Where the Chefs Eat: Benjy Mason, Mark Decker, Richard Knight

Categories: Chef Chat

Richard Knight
Executive Chef, Hunky Dory

RichKnight.jpg
Photo by Megan Sicheri
Richard Knight

Standard go-to: My favorite go-to place in Houston is Giacomo's. It always seems like its an extravagant treat but it's so reasonably priced and the food is so good that it blows my mind every time. Lynette [Hawkins] is a wonderful host and obviously puts her heart and soul into the place, as does her talented chef Cathy Elkins, and it has one of the sexiest patios in Houston-- it really does feel like Europe. Must-haves: Spicy Lamb meatballs in lentils -- braised lamb in lentil love; Bologna style Tagliatelle -- so simple but amazing; Berkshire Pork Butt in beans -- I love the way she puts "aggressively seasoned" on the menu, and when you taste this pork you will agree, BUT it so works; Chicken wings with Za'atar -- a new dish that sounds a little bizarre, but again, it's beautiful simplicity speaks for itself.

Cheap Eats: Taqueria Tepatitlan on North Main. This is the first place I ate when I moved up here to the Heights and it's always full of happy families eating big meals. It's cheap and cheerful and open pretty late. I always have the same -- not on the menu but just ask -- Pork Carnitas Chimichanga, deep fried burrito stuffed with slow-0cooked pork -- makes me want to cry. I have no idea how much it is as I have never asked; if it was $50 i might just pay it anyway, but I think it's about $7.

Other favorites: Thien-An on FM 529. Some lunchtimes the gang from Blackhill Ranch butcher's shop and I go to the Thien-An Vietnamese. We generally have to share the Goi Vit (duck salad), which is an appetizer, but could feed four people! Also the Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepe with pork, shrimp and beansprouts), then we go our own way. I normally have the pho with meatballs and brisket. The small is only $5.95 and enough to bring down a small elephant. What I love about this place is everything here is done simply, clean, fresh and very reasonable. Crawfish & Noodles on Bellaire -- I still dream about the turkey neck Benjy Mason and I had the first time I went -- it's just slow cooked bone-in turkey neck in turkey gravy served with French bread.

Want other suggestions from those in the know? For more of Where the Chefs Eat, see below:


Location Info

Down House

1801 Yale, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

D&T Drive Inn

1307 Enid, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Kata Robata Sushi & Grill

3600 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Tiempo Cantina

5526 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Xiong's Cafe

9888 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sheba Cafe

6251 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gilhooley's Raw Bar

222 Ninth St., Dickinson, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Tepatitlan 2

4720 N. Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fu Fu Cafe

9889 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hong Kong Dim Sum

9889 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Shri Balaji Bhavan Pure Vegetarian Restaurant

5655 Hillcroft St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Crawfish and Noodles

11360 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mala Sichuan Bistro

9348 Bellaire, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Provisions

807 Taft, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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3 comments
Echelon
Echelon

Richard Knight is the bomb and I've seen him and former partners James/Megan Silk at Giacomo's several times...they are correct about the place being wonderful

ekhilton
ekhilton

I think English was the secondary language used in this article - which makes me love it all the more. Good stuff, thanks!

Houstess
Houstess

WHEN is Hunky Dory opening?  *drumming fingers, tapping foot*

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