Want a taste of Texas? Here are five quintessential Houston dishes and where to get them:
A Texas-sized steak: Vic & Anthony's
This downtown spot gets everything right. The clubby decor, the fresh flowers, the perfectly mixed cocktails -- everything calibrated to make you feel like a high-roller. And in addition to that steak, try the calamari and the crab cakes. You won’t regret it.
Two options: Brenner's Steakhouse and Strip House
Barbecue: Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue
We’ve seen more bar fights over brisket than basketball. Texans do love their smoked meats. And this spot has been serving up some of the best for more than 80 years. And about that brisket, you really should have slab of ribs, too.
Two options: Goode Company Barbecue and Hickory Hollow
Fajitas: Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
As the name implies, this is where it all started. If you believe the legend, Mama Ninfa was (is) the patron saint of Tex-Mex. In her tiny kitchen, she cranked out the world’s first fajitas. She also popularized the margarita, turned the first avocado into guacamole and concocted a green sauce with healing powers. Mama Ninfa has left this mortal coil and the restaurants bearing her name has been gobbled up by the man, but this outpost hangs on to her memory and most of her recipes. Some of the waiters here have been serving Mama’s sizzingly plates of fajitas for more than 20 years. Just ask.
Two options: Pappasitos and Goode Company Hamburgers and Taqueria
Chicken fried steak: Barbecue Inn
This diner has been comfort-feeding H-Town for more than 60 years. It’s earned its retro feel. Everything is homemade and presented proudly. The CFS is fork tender, the gravy extra creamy and the fries house-cut. (Yeah, we eat fries with our CFS. You should, too.)
Two options: Beaver's Ice House and Sabine River Cafe
Oysters: Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen
A handsome dining room, a warm bar and a kitchen that knows how to treat fresh seafood. Danton’s has about a dozen oyster dishes on its menu, including raw, baked and in a rich, creamy stew. Our favorite is the humble po’boy with its perfectly fried oysters and garlicky remoulade dressing.
Two options: Goode Company Seafood and Calliope's Po-Boy