The Most Underrated Pizza in Houston... According to You

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
This pizza from Pink's is delish...but probably not underrated.
Okay, Houston, let's talk pizza.

This city has a surprising variety of pizza for a region so burger- and barbecue-happy. There are some incredible Neapolitan-style wood-fired pies from places like Dolce Vita and Pizaro's, late-night munchie slices from Pi Pizza Truck and solid delivery options from Pink's and Pizza L'Vino. Boheme makes unusual lavash pizzas, and Provisions piles on the interesting toppings. We've got it all, except, maybe, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. If someone can find a decent deep-dish pie in Houston, please do let me know!

I also want to know where you go in town for pizza that other people might not consider. Does your favorite greasy pie come from a food court? Is there a bar in town slinging a super slice? Is there, after all, a great spot for some Chicago-style pizza?

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UPDATE: Video of Brawl at Houston Chacho's Goes Viral, Reminds World We're Classy

Categories: Food Fight, News

Photo from VoicePlaces
This past Thursday, April 3, a bystander shot footage of three women at the Chacho's on Westheimer engaging in a physical altercation with management and staff at the restaurant. Eventually, a Chacho's employee pinned one of the women to the ground, while the other two circled around, yelling wildly for him to stop. One of them was carrying an infant in her arms.

The video has now been shown on websites and news outlets across the country, gathering thousands of views. It's unclear exactly what caused the situation to escalate into such madness.

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The Most Underrated Restaurant in Houston Is...

Photo by Nicholas Hall
The pizza from your number 5 pick is totally underrated.
Well, friends, more than 1,300 of you voted on the most underrated restaurant in Houston. Thanks for letting your opinion be known. Some of you weren't happy with the poll choices, but remember, those came from you, not me. So you have only yourselves to blame.

But really, I thought all of the options were pretty solid.

Only five of the choices got more than seven percent of your votes, but they're pretty darn good choices in my opinion. Here are your top five most underrated restaurants in Houston.

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Battle Refrigerated Biscuit Dough: Pillsbury vs. Store Brand

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Who Is Flakier????

Whose refrigerated biscuit dough brings all the boys to the yard?

This intrepid food journalist decided to find out by conducting a comprehensive evaluation taste-testing of two brands side by side. The contenders: Pillsbury and H-E-B store brand "Hill Country Fare."

Okay, a little more background. Although I prefer making biscuits from scratch, I knew I would not have time later this week to make a carbohydrate companion to my hearty Irish stew (see upcoming post) all in one afternoon, so in preparation I decided to consider my pre-made refrigerated-dough options.

Readers of this blog may have noticed I have given favorable reviews to Pillsbury products and thus may be unfairly biased.

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Kevin Naderi to Face Off at Iron Fork Against...

We have secured a second chef for the third annual Iron Fork competition at this year's Menu of Menus Extravaganza. This brave fellow will be competing against Kevin Naderi of Roost in a secret-ingredient cooking challenge moderated by Randy Evans of Haven to determine which of them is the Iron Fork master.

Here are some hints:

  • He was born in Manhattan...Kansas.
  • He has worked with Lucky Dog Rescue to raise money and foster homeless dogs.
  • He never went to culinary school. Instead, he started as a line cook at the Aquarium at Kemah.
  • He served as the private chef for country singer George Strait.
  • He's an avid fisherman, and that comes through in much of his Gulf Coast-influenced cooking.
  • His last meal would probably be a rib eye, pounded out, chicken-fried, with mashed potatoes and gravy on it.

  • Any guesses?

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    The Most Underrated Restaurants in Houston...According to You

    Photo by Jeff Balke
    I love House of Pies #sorrynotsorry
    Recently, we stumbled across CultureMap's article about the most overrated restaurants in Houston. In it, Eric Sandler called out Uchi, Underbelly, Mark's, Mai's, Haven, The Breakfast Klub, Torchy's Tacos, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Houston's and Reef as restaurants whose "execution doesn't quite match their rhetoric or commensurate level of hype."


    As one might expect, the article created a lot of hubbub, but it also got people talking and engaged in infantile intelligent online conversations. While we're choosing to stay mum on what we might consider overrated restaurants in Houston (Why can't we all just get along?!), it got us thinking: What would Houstonians consider to be the most underrated restaurants in town? Which hidden gems do folks wish would get their proper due?

