We've Narrowed Down the Most Underrated Restaurants...Vote Now!

Categories: Top 10

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Photo courtesy Aladdin Mediterranean Restaurant
Most underrated hummus in Houston?
Remember last week when we asked you to tell us what you thought were the most underrated restaurants in Houston?

Yeah, well, you gave us a lot of responses. Like, almost too many. And they were all different. No single restaurant received more than five votes. You people are all over the place!

That's okay, though, because it gave me the opportunity to make a handy little poll to further narrow down the choices. I wrote down every single restaurant you suggested in the comments on the blog, on Facebook and via Twitter, then I counted how many times each choice was repeated. Most places were mentioned only once.

Anyway, the list has been narrowed down. There are now 17 restaurants to choose from. You get three votes. Vote wisely, grasshopper. And share with your friends. Let's see how many votes we can get!

Voting will close in a week, and then we'll reveal the top five underrated restaurants. Stay tuned.

And if you want to holla at House of Pies in the comments, I won't be mad.

Location Info

House of Pies

3112 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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35 comments
ManLovesFood
ManLovesFood

This one's a no-brainer: Mark's American Cuisine. Yes, THE Mark's. The same astoundingly excellent and amazingly consistent restaurant that we all know and few can afford. When a restaurant that is this good fails to make Alison Cook's Top 100 list for two years in a row, THAT, my friends, is the very definition of underrated.


Now you've got me started...   I don't know what kind of fight Alison and Mark had, or when they had it, but it must've been a doozy. To think that she'd rate ONE HUNDRED restaurants in Houston and Mark's wouldn't even make the list is mind boggling. Clearly Alison's criteria focused on something besides food, service and ambiance, all of which are areas where Mark's excels. It's still an interesting list - but not one of good restaurants.


I can't imagine a more deserving recipient of this award than Mark's - one of the very best restaurants in the entire southwest, and not even listed by the city's largest newspaper. Not being rated at all is about as underrated as you can get.

Mark Markovich
Mark Markovich

What the heck is "Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q" doing on a list of underrated restaurants? It's the McDs of BBQ.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Doozo's & Zabak's are both solid choices.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

Keep an eye on the EOW Twitter page for updates about who's winning the poll!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Yeah not the best list some of these are exceedingly popular and anything but underrated. While gems like Al's quickstop fly under the radar. If you're going to do something, do it right..

Houstess
Houstess

By "Ranch 99" do your readers mean "99 Ranch Market," a grocery store?  Or maybe one of the many restaurants contained within it?  LA Crawfish for instance.

Jesse Gunnels
Jesse Gunnels

Chacho's (Westheimer) & Bombay Sweets (Hillcroft)

Swansea
Swansea

Fadi's should be on there; far better than Aladdin, in fact Ali at Aladdin learned from Fadi's.

tinyhands
tinyhands

How is the Carrabba's chain, with over 200 locations in 32 states, underrated? Because you decided the "original" location is somehow special?


No votes for anything.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

Does the winner of the most underrated restaurant automatically become a candidate for the most overrated?  If Rudy's wins then I think so.  I'm not really sure why Rudy's is on the list--Rudy's is pretty damn popular. And while their brisket is excellent, most of the other stuff is just OK.

randonneur
randonneur

@ManLovesFood  

Garbage. No offense. And by now everyone knows it. He's been doing groupon to make up for the loss to more interesting newcomers, and Alison Cook didn't even include Mark's in the top 100 Houston restaurants for very good reason. He's underrated for good reason: It's crap, and way too expensive, precious crap.

Belfast
Belfast

@FattyFatBastard

Heii you say? Zabak's isnt even the best of its kind in its own neighborhood. Marys'z, House of Kebab and Fadi's are all better and that's just within a mile. Felafel is good, will grant you that.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@gossamersixteen  Again, these are based solely on reader submissions. Don't shoot the messenger. 

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Houstess  I was under the impression that they meant the deli section of Ranch 99.

HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

@tinyhands  The two original Carrabba's locations aren't part of the nationwide chain. The food is considerably better; the menu is different. Why? Because these two locations are still owned and run by the family. (The stores are the one on Kirby and the one on Voss, which is my favorite.)

Houstess
Houstess

@tinyhands  The original IS somehow special.  It is the only location still owned by the founders of Carrabba's and the food is far and away better than the mundane franchises across 32 states.  How do you not know that??

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@tinyhands  These options are based on reader submissions. That's stated clearly in the article. Our own opinions had nothing to do with the final poll.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Bruce_Are  Several commenters voted for Rudy's, so it made the list. I'm not sure why either.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@KaitlinS Never in a million years, though some that were mentioned numerous times failed to make this list -- which does give the impression of favoritism or cronyism.  Though I do give you the benefit of the doubt.

justthefacts
justthefacts

@Houstess   The Carrabba's on Voss at Woodway is run by the mother.

tinyhands
tinyhands

@Houstess I'm glad you like it, but it doesn't fly with me. There is something inherently wrong with selling out your family name but insisting that the "original" is somehow special. If Johnny really cared so much, the other franchises wouldn't be so mundane (your word).


See also: Ninfa's


(Apologies to Kaitlin. The "you" in my original comment was not intended as an attack directed at her, merely to any reader who nominated this restaurant.)

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Houstess @tinyhands  Totally true. And Johnny Carrabba is there all the time, making sure things are to his liking. He's very hands on.

kmaher23
kmaher23

@tinyhands @Houstess  You usually hear accusations of "selling out" from those who have nothing to sell.  I've liked the Original Carrabba's since it opened & still like it. 


Ninfa's on Navigation is not owned by any Laurenzo family member but is still excellent. And the Laurenzo family has some pretty good places, too. 


Some of the other Ninfa's remained good for years--depending on who was running them. Is Pico's open yet? The one in the old Ninfa's location on Richmond? If so, it's all good.  


I judge a restaurant by what they offer, not by "moral" criteria. (Except for Chik-Fil-A. Which I probably misspelled.)

apinkerton
apinkerton

I vote that all previous commenters are a bunch of toads/munts. Try and take life easy for a chance. Zabaks is a great choice, awesome people and flavorful food.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @Bruce_Are  For what it's worth, though, I love Bombay Sweets too. The only place on that list I eat regularly is Giacomo's, so I really can't attest to the others. 

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