100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 61, Black Bean Burger at Ziggy's
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.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Healthy food isn't always tasty. Indeed, many health-oriented restaurants skimp on not just the fat but also the flavor. But not Ziggy's Bar & Grill. The black bean burger here is immensely satisfying -- even for a carnivore like me -- and part of that is due to the customizations that Ziggy's lets you make.
On top of the black bean patty (made in-house just like its other veggie patty, made with chickpeas, carrots, toasted walnuts and spices) I like to throw on pepper jack cheese, jalapeños and green chiles along with the standard accompaniments of lettuce, tomato and onion. The eggy bun is thick and sturdy, holding the entire mess together admirably until the last bite. It's one of the only burgers in Houston I can eat in one fell swoop because it's not greasy or soggy -- just savory, spicy and full of crunch from all the fresh vegetables.
The fact that Ziggy's encourages you to customize your burger is reflective of its general attitude: The Montrose restaurant in a charming old mansion welcomes everyone with open arms -- even your dogs, which Ziggy's allows on its shady patio (and they'll even bring out bowls of water for them). If you're into something less healthy, Ziggy's has regular burgers (in beef, lamb, turkey, buffalo and more) or cheesesteak sandwiches. But the healthier items are actually better: a pleasantly salty and creamy spinach-artichoke dip served with pita chips and cucumbers for dipping, or grilled fish tacos filled with homemade guacamole and a sweet pineapple salsa.
And if you're into booze, Ziggy's has that in spades, too: The Karbach Rodeo Clown above was perfect with my black bean burger, but there are a dozen more Texas brews to choose from. Cocktails made with Texas liquors like Treaty Oak Rum and Paula's Texas Orange hit the spot on a hot day. And there's even brunch -- with mimosas, naturally -- on the weekends.
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
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