Monday, December 12, 2016

Houston Up: Where to Take your Out-of-Town Guests

With endless delicious possibilities in the rich culinary hub like Houston, it's hard to decide where to take your out-of-town guests. Here, I've broken my 2016 curated list into 5 cuisine types with 2 must-try recommendations for each.

1. BBQ
Texas BBQ is not to be missed for out-of-town guests, especially out-of-staters.
Image result for killen's bbq

Rudy's BBQ
What's the damn deal: This has to be on my list because it's my defacto BBQ joint. Craving BBQ is synonymous to craving Rudy's for me. It's an all around no frills, good spot with delicious meats, sides, vibe, and atmosphere. You line up for your BBQ and the rest is self-serve once you get your basket of food. You eat your food in baskets and butcher paper on wooden benches. Doesn't get better than this.
What to get: Baby Back Ribs, Jalapeno Sausage (Hottie), Moist Brisket (come on, if you're doing bbq, commit), Chopped Brisket Loaded Baked Potato and Creamed Corn. 
Where to get your grub on: Various Locations

Killen's BBQ
What's the damn deal: This is the cream of the crop of BBQ. There's a line to get in and  it is worth every second of wait. Killen's BBQ is so amazing, delicious, and rich in flavors. The food makes for a heavy meal and it does take planning with first a trek to Pearland and second, accounting for the line. The second part is what gets me because I go Chungry to Hangry real quick and it's not a pretty sight.
What to get: You can't go wrong with anything here - its all good. Brisket, Beef Ribs, Bone-in Pork Belly are definitely favorites. Green Beans, Creamed Corn, Mac n' Cheese, Bread Pudding, and Pecan Pie is not to be missed!
Where to get your grub on: 3613 E. Broadway. Pearland, TX 77581

2. Tex-Mex / Mexican
Mexican and Asian are my favorite cuisines so picking just 2 is hard as hell. For each pick, there is 20 more that could have easily taken it's place. But in efforts to keep a concise, curated list, I'm going to hurt my heart and pick 2 to talk about today. With so many great Tex-Mex and Mexican options in Houston, it's definitely a must-stop for your guests.
Image result for lupe tortilla

Lupe Tortilla
What's the damn deal: The best fajitas and homemade big-as-yo-head tortillas you'll ever have in life. So perfectly marinated in seasonings, lime juice, with a perfect tortilla. It's fajita perfection.
What to get:  Start with the fabulous Queso, then Beef Fajitas all the way and end that with the delicious Sopapillas!
Where to get your grub on: Various Locations

Alamo Tamale Company
What's the damn deal: You walk in and there are big ass pinatas in the air like they just don't care letting you know that you are in a for a treat. Everything  I've had here is so. damn. good. You can't really go wrong.
What to get: Mexican Enchiladas, their foodsake Tamales, Tacos, and add sweetness with a box of their hojarascas.
Where to get your grub on: 809 Berry Rd. Houston, TX 77022

3. Asian
With a bustling Chinatown and rich Asian community, the food in Houston has many great Asian options. I could pick 2 from each Asian cuisine from Korean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese to Thai but in the sake of keeping this short and sweet, I've lumped the diverse Asian cuisines under 1. An extended list dedicated to all Asian cuisines will have to be in the works!
Image result for thai gourmet

Kim Son Buffet
What's the damn deal: You can find Chinese buffets literally everywhere. In the middle of nowhere, there will still be a Chinese buffet HOWEVER Kim Son buffet boasts something completely unique - a Vietnamese buffet. You can get all-you-can-eat scooped on the spot noodle soups to savory rice cakes (banh beo).
What to get:  Whatever your heart desires. I go straight for a bowl of wonton, pho, and banh bot chien at the made-to-order station. Banh beo is a must as well!
Where to get your grub on: 10603 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072

Thai Gourmet
What's the damn deal: A cozy, well-loved Thai restaurant with some of the best Thai food you will ever have. A word of caution, beware, Thai people don't play, the food is super spicy! Where at most places I can do spicy/hot, I do a "mild-medium" here. Mild isn't spicy enough but medium is super hot. "Mild-medium" is right between these two.
What to get:  Chicken Pad Thai and Crab Fried Rice are life washed down with a glass of Thai Tea.
Where to get your grub on: 6324 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77057,

4. Steakhouses
What is a visit to Texas without a stop at one of the fabulous steakhouses for fabulous Texas steak.
Image result for taste of texas

Taste of Texas
What's the damn deal: The epitome of Texas in a restaurant where the food is amazing and the portions are ginormous and your guests will truly understand that "everything is bigger in Texas". It's also a great place to celebrate occasions and take guests too! Out of town guests will get to wear a cowboy hat and bandana. 
What to get:  A trip to the salad bar is a must, ribeye with lemon pepper AND garlic butter, finished with a slice of heaven.
Where to get your grub on: 10505 Katy Fwy Houston, TX 77024

Vic & Anthony's
What's the damn deal: An all-around fantastic steak house right in the heart of Downtown Houston in a fancy atmosphere. It is Texas fine dining done right.
What to get:  Lobster bisque, Crab Cake, Bone-in Rib Eye, or the Red Snapper. I mean, this is a steakhouse but that Red Snapper is one of the most amazing dishes I've ever had.
Where to get your grub on: 1510 Texas Ave Houston, TX 77002

5. Cajun/Creole
Louisana Style with Texas interpretation. Houston has a rich presence of Louisiana Creole cuisine and it's so much part of the Houston Cuisine that it's been coined "Tex-Cajun". Delicious, flavorful, and full of spices. It's a cuisine not to be missed in  Houston.
Image result for bbs cafe poboy

BB's Cafe
What's the damn deal: I was told by a friend from Louisiana that this was the closest in Houston he's found to his beloved hometown food. Overall, very good Cajun style food with a Texas twist.
What to get:  Crawfish, Po'Boys, Pollo Bullets, Fish Tacos, it's hard to go wrong at BB's
Where to get your grub on: Various Locations

Crawfish & Noodles
What's the damn deal: With even more of a cultural melting pot, the presence of Vietnamese immigrants in Houston lead to many Vietnamese-Louisiana fusion restaurants like this gem of a place. Delicious crawfish and Vietnamese noodles? Why the hell not!
What to get:  Crawfish, Fish Sauce Chicken Wings,
Where to get your grub on: 11360 Bellaire Blvd Ste 990

What do you think? Would you take your guests to these spots? Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments!

No comments: