100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 61, Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape. It's a list to drool over.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg The venison chili Frito pie will warm you up and remind you why Texas is awesome.
There are a few things I sorely missed when I was living in Missouri. Texas grapefruit. Decent salsa. Gulf coast seafood. Brisket.
And then there's that one magical dish that seems to have never made it out of Texas and the Deep South: Frito Pie.
Growing up in Texas, I thought Frito pie was as much a national dish as hamburgers and hot dogs are. It was everywhere. Cafeteria ladies served it at school. Mom cooked up chili in a Crock-Pot at home then dumped some over chips. We ate it out of the bag at the ballpark.
But when I moved to Missouri -- a state that alternately claims Northern and Southern sensibilities -- I found people were baffled by the notion of Frito pie. Is it pie? Why would you add junk food to something homemade? Who even eats Fritos anymore?