Friday, December 13, 2013

15 Iconic Houston Meals


15 Iconic Houston Meals

When it comes to great food, these plates can't be beat 
We've spotlighted 15 local eateries that offer an iconic taste of Houston, each representing unique flavors found in our big urban stew.
Pho Binh
Pho Binh
The Breakfast Klub
The Breakfast Klub
Wings and Waffles
Nothing screams Southern quite like chicken and waffles. The signature six pieces surrounding a fluffy Belgian waffle draws a crowd, so be prepared to wait in line before you can get your hands on this soulful staple.
Tony's Houston
Young Executive Chef Grant Gordon is keeping Tony Vallone's namesake restaurant on top with classics such as handmade pansoti--a decedent squash-filled pasta topped with an airy parmesan puff.
Goode Company Seafood
Goode Company Seafood
Campechana Extra
Start your meal off right with this Cajun riff on ceviche. Served in a cocktail glass with a mix of shrimp, crab, avocado, salsa and jalapeños (we ask for extra) paired with a ton of fresh tortilla chips.
In the beginning (of the Cordua restaurant empire, that is), there was grilled meat. Stop by the family's namesake Churrascos restaurant and try the parrillada—a mixed-grill plate highlighting the restaurant's most-loved meats.
Breakfast tacos Kolaches
Tacos a Go Go AND Shipley's 
Breakfast Tacos AND Kolaches
Can't make up your mind? Neither could we. Choosing between the chorizo, egg and cheese breakfast taco at Tacos a Go Go or Shipley's sausage and cheese kolache seemed nearly impossible, which is why we're leaving the difficult decision up to you.
Frenchys chicken
Frenchy's Chicken
Fried Chicken
Long lines and the calorie count do nothing to dissuade fans of this hometown favorite. The local gem sends out peppery, hot pans of crispy fried chicken that draws loyal crowds. Plan to take out.
Fung's Kitchen
Weekend crowds don't lie: This Hong Kong-style dimsum menu has everything from steamed shrimp dumplings for the uninitiated to more esoteric selections for seasoned dim sum enthusiasts.
Gatlin's Ribs
This Heights hideaway is ranking supreme amongst contenders in the Texas BBQ arena. Grab a seat on the patio, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy as you treat yourself to a down home favorite.
Lankford Grocery
Lankford Grocery 
A thick, juicy, delightfully non-round (read: hand-rolled and smashed) patty and plentiful toppings are served up at this red-and-white shack with saggy floors. Go early to avoid the lines and bring cash.
Les Givral's
Les Givral's
Vietnamese Sandwich
Those in the know stop at Les Givral's for fabulous banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches) at freakishly low prices. Vegetarians love the tofu (add a dash of sriracha), but the barbecue pork is also a standout.
Ninfas Fajitas 2
Sure, there are plenty of great places to get fajitas in town, but only Ninfa's can take credit for inventing the original Tex-Mex favorite back in 1973. Go for the steak variety, paired with a frozen Ninfarita.
Crawfish and Noodles iconic meals
Every January, Houstonians start pinching tails and sucking heads. Grab a cold beer and order a couple pounds for a Vietnamese spin on a Cajun classic. We like our bugs "regular spicy" for all the garlic and buttery goodness with a kick of heat.
Goat dumplings
Braised Goat Dumplings
Any dish at Underbelly is sure to delight. But it's the delicious, Korean-braised goat meat (yes, goat meat), gnocci-style dumplings and spicy chili sauce that brings people back.
The pho-nomenal Vietnamese-style soup has worked its way into our hearts (and stomachs). Get there before lunch or you're likely to leave empty handed. Our favorite: pho with rare steak.
Papps Ribeye
Bone-in or bone-out, you can't go wrong. The perfectly seasoned, in-house dry aged ribeye is available in portions fit for a cowboy. Call ahead for reservations.
Now that you've sampled some of the best dishes Houston has to offer, you might be in the mood for a cocktail. You're in luck. Here are three uniquely Houston libations.
Hugo's Margarita
Almost every restaurant claims to have the best margarita in town, but Hugo's actually does. The self-named Hugorita is our number one. Looking for a twist on this Mexican classic? Try the El Sueño Profundo with smoked mezcal.
Pliny's Tonic
Anvil Bar and Refuge 
Pliny's Tonic
Houstonian's are no stranger to heat, so it's not surprising that Pliny's Tonic made our list. Try out this refreshing handcrafted cocktail made up of dry gin, lime, cucumber, mint and habanero tincture for an unexpected zing.
Warren's Inn
Any *Strong* Drink on the Rocks
Don't order a beer here. Known for serving ‘em up stiff, you'll be sure to get your money's worth (and then some) no matter which drink you pick. Our suggestion--a classic dirty martini.

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