100 Favorite Dishes, Gathered Up and Google Mapped


View 100 Favorite Dishes: The 2011 Edition in a larger map

Now that it's been a little over a week since we wrapped up this year's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes, you've hopefully had a chance to digest some of the dishes on the map -- and I mean that both literally and figuratively. I know at least a few people who are working their way through the list, and that warms the butter-encrusted cockles of my heart. To assist in this task, I created the map above of all 100 dishes.

After the map was finished, I thought it would also be fun to compare it with last year's map of the 100 Favorite Dishes list from Robb Walsh and contrast the differences.


View Robb Walsh's Top 100 Houston Dishes, Houston Press in a larger map

The 2011 map went farther south -- all the way down to Casey's in Galveston -- while the 2010 map went farther north. The farthest east that the 2010 map reached was to the Bar-B-Que Done Right trailer, while the 2011 map made it out to Karanchos in Channelview. And the Pearland/South Houston areas still stand out on both maps as an oasis of great food in the southern suburbs.

But the most marked differences are more notable when zoomed in to focus on the parts of Houston that lie within the Beltway.


View 100 Favorite Dishes: The 2011 Edition in a larger map

In 2011, new Chinatown stands out more than ever as a strong food corridor in the city, drawing restaurants with cheap rent and drawing diners with inexpensive and -- just as often -- hard-to-find food. Downtown and the Heights are also well-represented in this year's map. Both areas have actively courted restaurants over the past year, and the effort shows.


View Robb Walsh's Top 100 Houston Dishes, Houston Press in a larger map

In 2010, however, only one downtown restaurant made it onto the list, while the Galleria area was much more saturated with Favorite Dishes. Could it be that the allure of the glitzy Galleria has faded in the last year along with rising rents and a gasping economy?

What geographic issues -- if any -- stand out to you? Other than the glaring fact that I clearly need to do some more exploring on the East and South sides of Houston in the next 12 months?



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15 comments
Bruce R
Bruce R

I agree with your statement that certain areas on your map are not well populated largely because you spend less time there.  I'm not saying there would be a dramatic difference, but surely there are some great dishes you haven't discovered yet.

Also, it seems somewhat unfair to show the location of Perry's on I10 on the west side of town.  The original is the one on Scarsdale, I believe.  Similarly, JCI has lots of locations so you could have placed that anywhere.

  

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

And yet nothing to the East or West...  Poor pitiful Katy...  They got nothing.

Still trying to figure out how Robb's #1 didn't even make your top 100.  Are you not a fan of oysters?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You are correct, on all counts. And the reason, specifically, that I placed the Perry's and JCI markers in those locations is because those are the locations I frequent most often. I didn't want to pretend I was driving out to the JCI in Greens Bayou just for the sake of having a more balanced-looking map. ;)

William Philpot
William Philpot

There are some good, bordering on great, places in Katy depending on your mood that I would go to regularly when I lived out there. But good enough to make the Top 100? In a city the size of Houston, tough call to make, especially when so many of the better places look like typical strip mall fare.

Megan
Megan

Weren't you one of the people bitching about Katharine's choice of oysters at #4?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I am a huge fan of oysters. There are, like, a billion oyster dishes on my list. This question confuses me, Fatty.

William Philpot
William Philpot

Plus one location to the next can be a completely different experience.

ChristopherAnn
ChristopherAnn

There are some great places in Katy.  I've had some really fabulous meals out here.  The Snapper Raphael I had at Antonia's a short while back was as good as any meal I've had ever.  And that's saying something, since I've traveled the world, have lived all over the US, and even abroad - in Germany, Hong Kong, Panama & The Philippines.

There's a fairly new Middle Eastern restaurant out here (Saltena's) that serves food as good as what I had in Istanbul. 

The ceviche and queso fundido at Las Alamedas are wonderful.  Easily worthy of a top 100 mention.

And I defy you to try the Blackberry and Cream batido at Palma de Cera and not put it on your "best of" list.

Katy is "chain hell" no longer.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Yes I was.  But the oysters Gilhooley are unlike any I've had elsewhere.  The raw oysters at Casey's are exactly like the raw oysters at Pappadeaux.  But at least that answers the question the she likes oysters, which I did forget. 

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

have you had the oysters Gilhooley?  You're not going to find anything approaching it elsewhere, although I have heard that a new place near Sugarland called Roux Pour that's supposed to have something similar.

Biker
Biker

...all of which is a pretty moot point this year.  With the drought, there will most likely be no Galveston oysters.  And, Gilhooley's is not worth the drive unless they have the fresh Galveston oysters IMHO.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

And somehow I missed this this one, although they look nothing alike.  I will be trying the Wild Cajun ones as well as Rouxpour's to see if I can find something similar a lot closer to my neck of the woods.  

Megan
Megan

And yet, Katharine named the char-grilled oysters at Wild Cajun one of her favorite dishes.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but until I saw that write up, I had never even heard of BBQ or char-grilling oysters.  I just looked at the menus and I don't see anything but fried oysters on BWT's menu, and the closest thing I saw at Danton's was sauteed.  (which i will be trying, btw.)  To me, that was what made them unique.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I have had the oysters Gilhooley. And I like them just fine. But here's my thing: I would never travel to Gilhooley's (or Casey's) out of oyster season. It's just too far to drive to eat cooked oysters, which I can get here in Houston at places like Danton's or Branch Water Tavern (both of whom do excellent cooked oyster treatments).

When I want oysters, though, I really want raw oysters above all else. And for that, I personally prefer the atmosphere, views and history at Casey's.

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