Top 5 Houston Restaurants Featured on the Food Network

Categories: Top Five

thelmas.jpg
Photo by Robb Walsh
Thelma's previous incarnation.
Houston may feel a little like Rodney Dangerfield when it comes to being recognized as a top culinary city -- we get no respect. But the Food Network has always shown Houston a little love. As early as 2003, shows on the Food Network were featuring Houston institutions, and as of late we've been getting a little more air time. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Houston restaurants featured on the Food Network.

5. Bryan Caswell - Okay, I'm cheating here, but it's hard to argue with the fact that he did Houston proud with his run on The Next Iron Chef. Let's hope after his stint as host of Best in Smoke he scores a gig that shows off more of his growing restaurant empire and, of course, his cooking.

4. Lankford Grocery - Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with our favorite TV host Guy Fieri. Whether you think they have the city's best burger or not, there is no denying Lankford has history and its own charms. Personally, as a self-proclaimed chile head, I love the Firehouse Burger. Plenty of Houstonians agree with me, as the lunch hour still brings out a crowd, and they all know what they are there for: "nothing small, nothing healthy, and nothing fast."

3. RDG + Bar Annie - Featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Robert Del Grande is a nationally celebrated chef and has his own empire of restaurants. When his landmark Cafe Annie closed, we waited anxiously to see what his next venture would be. His new space is beautiful, and the food equally so. In this episode, Chef Michael Chiarello claimed an off-the-menu dish, the Grilled Filet of Beef with Crusted Coffee Adobado, was the best thing he ever ate that was grilled. If I had no clue who Robert Del Grande was and had never wanted to travel to Houston, just from the images of the filet, I'd hop a plane.

2. Brennan's of Houston - Featured on Unwrapped with Marc Summers, who I will always remember from his days on Double Dare. When the devastating fire took down the 40-year-old restaurant, it was never a question they would rebuild. After 16 months, Brennan's was reborn. It may have been shinier and newer, but the old traditions of Creole cooking remained. It's a place to gather family and friends, and the episode featured the epitome of this by covering Brennan's festive Easter Brunch.

1. Thelma's BBQ - Featured on FoodNation with Bobby Flay. Thelma's may have paved the way for Houston restaurants being on TV. Back in 2003, Bobby visited the no-nonsense Thelma and got a taste of true Texas barbecue. Thelma's suffered its own tragedy when it burned in 2009, but that would not keep her down for long. Some may say her barbecue is just not the same in the new location, but as long and she keeps grilling those ribs, brisket and chicken and frying that catfish, people will come, even though the old converted house is surely missed.

What restaurants in Houston that have been featured on the Food Network, or just national TV, do you think deserved the recognition?



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21 comments
Eric S
Eric S

Being on the Food Network was the worst thing that ever happened to Lankford. It made an already popular restaurant become swarmed to the point that there's a constant wait for tables. Also, they redecorated and changed the menu to include some of the specials that were featured on the show. It just lost a lot of its charm. 

Ribalding
Ribalding

I've only been back 3 or 4 times since their DDD appearance, and it's a real loss.  My dad and I went once every two weeks (Wednesdays - Enchilada day) for 25 years.

Can't get in the door now.  What a shame.  Buncha yuppie assholes in there, bitching about the uneven floors.

Val
Val

HubCap Grill!

Ali
Ali

Zelko, for the simple fact that I'd love to bathe in Jamie Zelko's grits. Is that TMI? I don't care. And I could eat her chopped bleu salad and lemon ice box pie every. damn. day.

SirRon
SirRon

OMG. Seriously. I just typed OMG.

nanny heeps
nanny heeps

let's hope Caswell's Food Network stint is over after Best In Smoke. His head is getting too large to fit on screen

Dennis H.
Dennis H.

Kenny & Ziggy's on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives.  K&Z is now a Houston institution.

Sally
Sally

And Cafe Pita Plus was on DDD also. 

Jesse Rodriguez
Jesse Rodriguez

Burn's Bar-B-Q was featured on A Cook's Tour back in 2000 or 2001. It was some of the best in the city. I hear it's not the same at the new location.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

picking nits here, but I hope Thelma doesnt grill her brisket...

ribalding
ribalding

She doesn't.  You should check it out....but mind your manners in there.  

Bruce R
Bruce R

I'm also a chile head, but Lankford's Firehouse Burger is more about epic amounts of French's Yellow Mustard.  Way too much mustard.  And since the sauce is mustard and peppers in a blender, you can't have the peppers without the mustard.

Stacy Zane
Stacy Zane

I too will always remember Marc Summers from his Double Dare days. Ohhhh, the memories!

I liked when Beavers was on that Meat & Potatoes show "Pigging Out.". Not because it was a good show (Rahm Fama freaks me out) but because it featured our lovely city's pork obsession!  

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Oh, Double Dare. That sweet, slime-covered vestige of fleeting youth.

Scott Lynch
Scott Lynch

I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by Rahm. He just comes off... really odd and not very believable.

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