably tilapia, perhaps a version of moqueca (?), a little sweet and a little citrusy, I thought; fried fish that was probably either cod or pollock (some pieces had lots of bones), potato stix, mashed potato salad with peas and possibly some bell pepper strips and parsley, roasted brisket, the lean part but with lots of fat attached, and farofa, the toasted yuca flour that is used as a condiment, I understand. There was also a tossed salad that looked very good and a 'vinagreche' (?) which she was at pains to insist was not pico de gallo, though it looked much like it. I guess that was supposed to be used as a condiment, too, but it was quite substantial and I used it as a salad.

They don't serve tea; I had a Guarana, a Brazilian soda.

I passed over the beans, rice, farofa and the salad on this visit.

My taster's a little off because of allergies but I though everything was good and I plan to return. I wish I had thought to ask for the Brazilian names of the dishes but I'm a little out of it today.

They're open from 12 noon 6 days a week, closed Tuesday. Not a destination restaurant unless you're like me and just like to try new places. I'm on a kick about Central and South American fare these days and I was glad I happened across this one which isn't listed on b4 yet.


Edited by brucesw (log)

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BB's on Montrose for some really good po boys! Roast beef my fav followed by the shrimp then the oyster. Let me just say that the oyster, even though it was my least favorite po boy HERE ,it is still on of the best sandwiches in the city.

This is my current go to lunch spot. I love it.


Edited by jscarbor (log)

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I've been once and thought it was very good, better RB poboy than Rajin Cajun.

I've been to Boiling Pot Cajun Cuisine, Bissonnet about 1/2 mile inside the Beltway, hoping to find something that good out here on the SW side. !st visit: excellent oyster poboy, 6 juicy oysters on a 5" roll with a unique, house-made hot sauce on the side that was more like the bright orange salsa at Jarro Cafe than a typical bottled Louisiana hot sauce. The bread wasn't toasted, though the menu said it should be.

2nd visit, only 4 oysters, bread still not toasted, no hot sauce.

The gumbo was a pale beige color, tasty but skimpy on the fillings.

It's a family run place; different family members contribute recipes so they tell me.

I don't know if I'll give them another try; they're going to have trouble making it. They're behind a former Popeye's (now a Brenda's Taqueria) and you'd never see them form the street if you weren't craning your neck. I've only seen one other customer there in my 2 visits.

Saw another new one Sunday that I may check out, Eliya's Sabri Nihari, up Hillcroft from the original Sabri Nihari, near Lee High School. I wonder what the deal is with that?

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Recently went to Irmas for lunch with Morgan W after a long time of not going. The food was better than I remember but the prices are still crazy. We started with some better than avg chili con queso. I ordered the cheese enchiladas with carnita meat and an excellent red chili sauce. Seriously some of the best enchiladas I have had.

So recap my part split order of Queso, enchiladas and an overly sweet but still good watermelon lemonade....$20($40 between the 2 of us). Was it worh it? Not on a regular basis but enchiladas that good are worth a splurge every now and then.

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I've been once and thought it was very good, better RB poboy than Rajin Cajun.

I've been to Boiling Pot Cajun Cuisine, Bissonnet about 1/2 mile inside the Beltway, hoping to find something that good out here on the SW side.  !st visit:  excellent oyster poboy, 6 juicy oysters on a 5" roll with a unique, house-made hot sauce on the side that was more like the bright orange salsa at Jarro Cafe than a typical bottled Louisiana hot sauce.  The bread wasn't toasted, though the menu said it should be.

2nd visit, only 4 oysters, bread still not toasted, no hot sauce. 

The gumbo was a pale beige color, tasty but skimpy on the fillings.

It's a family run place; different family members contribute recipes so they tell me. 

I don't know if I'll give them another try; they're going to have trouble making it.  They're behind a former Popeye's (now a Brenda's Taqueria) and you'd never see them form the street if you weren't craning your neck.  I've only seen one other customer there in my 2 visits.

Saw another new one Sunday that I may check out, Eliya's Sabri Nihari, up Hillcroft from the original Sabri Nihari, near Lee High School.  I wonder what the deal is with that?

