My New Year's Resolution for 2012: Explore the East Side

Categories: Local Spotlight



I have what my friends call a "map fetish." I even have a degree in cartography. Totally useless, but what a great expenditure of my time in college considering that most degrees are basically useless pieces of paper anyway.

My tendency to plot data spatially does lead to some interesting revelations, however. For example, were it not for the fact that I obsessively plot every one of my weekly cafe reviews on an ongoing Google map, I may have overlooked the fact that -- well -- I've mostly overlooked the entire east side of Houston in the last year.

See?



A closer look at Houston's inner core reveals that there's a pretty stark dividing line represented here by I-45: I only reviewed a handful of restaurants to the east of that corridor this past year. Granted, they were some of my favorites -- Radical Eats, Conscious Cafe, Moon Tower Inn, Bohemeo's, and Green Seed Vegan, for example -- so it stands to reason that there are more wonderful places on the East End of town that I just haven't discovered yet.

So I'm making a pledge to investigate the eastern stretches of Houston more thoroughly this year, as well as pledging to visit some of its more far-flung suburbs. After all, places like Thanh Phuong in Pearland and Capri in Spring were some of my greatest discoveries of all in 2011.

But this is where I need your help, readers. Give me your suggestions and directions in the comments section below, and I'll fill up my gas tank and go. As of 2012, I am eastbound and down.



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Jardp
Jardp

El Jalapeno on Tidwell and Fulton I believe

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

We love the Teotihuacan at Irvington between Patton and Cavalcade

David Raffetto
David Raffetto

Villa Arcos (on Navigation) for the best breakfast tacos in town.

Eastender
Eastender

Dot Diner, named one of Texas' best breakfast spots by I think Texas Monthly, although City Cafe in South Houston is another good diner/breakfast spot.  Shuttle Burger has some of the best fries in town, just ask Allison Cook. The Dinner Bell's food isn't all that, but the time-warp experience is worth going & the cookies in the bake shop make up for a lot of shortcomings. El Jardin was written up in the NY Times.  Food is good but unremarkable, but only go if you are going on a Friday and order the millinium margarita, no other, but bring a designated driver.  Pizza at Spanky's, just trust me on that one. The taco bus that only shows up at night on about the NE corner of Telephone & Gulf Frwy, oh and the green taco bus on Bellfort between the freeway and Glencrest, although My Table magazine covered that one I think.  Taqueria Del Sol on Park Place has a huge following, although it has never been one of my favorites.

JScarbor
JScarbor

There is a mexican dried beef factory on the east side that has a little restaurant, Los Corrales I believe. Great dried beef and eggs.

Alfonso Villalpandojr
Alfonso Villalpandojr

Try Pete's BBQ on Telephone near Dumble.

Gabriel Terrel
Gabriel Terrel

Tried this place for the first time last week. Most disappointing bbq experience I've had to date. Cold, chewy, slow service, didn't like the sauce. It was cheap though.

Steve
Steve

Merida, Sunshine's  Health Food (I like to have a beer at the Den after eating health). Second El Greco.

CMN
CMN

Taco Keto, so we can find out why its been sitting on top of Yelp for quite a while now.

Albert Nurick
Albert Nurick

Up here in the Woodlands you need to check out Crust Pizza, Corkscrew BBQ, Hubbell & Hudson (new chef Austin Simmons is doing some great work) and Eden Cafe in Egypt.

Jonathan
Jonathan

One other place: Boondoggle's in Seabrook for pizza (get the pizza with chorizo and don't forget the side of sour cream and jalapenos!).

William Philpot
William Philpot

Went there once and was pleasantly surprised. Wish I had more reasons to go out that way.

Jonathan
Jonathan

More south than east but here's a short list of recommendations: Thai Jasmine off of Kingspoint. Pho 21 off of Fuqua and Sabo Rd. Cullen's off of Space Center Blvd. Crazy Allen's Swamp Shack (for burgers and boudain balls) in Kemah. Gilhooley's in San Leon (for oysters). Perry's off of Scarsdale Blvd.

Oramosvt
Oramosvt

Tel Wink Grill, best diner breakfast in and El Petate, Best pupusas in Houston.  

Ken D.
Ken D.

seems like you ignore the SW part of the loop also

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

"Ignore" implies a willful refusal to acknowledge something; not exactly the word I'd use in this context, especially since I'm openly addressing the fact that there are areas of town I've unintentionally overlooked and am asking for readers' suggestions.  ;)

Bruce R
Bruce R

Since you mention Pearland you should consider D' Caribbean Curry Spot.

PSilva
PSilva

108 Chinese Cafe on Lawndale, it's at the old Jin Bo's location and they have the old Jin Bo's cook in the back.

Chaunacey Williams Brooks Brob
Chaunacey Williams Brooks Brob

I've been wondering if they had any connection to Jin Bo. Good to know.  We've been surprisingly happy with the two take-out meals we've had from 108 thus far. I would advise against online ordering though. I'm not quite sure why they had that set that up if they aren't going to monitor it.

seasincarnadine
seasincarnadine

It's south, not east, but also in a direction you don't cover frequently.  8110 Southbank has a place called Old Fashion Barbecue.  It is the best I've had in town, and I am harsh on barbecue places.  It is in the middle of the ghetto so don't be afraid.  However, its operation times are odd so make sure you call in advance.  

tastybits
tastybits

Very happy to hear this. I've always felt smug and superior about how integrated Houston is compared to LA (and it is), until I looked at a map and realized that almost I never visit the east side. Since Sonny stopped cooking in La Porte, I've stopped going entirely. 

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