100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 45, Larissa Plate at Harry's

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Photos by Troy Fields
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.

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Harry's Restaurant & Cafe is a Midtown institution, although you wouldn't know it from the exterior of the restaurant, which was remodeled in 2003. Founded in 1948 by Eugene Pavlovich as a blue-collar, blue-plate joint with a daily steam table, it catered mostly to area construction workers and other working men and women. When Johnny Platsas and his wife, Patricia, bought the restaurant in 1994 from Harry Mickelis -- a fellow Greek, who'd bought the place from Pavlovich -- they retained the name and the same sense of familial friendliness that permeates every meal here.

What they did change up when they purchased the place, however, is the food. Johnny Platsas hails from Crete, while his wife comes from Ecuador. The result is a Greek-South American hybrid menu that also includes steam-table classics at lunch and American standards at breakfast. Yet despite the disparate influences and seemingly unfocused menu, it all works.

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At any given breakfast, you can find yourself chowing down on a Churrasco platter with two fried eggs served with grilled beef skirt steak atop two cheese-stuffed potato patties fried up in achiote oil and a side of spicy peanut sauce or a Larissa plate -- my personal favorite.

The Larissa plate, which is named for Platsas' hometown in Thessaly, features a hash of cubed homestyle potatoes tossed with sautéed onions and tomatoes, then spiked with copious amounts of feta cheese and fresh parsley on top. The feta adds the right bite of saltiness to the whole hash. The plate comes with two eggs, which I order overeasy as I like to let the creamy yolks spread over the pile of hash before giving it a few final shakes of Tabasco sauce. It's a breakfast that can and will cure all ills.

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
No. 70: Geisha dog at Happy Endings
No. 69: Oyster po-boy and gumbo at Goode Co. Seafood
No. 68: Ceviche at Sirena Seafood
No. 67: Caldo de mariscos at Taqueria Arandas
No. 66: Banana pudding at Pizzitola's
No. 65: Fried catfish and gumbo at Cafe-A-La
No. 64: Soft-shell crabs at Banana Leaf
No. 63: Macaroni and cheese at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
No. 62: Torta burger at El Gran Malo
No. 61: Black bean burger at Ziggy's
No. 60: Parillada at Pampa Grill
No. 59: Peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger at Wicked Whisk
No. 58: Eggplant involtini at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 57: Lone Star dog at James Coney Island
No. 56: Sushi at Sushi Miyagi
No. 55: Palestinian chicken at Al Aseel
No. 54: Roast beef sandwich at Local Foods
No. 53: Mexico City plate at Molina's Cantina
No. 52: Tacos at Brothers Taco House
No. 51: Branzino at Lucio's BYOB
No. 50: Beef sweetbreads at Feast
No. 49: Golden Doomba Special at the Rice Box Truck
No. 48: Malted waffle at City Cafe
No. 47: Banh mi bo kho at Cafe TH
No. 46: Chicken fried steak at Triple A
No. 45: Larissa plate at Harry's



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Harry's Restaurant & Cafe

318 Tuam, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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1 comments
zplatsas
zplatsas

Thank you Houston Press for the solicitous review. A minor correction: The “Larissa Plate” is named after Johnny Platsas, current owner’s hometown of Larissa in the Thessaly region of Greece. 

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