100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 70, Geisha Dog at Happy Endings
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
You can top practically anything with bonito flakes right now and I'll eat it, with gusto. I love the briny, sea-spray flavor and depth the compressed fish flakes bring to dishes, whether it's the roasted cauliflower at Roost or the Geisha dog at the Happy Endings food truck.
The dog also comes with spicy mayo and Katsu sauce, although both play second fiddle to the fat, broad ribbons of bonito flakes on top -- which seems, at first, as it would be incongruous with something like a beef hot dog. In taste, however, the bonito flakes more or less melt on the tongue with each bite, reducing to a salty pool of umami flavors that bring out the beefy swagger of the hot dog. Each bite is a punch of meaty joy, with bright pops of heat from the spicy mayo and a subtle sweetness from the Katsu sauce.
And just in case the bonito flakes prove too much for you, here's an alternative: Try the cheekily named Back Door Loving dog (hey, the truck itself is named after a rub-and-tug parlor), which comes with tangy cream cheese, spicy kimchi, bright scallions and salty bacon bits. It's so good that choosing between the two is often impossible (not that I'm complaining).
The list so far:
No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac
No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's
No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets
No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito
No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar
No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch
No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito
No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F.
No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe
No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers
No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay
No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe
No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño
No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen
No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme
No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts
No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge
No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House
No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux
No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar
No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales
No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana
No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's
No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven
No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate
No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
No. 73: X-Tudo burger at Friends Pizzeria
No. 72: Esparragos gratinados at Tintos
No. 71: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen
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