Where the Chefs Eat: Joseph Stayshich, Mike Potowski, Daniel Nossa

Categories: Chef Chat

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Joseph Stayshich's daughter loves the morning thali at Pondicheri.

This week, we check in with the chefs from the Benjy's family -- Joseph Stayshich, Mike Potowski and Daniel Nossa -- to find out where they like to chow down about H-town. While all the answers are thoughtful and give a good roadmap of great eats around town, Nossa, who calls himself the "sandwich guy" at Local Foods, is obviously a foodie. His recommendations are so detailed and specific that you might want to print this out and hang it on your refrigerator, or take notes as you go along.

Joseph Stayshich
Executive chef, Benjy's in the Village

Photo by Gina Stayshich
Chef Joseph Stayshich

Standard go-to: Having kids, we tend to frequent spots that will appeal to everyone...
We tend to find ourselves at Los Dos Amigos on Washington Avenue on Sunday mornings. One of the last holdouts of the old Washington Avenue (Pig Stand, anyone?), it serves great home-style Mexican breakfast that everyone in the family can enjoy. I personally like the huevos machacado. Plus, I get to ask my wife, "When are we going to get some chickens?" while looking out towards Wabash feed store across the street. We also eat a ton of Vietnamese food, Les Givral's is down the street, so we crush banh mi from there weekly. We also frequent Van Loc for their pho. My daughter Izabella loves to brunch it up at Pondicheri. Orange chocolate brioche, breakfast frankie, morning thali and masala eggs all in rotation over there.

Cheap eats: Easy -- tacos!!! My wife and I like the tacos at Tierra Caliente over by the West Alabama Ice House. They have great barbacoa and lengua. Lankford Market has awesome cheeseburgers! When I was younger, I would order them doubled up. As I have grown older, I realize that one of those tasty patties is enough. I go for the regular cheeseburger, so freakin' good! They have a variety of different burgers there and the kids dig their milkshakes. Don't forget the tots!

For a standout meal: Although I don't eat there often, I would say Oxheart is my standout place for a meal. When I travel, I always try to eat somewhere that makes me think about food and cooking differently, in a new light. Oxheart does that for me every time, and it's in my own backyard!  Forward-thinking, third-coast cuisine...I have enjoyed several great meals at Provisions recently as well. Great bread service, love the ham of the day plate, and their pastas are ingenious and tasty. I am stoked about Coltivare, too!

Mike Potowski
Executive chef, Benjy's on Washington

Photo by Kevin Shalin
Chef Mike Potowski

Standard go-to: Oporto. We like to order the specials, but we also get cheese and cured meats, crab and avocado crostini, piri piri shrimp, albóndiga marruecos. Also, Yum Yum Cha. Once again, we will order all the specials, and I love the chicken feet, honeycomb tripe, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, turnip cakes.

Cheap eats: Laredo Taco for their barbacoa and picadillo taco, just $2 each, and menudo for $7. Alamo Tamale and Taco for handmade chicken tamales, $15 a dozen.

Other faves: The Golden Grill food truck, Oh My Gogi food truck and Korean Noodle House.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info


2424 Dunstan, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Benjy's on Washington

5922 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Local Foods

2424 Dunstan Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1302 Nance St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


807 Taft, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vinh Hoa - CLOSED

9600 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tacos Tierra Caliente

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Coltivare Pizza & Garden

3320 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kim Chau Restaurant

6806 Long Point, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Com Tam Kieu Giang

11209 Bellaire, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bodard Bistro

9140 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Lankford Grocery and Market

88 Dennis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Thien Thanh

11210 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General


2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Les Givral's Sandwich & Cafe

2704 Milam St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Los Dos Amigos

5720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Van Loc Restaurant - CLOSED

3010 Milam, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Oporto Cafe

3833 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Yum Yum Cha Cafe

2435 Times Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Laredo Taco Place

915 Snover St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

lol, the "Benjy's family"...this au courant thing of comparing a business to a family is so bourgeois.

How did that Enron family work out? 



(derived from the same euphemistic impulse that calls a business event staged to get free press coverage, an event for "friends and family")

Now Trending

From the Vault