I have been meaning to hit some different Indi/Paki places but its so hard to pass on Himalaya. One of the biggest things is that alot of the Indi/Paki places have lunch buffett which offer great value but typically at the expense of the food. Anyway, please give it a try and let us know. I have been to Sabri Nihari for buffet and it was good.

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I have been meaning to hit some different Indi/Paki places but its so hard to pass on Himalaya. One of the biggest things is that alot of the Indi/Paki places have lunch buffett which offer great value but typically at the expense of the food. Anyway, please give it a try and let us know. I have been to Sabri Nihari for buffet and it was good.

Agreed. I've been to Sabri Nihari just once - thought the beef nihari was great. I've been meaning to try Aga's on Wilcrest, just off 59 - one very good review on b4 and it's near me.

Tortas Las Llardas, Hillcroft, just off 59. Cramped space; this is a chain with several locations. I had a chilanga w/ham, beef skirt, chorizo, melted cheese, avocado, tomato, hot sauce on a sesame seed telera - good, but a little skimpy on fillings. Many other choices.

Mexico's Deli - on the recommendation of Kerr. Dairy Ashford, just north of Westheimer. Can't remember the name of the torta but it had sirloin (very thinly sliced), ham (ditto), queso, avocado, guajillo sauce on telera bread (sesame seed). A better sandwich; great salsas on the side, a cup of Mexican beef broth with fideo. Great place, wish it was closer to where I live.

Also have hit The Russian General Store, Golden Grains, and Saba's recently, plus El Quetzal bakery on Gessner and Carrbbean Cuisine on Bissonnet - great jerk chicken. Will report on them when I get some more time.

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I have been meaning to hit some different Indi/Paki places but its so hard to pass on Himalaya. One of the biggest things is that alot of the Indi/Paki places have lunch buffett which offer great value but typically at the expense of the food. Anyway, please give it a try and let us know. I have been to Sabri Nihari for buffet and it was good.

Agreed. I've been to Sabri Nihari just once - thought the beef nihari was great. I've been meaning to try Aga's on Wilcrest, just off 59 - one very good review on b4 and it's near me.

Tortas Las Llardas, Hillcroft, just off 59. Cramped space; this is a chain with several locations. I had a chilanga w/ham, beef skirt, chorizo, melted cheese, avocado, tomato, hot sauce on a sesame seed telera - good, but a little skimpy on fillings. Many other choices.

Mexico's Deli - on the recommendation of Kerr. Dairy Ashford, just north of Westheimer. Can't remember the name of the torta but it had sirloin (very thinly sliced), ham (ditto), queso, avocado, guajillo sauce on telera bread (sesame seed). A better sandwich; great salsas on the side, a cup of Mexican beef broth with fideo. Great place, wish it was closer to where I live.

Also have hit The Russian General Store, Golden Grains, and Saba's recently, plus El Quetzal bakery on Gessner and Carrbbean Cuisine on Bissonnet - great jerk chicken. Will report on them when I get some more time.

Aga's is good so is Heritage on 90 just off 1092.

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bruce & scar - you guys get me to posting some new stuff, though I don't get out near as much as you both do!

Here's some places I've been hitting up lately:

Burt's on Lyons - I can never stop going! Great soul & cajun to go; might be my favorite joint in this city

Mardi Gras on Shepherd - tasty boiled shrimp, raw oysters, crawfish

Taco Taco in the downtown tunnels - only "authentic" Mexican I've found downtown, tasty & unique choices for lunch tacos. not as good as Mexico Deli though

Tampico on Airline - continues to be pretty darn good

Vietnam on 19th - addictive Bo Luc Lac

the crepe place in midtown (forget the name or the street) is pretty interesting in a Euro sorta way. One can look very cool sitting by their outside tables.

JJ's on Pin Oak in Katy - home-made Mex ice cream & fresh fruit

Zydeco's on Jefferson - gut bomb when you need it.

Bombay Sweets on Hillcroft - vegetarian buffet, spicy food, tasty shakes, incomprehensible dessert counter

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