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Houston - one of America's great food cities!

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It's time to reveal a secret: Despite its diverse and thriving food scene, Houston has largely flown under the national radar--but no longer if we can help it. Here are four new restaurants that offer clear proof that Houston is coming into its own.


• El Real After months of anticipation, the old theater on Westheimer has reopened as a Tex-Mex throwback as interpreted by wunderkind chef Bryan Caswell and former food critic Robb Walsh. Stop by for a tomato-flecked bowl of queso, a stacked enchilada with chili con carne or a fully loaded plate of tacos al carbon. After dinner, head upstairs for a tour of Tex-Mex memorabilia.

• Revival Market The new Revival Market is a temple of local eats. Find humanely raised meats, farmstead cheeses, seasonal produce and delicious prepared foods such as meat loaf and the Revival dog, a house-made Mangalitsa pork hot dog with chicharrones and green-tomato relish on a pretzel bun.


• Pondicheri The team behind Indika, a Houston stalwart, is bringing classic Indian street food indoors at this new café. Enjoy menu items such as saag paneer samosas, goat biryani and a rotating daily dal in the gorgeous jewel-toned space. And soon, you'll be able to take it to go in a shiny stacked tiffin that's perfect for return visits.


• Melange Creperie Sean Carroll, the man behind this roving cart, fell in love with crêpes while honeymooning in Paris. He then taught himself to make them with the help of YouTube videos. His ever-changing menu includes such recent specials as local strawberries with Meyer lemon curd, Bosc pear with goat cheese and chard, and ham and egg with Gruyère.

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from Tasting Table My link


It's time to reveal a secret: Despite its diverse and thriving food scene, Houston has largely flown under the national radar--but no longer if we can help it. Here are four new restaurants that offer clear proof that Houston is coming into its own.


• El Real • Revival Market • Pondicheri • Melange Creperie


J, Their thesis is right on. Their supportive data and restaurant selections (except perhaps for El Real) undermine their thesis. There are many better examples they could cite.

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  • 2 years later...

Dinner for five white men at Pondicheri on Tuesday night. Hated the crowd of swells that were in the restaurant and in the restaurants/bars in the surrounding area.


I liked our meal though, honestly, don't know very much about Indian food. I've had a few meals that I've liked and lots of poorly executed buffet-quality stuff. I ordered for the group and we shared everything.


We started with the pickled shrimp chaat. Probably the single best thing that I ate.


Two kinds of dhosa: potato/cheese and chicken/eggplant. Very good crepe and both fillings were decent. The red sauce that came with the potato cheese dhosa a


And three sampler platters: vegetarian, meat (chicken and lamb), and seafood. Each of these came with a piece of naan and five little bowls of goodness. My three favorites were brussels sprouts, vegetable curry, and the lamb. All of the flavors were clean and there was a good range of heat from the spices. The naan was passable (cold and undersalted) and I wish it would have been better.


The consistency of the kulfi wasn't very nice. Too gummy.


(Note: I had a Lone Pint Brewery Neighbor of the Beast 667 IPA. Not as hoppy as I expected. Average.)

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We're going to be spending a fair amount of time in Houston during the next couple of years. My son has just been made store team leader of the Whole Foods in Bellaire. Great move for him. I found Megabus which, for $5, will take me to Houston so that I can stay in touch with my granddaughter.


Does anyone know of any good farm to table restaurants in the Bellaire/Meyerland area?

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  • 5 months later...

Great meal last night at Crawfish and Noodles on Bellaire and Wilcrest.


Vietnamese/Cajun mashup that slants a bit more to the the Vietnamese.


From the Cajun menu we had a pound of king crab legs and a pound of crawfish. Nothing extraordinary but well prepared and familiar.


Salt and pepper fried blue crabs were excellent. Very high quality crabs that were essentially halved and fried. I wanted more of the salt and pepper batter than I was able to get while cracking and fishing for the meat.


Chicken wings nuoc mam. Nicely spiced fish sauce was the marinade. Covered in fried shallots.


Cơm Chiên Thái (spicy basil fried rice with barbecued pork). Probably the sleeper hit for me. Spicy but not so much that it overwhelmed the herbs


All ridiculously messy to eat with hands since there was only tiny plastic utensils. Fun with a group.


The menu shows that gloves are $0,25 and might be a good idea.

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  • 1 year later...

Washington Post writer Tom Sietsma asserts that Houston has joined the top ten Food Cities in the US. Along with Chicago, Portland OR, Charleston SC, and others. He describes Houston as "what a baby produced by New Orleans and Los Angeles might look like".

The writer observes that the diversity of cultures is supported by an extensive infrastructure of growers and suppliers, and a shared camaraderie of chefs. They like each other and recommend each other's work.



Among chefs garnering the most attention are Chris Shepherd, whose Underbelly roams the world for inspiration; Justin Yu, a wonderman with vegetables at Oxheart; and Hugo Ortega, whose Caracol shows off Mexico’s coastal cuisine. Both the barbecue and Tex-Mex scenes are redefining themselves. Count on the sides at Gatlin’s BBQ to be as mouth-watering as the meats, and watch for a margarita cart to roll through the upscale Añejo restaurant.

Few markets enjoy the camaraderie found in Houston’s food scene. The leader of the pack is Underbelly, which distributes a list of dozens of the chef’s favorite places to eat with diners’ checks. Sugar & Rice, an impressive food quarterly edited by author David Leftwich, tells stories about the Gulf Coast — its ingredients, history and people — that typically aren’t covered by mainstream media. The Gulf Coast Food Program at the University of Houston promotes the scholarly study of food in the region via documentary films, oral histories and public lectures



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