Mole and Kimchi and Beer, Oh My! Scenes from a Long Point Road Culinary Tour

Categories: Edible Events

poloniahct.jpg
Photo from Houston Culinary Tours
The table at Polonia after an epic Polish feast on last year's Long Point tour.
Long Point Road stretches east to west just north of I-10 between the 610 Loop and the Sam Houston Tollway. It's dotted with used-car lots, fast-food joints and small, rundown apartment complexes. From the driver's seat, the strip centers with signs in Spanish, Korean, Chinese and even Polish don't look like anything special. Unless you live in Spring Branch or regularly travel down that road, you might never know about the amazing cultural melting pot along the five-mile stretch.

On Sunday, I tagged along with Houston Culinary Tours, this month led by Bryan Caswell of Reef and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly. The chefs took us to some of their favorite hole-in-the-wall joints in the vicinity of Long Point Road, a revelatory tour for me. Though I've been living in Houston for three weeks now, I'm often too tired after work to venture out of the comfort of the Loop in search of good food. Consider me converted. I'm no longer a prisoner to the Loop bubble.

The tour started with El Hidalguense, a tiny Mexican restaurant filled to the brim this Sunday afternoon with diners, a large waitstaff and a trio of mariachi musicians whose music was loud enough to cover up the sounds of the bustling kitchen. Actually, the music was so loud that conversation was nearly impossible, but the food was so good, no one was talking much anyway.

The staff had prepared a buffet for our tour group, and as we approached with our plates, a few servers filled them with various meats and tortillas, then sent us back to our tables overwhelmed and delighted by the multitude of options before us. There was guacamole and Mexican rice, of course, but there was also a hunk of chicken smothered in a divine brown mole sauce and a multifaceted pork and green pepper stew. I'm honestly not entirely sure what everything I tried was, or I'd attempt to be more descriptive. It was all so delicious, and it all happened so fast. Before our meal had time to digest, we were walking to our next destination, only two doors down.


Location Info

El Hidalguense

6917 Long Point, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vieng Thai

6929 Long Point Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Super H Mart

1302 Blalock Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Polonia Restaurant

1780 Blalock, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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7 comments
echou
echou

Vieng Thai is overrated.  They gear their dishes to American palates not Thai ones.  I like it spicy and when they bring it out it isn't. 

Lea Brice Hougland
Lea Brice Hougland

I am soooooooo jealous of your little food tour adventure! I have got to get in on this.

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

Just a small note: The Grub Hub article was about how many different cuisines are available for takeout, not the total number of cuisines in a city. We have far more than 28.

vonSchliessen
vonSchliessen

Long Point's a great food street!! Sissies who insist on 'an upscale ambiance' when dining are missing some great food, and enriching culture. Welcome....Hillcroft or Bellaire up next I'll bet.

flamingorev
flamingorev

and we all live together in relative harmony out here too.  

ckgolemon
ckgolemon

Thanks for visiting my neighborhood, Spring Branch, and for spot-lighting some of the great food it has to offer! H Mart ROCKS. You missed Kim Chow, also on Long Point, which is disappointing, but there's always next time!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

I love Hmart, best produce section of any grocery in town and very affordable. Also love Vieng Thai provided you don't take their *service* personally.  Great read, good article.

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