Top 10 Restaurants in the East End

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Jeff Balke
7. Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito

At Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito, the house specialty is the trompo. It's not cooked the "authentic" way here -- the pork rotating on a spit, gyro-style, with slices shaved off to order -- but it's still good. (You can find authentic trompo at Karanchos if you're interested.) The taqueria keeps the trompo spit in the refrigerator to comply with Health Department regulations, then shaves pieces of the bright achiote-colored pork off and grills them before placing them into homemade corn tortillas that are golden and nearly crisp from their own turn across the griddle.

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
6. Champ Burger

Champ Burger has been open since 1963, and the original owner, though retired, still pops in often to check on his creation -- which is usually manned by at least seven cooks during the busy lunchtime rush. Although Sparkle's Hamburger Spot may be more well-known as the East End's premier burger stand, Champ Burger one-ups it with breakfast tacos and its oft-touted "original Texas Size Steak Sandwich," basically a burger with a chicken-fried steak instead of a hamburger patty. All seating is outside the little burger stand, with tables either covered or equipped with large umbrellas to provide some shade. And although the Hershey's chocolate shake is our favorite, Champ Burger is equally well-known for its orange milkshakes, which taste like soft-blended Dreamsicles. Although Champ Burger finally takes credit cards after years of being cash-only, it's still only open during the week.

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Photo by Troy Fields
5. El Petate

A homey Salvadoran establishment with seven-day-a-week hours and a welcoming dining room, El Petate is a great place to explore Salvadoran cuisine beyond just pupusas. Try the salpicón, tender shreds of beef that you tuck into fat corn tortillas, or satiny-soft Salvadoran tamales -- some stuffed with sweet corn and topped with tangy crema. But the pupusas -- homemade and hot off the griddle -- are the big draw here. And don't be afraid to dig into the communal plastic jar of curtido that's placed on your table when you order; the cabbage is for everyone to enjoy and the hot, fatty cuisine tastes so much better when perked up with some cool, crisp, tangy curtido.

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4. Mandola's Deli

This unassuming little brown brick building on Leeland (just before it turns into Telephone Road) has been serving hearty Italian-American meals since 1975. Frank and Debbie Mandola are still there most days, but their son Joseph has mostly taken over now and is always ready with a handshake and a smile for his customers. The popular lasagna and Italian beef sandwiches are now available at dinner, too, as the restaurant no longer just serves lunch. Even better: The Mandolas have an excellent and well-priced selection of Italian wines and beers to go along with your dinner, too, as well as a pleasant patio on which to enjoy them.


Location Info

Venue

Map

El Alteno

6917 Harrisburg Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Greco Grill

5420 Lawndale St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bohemeo's

708 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito

1713 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Champ Burger

304 Sampson St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Petate

7433 Canal St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mandola's Deli

4105 Leeland, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kanomwan Thai

736 1/2 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Los Corrales

7515 Navigation Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Original Ninfa's On Navigation

2704 Navigation, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Laura
Laura

The owner of El Greco Diner always the illegal towing of cars from his parking lot.  The tow truck company El Greco Diner hired does not even have a license to tow cars. They are there every day towing cars. Shame on El Greco Diner of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn.

panchovilla86
panchovilla86

wow no love for Villa Arcos...most important meal of the day!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Lol at El Alteno.  I frequented the #7 location on Bissonnet back in the 80's when they were known for their, ahem, "service."  It's been years, but I bet they still make a damn good Torta or queso flameado; especially if you are a buzzed 17 year old.

Steve1152
Steve1152

Also props for recognizing Bohemeo's again. They don't have tap space like the Flying Saucer but Jessica consistently has a very well-chosen draft selection.

 

Vegan places aren't exactly catnip to food critics but Sunshine's is worthy of consideration.

marksthespot33
marksthespot33

Katharine, Any idea on what the delay is with Moon Tower, Everything I initially read indicated it was a temporary 3 month closure, while they did some remodelling. Then I thought I heard they were opening back up sometime in July or August. Looking forward to them getting back into the Houston restaurant game.

jkellymassey
jkellymassey

Thanks Katharine! We just moved to the east end from Montrose and this list will come in very handy.

lupe22
lupe22

Thanks for giving Bohemeo's a nod of LOVE!!!!

Thank you Keith and Kent for keep the fires burning in our Hood!!!

Much Love Bo's

Lupe and Sid Olivarez

Joel Cirilo III
Joel Cirilo III

La Silla, Pete's BBQ, Dona Chela on 76th. Don Carlos is way better than Ninfa's! I hope the person that wrote this has spent time in the area.

Steve1152
Steve1152

Merida is really underappreciated. I would have liked to see them get some love.

 

Oh and the El Greco Bakery has been closed for months. There's a Kolache place going in there.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

Re: Champ's shakes, I do recall you have had harsher thoughts about the Hershey's syrup in the shakes at Beck's Prime.  

Salvie
Salvie

Beers are $1.50 at Mandola's Deli whenever a train is going by!

MWC2
MWC2

Nice list.  FYI, the KBR site has not sold yet.  

aperezece
aperezece

@Steve1152 I completely agree about Merida. I've been going there ever since I was kid. My parents would drive the family 30 minutes from the southeast side of town ("the 'burbs") to eat breakfast there on the weekend. It's my favorite breakfast taco in town. @kshilcutt if you haven't had the jumbo breakfast taco from there I'd highly recommend it. $2.95 for a meal that'll fill you for the rest of the day is a good deal. Have it with a generous serving of salsa and you're good to go.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @Steve1152 Love Merida when it's on target, but have had some consistency issues.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @Steve1152 Oh no! I had no idea. It's obviously been a few months since I was over there. Thanks for the heads up.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

@Jalapeno I got a mouth full of mix minus the milk and now I stick to the burgers, rings, and fries. Whenever my Mrs. and I have a common day-off during the week, (about three times a year) we drive in from Pearland to indulge.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @MWC2 Oy, that should really read "recent listing" to make more sense, huh?

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

I agree, @Kylejack I drive too far for hit/miss so we stick to Ninfas or breakfast at Pollos Asados La Silla. @Steve1152

MWC2
MWC2

 @kshilcutt i suppose so.  the site has huge potential, i hope it lives up to it!  

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