The Five Best Hidden Restaurant Gems in Westchase
Photo by Daniel Kramer Carnivores, Saldivia's is the place for you.
Saldivia's opened in 2010 under the name South American Grill, but it was actually the second incarnation of a South American restaurant for the Saldivia family, who owned Chimi Churri's Restaurant on Bellaire in the 1990s. Today, the spot is still known for serving some majorly large portions of meat at majorly reasonable prices. The mixed grill or parrillada completa is the best bet, featuring pretty much every meat on the menu. It comes with morcilla and sweet breads, of course, as well as chorizo, skirt steak, beef ribs, roasted potatoes, grilled veggies and delectable chimichurri sauce. Just note: regardless of what it says on the menu, this is not a dish for one person. Maybe not even for two people. Go with a crowd to get the full meat-lover's experience.
1. Emporio Brazilian Cafe
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg The feijoada is the best dish on Emporio's wonderful menu.
I only recently discovered Emporio, and it's already a new favorite. The restaurant is a little more upscale than you might expect from a busy strip center off Westheimer, with white linen tablecloths and a well-dressed waitstaff in chic striped aprons. The prices don't reflect the atmosphere, though, perhaps partially because the restaurant is a mix between dining establishment and tiny general store off to one side. Robb Walsh reviewed Emporio back in 2002 (yes, it's been around that long, and still many people don't know about it), and in his review he highlighted a dish that I, too, love: feijoada. It's a black bean and pork stew intended to be spooned over rice and sautéed kale. It's salty and rich, with the pork infusing flavor into the beans and the beans coloring everything else in the dish a luscious black. In his review, Walsh writes, "Legend has it that feijoada was invented by African slaves who took pigs' knuckles, snouts and other odd pieces unwanted by their masters and stewed the cuts slowly with black beans and seasonings. The resulting dish was so delicious it went on to cross all lines of race, class and income and become Brazil's national dish." Fortunately, you need only to head to Westchase to experience this piece of Brazil for yourself.
And here's a handy new feature...a map with all the info. Happy exploring!
10850 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX
11150 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX
10234 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX
12288 Westheimer, Houston, TX