Katharine Shilcutt's 10 Favorite Dishes in Houston

Categories: Top 10

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FYHA
In a recent Food & Wine article, restaurant editor Kate Krader called Houston "America's newest capital of great food" and listed 10 of her favorite dishes/drinks in our city to underscore her point. They included the Vietnamese Wagyu meatballs at Underbelly, the blackstrap rum daiquiri at Charity Saloon and the fatty brisket at Gatlin's BBQ.

The list was the source of much discussion in Houston food circles, and even inspired at least one local blogger -- Albert Nurick -- to write a 10 best dishes list of his own. "My approach focuses on the classics," wrote Nurick. "I'm going for the timeless dishes that describe the dining scene in Houston." To that end, Nurick's list featured selections such as the fajitas at the original Ninfa's on Navigation, chicken and waffles from the Breakfast Klub and the chocolate souffle from Tony's.

While trying to decide what my final blog posts for Eating...Our Words would be before my departure tomorrow, I considered the fact that I won't be around this year for the 100 Favorite Dishes countdown nor for the annual Best of Houston® issue in September. Both are excellent means of recognizing restaurants that may not be the hottest, youngest, newest things in town but are still vital components of our city's dining scene.

So I decided to take my inspiration from Krader, Nurick and all of the other people who chimed in on Twitter while discussing the Food & Wine article last week and write a 10 Best Dishes list of my own. Sort of.

The dishes below are my 10 favorites in Houston -- the ones I'd drag friends and family to eat because they have to try just one bite, the ones I'd take out-of-towners to eat because I like what they say about my city, the ones that I seek out myself when I'm in need of comfort or just a damn good meal.

Honorable mention: foie gras breakfast at Triniti; smoked salmon with "everything" chips at Provisions; menudo at La Mexicana; xiao long bao at Fu Fu Cafe; egusi at Finger Licking Bukateria; lobster roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches; fried chicken at Haven; boudin kolaches at Shipley's and chorizo kolaches at Peña's Donut Heaven; poisson cru at Cove; creme brulee bread pudding at Killen's; tuna tostadas at La Fisheria; and the yogi thali at Pondicheri.


Location Info

Hobbit Cafe

2243 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Roost

1972 Fairview St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bismillah Restaurant

5702 Hillcroft Ave, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

LA Crawfish

1005 Blalock, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

1511 Airline, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Spanish Village

4720 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Thanh Phuong

3236 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX

Category: Restaurant

Oxheart

1302 Nance St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gerardo's Drive-In Grocery

609 Patton St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rainbow Lodge

2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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24 comments
texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

ahhhh, the #31 @ Spanish Village never lets me down....

adricas35
adricas35

Really good list! You'll be missed! Also, Sammy's WIld Game Grill Camel Burger and the Pheasant hot dog are to die for...so yummy. I've never thought that I would say "yummy" and "Camel" together lol

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

The one dish I emplore everyone to try, especially due to their departure in June, is the Scallops St. Jacques at Feast.  Truly one of the best dishes I've had in the past decade.  A very simple and decadent dish.  All it is comprised of is Scallops, mushrooms, Brandy and cream sauce.  

Don't miss getting to try this before it leaves!

BobbyFreshpants
BobbyFreshpants topcommenter

No mention of La Macro? I thought you would have given them an honorable mention

HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

Excellent list, Katharine. You're going to be missed here. Thank you for so many fantastic articles.

Loona_c
Loona_c

I choose the Gandalf at Hobbit Hole instead!  And I don't get the love for Spanish Village.  I know they are beloved by so many, but the margarita was melted and bitter, the chips were thick and chewy and the food overpriced and meh.

But others on the list sound interesting!

eudemonist
eudemonist

Thanks for all the good stuff in your time here, Katherine!  Found some great food because of this column.

Brazos
Brazos

Loved reading your articles. You'll be missed. 

I used to go the the Hobbit Hole back in the 80's as well. Thanks for  the trip back in time.

 Oh and thanks so much for the article on the lobster roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches.  It's a drive for me but worth every nickel. Their bread is perfect.

kagan34
kagan34

Some good stuff on here...gotta try it! You've done a remarkable and memorable job, and I will join in your farewell ceremony tomorrow when they cast your handprints in the cement adjacent to the Houston Press building.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

Great list--just totally rearranged my "top 10" (Urban Swank gals inspired me to get list-y with my must-trys) as a result. Good luck, Katharine!

ekhilton
ekhilton

Madame: you are so tremendously good at what you do. Thank you for all the education, enlightenment and insight.  I'll be following you still and wish you the best.

Houstess
Houstess

Nice list.  But I wish you had chosen a different format for your penultimate day.  It took forever to look at each page.

stgeorge4
stgeorge4

katharine...is the snapper at teotihuacan boneless?

mgaspard
mgaspard

This is a great list, congrats on the new gig!

VStilton2
VStilton2

@FattyFatBastard  

Sounds delicious! One of the best dishes I've had at Feast is something I rarely order at a restaurant: chicken. Theirs is truly amazing, roasted and served with a velvety sauce that's spiked with Pernod or Ricard, something anise scented anyway. Nearly as tasty as your Chinese Cottage Cheese I should think.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@Houstess No shit right?  Stop giving us actual content and information and just shovel a pointless useless list into our faces!  Reading is for idiots!

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