Robb Walsh's 100 Favorite Houston Dishes: #63 Stuffed Artichoke at Mint Café on Sage

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Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.

#63 Stuffed Artichoke at Mint Café on Sage

After eating the artichoke appetizer called ardishawki at Mint Café on Sage, I immediately bought some artichokes and started experimenting with the Middle Eastern dish myself. It's a cooked, trimmed artichoke dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic and chopped cilantro--sort of an instant artichoke salad.

I never really thought of artichokes as part of Arab cooking before. Most of the artichoke recipes I know are from France, Italy or New Orleans (think artichoke and oyster soup). All of which makes sense since artichokes were introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s by Mediterranean immigrants to Louisiana.

But the wild thistle that became the cultivated artichoke originated in North Africa and the earliest recipes for it are Middle Eastern. The English name comes from the Arabic al-kharshof, via the Italian articiocco. These are easy to make at home and totally worth the minimal effort required.

The list to date:

#100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill
#99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery
#98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market
#97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10
#96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken
#95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria
#94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz
#93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers
#92: Lasagna at Doyle's
#91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala
#90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro
#89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill
#88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha
#87: Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli
#86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms
#85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan
#84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina
#83: El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos
#82: Kielbasa on a Sizzling Comal at Polonia
#81: Shrimp and Grits at Bistro Alex, Hotel Sorella
#80: A Bowl of Chili at James Coney Island
#79: Lamb Dumplings at Lucky Pot
#78: Crazy Irishman Sushi Roll at Soma
#77:Tesar's "Magic" Burger
#76: Mac n' Cheese at Two Saints
#75: Spicy Armenian Kebabs at Café Rita
#74: Jalapeño Gefilte Fish at Rustika
#73: Greek Burger at the Hubcap Grill
#72: The Basil Inferno at Thai Bistro
#71: Paella at Rioja on Kirkwood
#70: The Big Adrian Burger at Adrian's Local Café
#69: Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Bar at La Paletera
#68: Indonesian Deviled Eggs at Rice Bowl II
#67: Al Pastor Quesadillas at Tierra Caliente Meat Market
#66: Boudin Kolaches at Shipley's on North Main
#65: Banh Cuon at Tay Ho 18 in Hong Kong City Mall
#64: Cumin Lamb at Chinese Halal Cuisine on Bellaire


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