Top 10 Restaurants Near Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport
7. Banh Cuon Hoa
Photo by Robb Walsh
Banh Cuon Hoa is the first of two Vietnamese restaurants in the area that are so good, you'll forget about driving down to Chinatown. Like its sister restaurant on Beechnut, Banh Cuon Hoa specializes in bánh cuốn. These little "rolled cakes" look like softer, looser spring rolls and are wrapped in thick, chewy rice sheets. The snowy sheets can contain shrimp, pork, beef and/or vegetables -- depending on what you order -- and are best dipped in the sweetly tart nước chấm sauce that comes with them. Banh Cuon Hoa was recently renovated too, so it shouldn't startle non-Houstonians nearly as much now.
If you just can't stomach the idea of eating at a Pappasito's, this cute pink truck is where you can score some legit Mexican food. For a taco truck, the food at Super Tacos Lucy is actually presented quite nicely and there's even a shaded seating area (shhhhhh). Burritos are a favorite due to sheer size, but I prefer the more delicate pleasures of two hot, griddled corn tortillas filled with juicy fajita beef and topped with a scatter of raw white onions.
As with Banh Cuon Hoa, the idea at Pho Hu Tieu Nam Vang is to stick with the pho. (This is generally the rule at all Vietnamese restaurants, you've probably learned by now; order what's in the name.) But you'll also want to give the hủ tiếu Nam Vang a try -- yes, that's the name of a dish, too! Think of it as the Khmer version of pho. It's made with pork stock and originally only featured pork (along with garlic and other spices), until Cambodians took the noodle soup with them to Vietnam. There, the southern Vietnamese adapted the dish to include shrimp, squid and other Viet ingredients. The result is a hybrid soup that's named for Phnom Penh (Nam Vang means Phnom Penh in Vietnamese) but now has a distinctly Vietnamese flavor profile.
4. Maine-ly Sandwiches
Photo courtesy of Maine-ly Sandwiches How do you not want to eat in a restaurant with its own lighthouse?
All that stuff I wrote up there about ra-ra-Houston? Forget that for one moment, because you're going to be all ra-ra-Maine and ra-ra-lobster after eating at Maine-ly Sandwiches. Houston doesn't really have lobster rolls, because we don't have lobster in abundance. (We do, however, have crawfish rolls.) We also have a dearth of people from Maine to show us how a proper lobster roll is made. Enter the Maine-owned Maine-ly Sandwiches, which offers a full and proper lobster roll...for $18. (Don't worry; you can get a half for $9.) There are other sandwiches on the menu too, but LOBSTER. Seriously.