    No, really, tell us!

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    Hungry? Check Out One of Houston's Many Eating Contests, Sure to Fill You Up

    Photo courtesy Kenny & Ziggy's
    Can you conquer the Zellagabetsky?
    They say everything's bigger in Texas, including our burgers, pizzas and bowls of pho. OK, so the pho thing might be unique to Houston, and that's just one of the reasons that Houston eating competitions are the best: They're incredibly diverse. From Bellaire to Baytown, Sugar Land to the Woodlands, Galveston, Downtown and everywhere in between, restaurants have created challenges to test the stamina of local eaters and tourists alike.

    Just the other day, I received an email from a new restaurant called Fat Boy's Bar and Grill (opening in February), which claims to have the biggest burger in Houston and quite possibly the biggest burger in the state. Weighing in at 15 pounds, the burger will be the headliner in Fat Boy's eating competition: If you can eat the behemoth in less than three hours, you'll win your photo on the Wall of Fame, a Fat Boy's T-shirt and a free meal. Unfortunately, you'll lose your dignity.

    But eating contests aren't about dignity. They're about eating the biggest, the spiciest, the most calorically outrageous items bored restaurateurs can dream up, often under a time limit and with the stipulation that you can't, you know, let the food come back up when it's all over.

    Here in Houston we have more than a dozen contests. These are some of the most popular.

    Happy eating, friends. And remember, no vomiting.

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    Business Casual? Man Turned Away From Da Marco for Wearing Sneakers

    Photo by Kent Wang
    Today's specials are on the board. The dress code is not.
    On Tuesday afternoon, a person who frequently interacts with Eating...Our Words on Twitter tweeted the following statement:

    We went to the Da Marco website to search for a description of the dress code that had been violated, but we couldn't find anything. The menu is all there, along with the hours of operation, contact information and the location, all clearly listed. There's a link to make reservations on OpenTable. On Da Marco's Open Table page -- under "More Details" -- is a description of the dress code: Business casual. As far as we can tell, that's the only place the code is listed.

    So we emailed the sneaker-wearing would-be customer to get the whole story.

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    PSA: Stop Sharing Photos of Receipts With Crazy Tips and Messages

    Photo by vxla
    Enough with the photos of receipts, people! Go photograph a sunset.
    Two thousand thirteen will go down in history as the year of sharing restaurant receipts via social media.

    First it was the Applebee's employee who shared a a photo of a check left by a pastor who included no tip, for religious reasons.Then there was the pushback and subsequent Instagram account by Tips for Jesus, a group (or individual) leaving enormous tips because it's the Christian thing to do. Next came racial slurs printed on receipts, complaints about needy kids, anti-gay rants and people saying that it was President Obama's fault that they did not have enough money to pay for a meal.

    It's entirely possible that this sort of thing has been happening for years. It's likely, in fact, that a server has been stiffed for being gay in the past, and it's definitely true that every now and then a stranger leaves a huge tip for a server for no apparent reason. (That was sort of the plot of a 1994 Nicholas Cage movie, It Could Happen to You.)

    But in 2013, these little slips of paper stating what people ate and the the total cost of their meals were plastered all over the Internet in an attempt to gain pissed off, confused or newly wealthy servers 15 minutes of fame.

    And I'm so over it.

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    Your Anonymous Reviews and Comments May Not Be Anonymous Much Longer

    Screenshot by Kaitlin Steinberg
    A Virginia court set a new free speech precedent, and Yelp ain't happy about it.
    So much for free speech.

    Last week, a Virginia court ruled that Yelp must turn over the identities of seven anonymous reviewers of a carpet store because the commenters may not have been actual customers. According to Yelp's terms of service:

    "You may expose yourself to liability if, for example, Your Content contains material that is false, intentionally misleading, or defamatory; violates any third-party right, including any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral right, privacy right, right of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right; contains material that is unlawful, including illegal hate speech or pornography; exploits or otherwise harms minors; or violates or advocates the violation of any law or regulation.

    The part that stood out to the court in Virginia is the bit about "material that is false." According to the court, these statements aren't protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. By that logic, neither are your restaurant reviews on Yelp or your anonymous comments on blogs unless they're clearly non-libelous opinions or verifiable statements of fact ... Right?

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