Eating Our Hearts Out

100 Favorite dishes in the Bayou City

No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers 3501 W. Holcombe, 713-664-2874

The chicken patty at JerryBuilt is a special blend of chicken created just for the restaurant, which means the patty is never lopsided and always juicy. You can customize the sandwich to your liking at no extra cost, but I like it the same way owner Brooksy Smith does: topped with jalapeño cream cheese, bacon and Ernie's sauce (a blend of ketchup, Duke's mayonnaise and Wickles Pickles relish).

No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay 218 Travis, 713-225-8079

No. 19: Truffled egg toast at Dolce Vita
Katharine Shilcutt
No. 19: Truffled egg toast at Dolce Vita

The asparagus inside the Saint Arnold beer-based batter at Hearsay is still bright green and crisp, while the batter gives a nice crunch as you work your way down the stalk.

No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe 611 W. 22nd, 713-426-1300

The Honey Badger omelet is filled with dark orange chorizo and red onions, then topped with melting slices of havarti cheese. It comes with a couple slices of Kraftsmen's nutty whole-grain bread, which you can top with jam.

No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño 9322 Fulton, 713-697-6262

Pastelitos de carne — a Honduran twist on the empanada — have a thick exterior, usually made with coarsely ground corn. The beef inside the pastelitos at El Jalapeño is roughly chopped fajita meat topped with cabbage shreds and a spicy, creamy sauce that has an habanero kick.

No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen 12538 Memorial, 713-360-2000

Union Kitchen's pancakes come in one size — immense — and one flavor – wonderful. With each order, you'll get seven of these fluffy, golden, nutty, buttery rounds of deliciousness, and you'll love every one.

No. 85: Wild-boar and crab pizza at Boheme 307 Fairview, 713-529-1099

Boheme's menu now includes a smashing array of pizza served on lavash, a type of Armenian flatbread. Spicy wild-boar sausage mingles with flaky fresh crab meat and Brazilian queijo prato as well as a Middle Eastern spice blend called za'atar. And to top it all off: a citrusy barbecue sauce that adds a tart punch.

No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts 515 Westheimer, 713-520-7557

The croissants at this Cambodian donut shop are assembled to order, so there's a bit of a wait, but it's worth it. BB Donuts has some of the flakiest, fluffiest, most buttery croissants in Houston. Add to that crispy bacon; a thick, gooey slice of Cheddar; and a fried egg that melts into the croissant as you bite into it .

No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge 1424 Westheimer, 713-523-1622

The German-style pretzel is served with a boozy queso dip on the side. The pretzel's allure is in its stretchy, doughy simplicity, in the small scatter of crunchy salt across the top and in its ability to match nearly any beer, wine or cocktail it's paired with.

No. 82: Short-rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House 3402 N. Shepherd, 832-767-1382

The short-rib sandwich takes two pieces of buttery Texas toast and fills the space in between with savory shreds of short ribs in a tangy, balsamic-tinged sauce. The balsamic vinegar helps cut the fattiness of the meat, as does the crunchy coleslaw on top.

No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux 2525 South Loop W., 713-665-3155

It's difficult to find really good po-boys in Houston, but the crispy, French bread; tart, thinly sliced pickles, and tangy house dressing on the shrimp sandwiches here get you at least halfway to Louisiana.

No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar

6662 Southwest Fwy., 713-977-0150

It's not just about the brightly bouncing flavors inside the puffy puri shells — sour-sweet tamarind chutney, tangy yogurt, spicy mint chutney, stiff red onions, herbal cilantro — but about the contrasting textures and temperatures. The chickpeas inside are soft and tender under the boisterous crunch of the puri shells and shreds of sev, the yogurt cold and bracing against the warmer chutneys.

No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales

7515 Navigation, 713-923-8549

In Michoacán, aporreado is a common breakfast dish in which machaca — dried shredded beef, which is the specialty at Los Corrales — is mixed with scrambled eggs and served under a warm blanket of spicy tomato-chile sauce. A plate of it comes with rice, beans and house-made tortillas thick with lard.

No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana 18450 I-45 S., Shenandoah, 936-447-9623

The oxtail-stuffed francobolli have been part of chef Aldo el Sharif's repertoire for years — whether at Aldo's Cucina Italiana or his former restaurants in Houston proper. The silky pocket of handmade pasta hides a heart of fatty, unctuous beef that's offset by the bright tang of homemade marinara sauce sharpened with garlic.

No. 77: Tonkotsu ramen at Cafe Kubo's 9889 Bellaire, 713-995-4200

The tonkotsu ramen at Cafe Kubo's has a scent that's thick, nutty and satisfying. While the noodles aren't handmade, they are cooked to a perfect al dente in a husky broth that testifies to its piggy origins: Tonkotsu ramen is made by slowly boiling pork fat, pork bones and pork collagen for hours at a time.

No. 76: Spinach Danish at Angela's Oven 204 Aurora, 832-239-0437

The spinach Danish from Angela's Oven is a savory, salty way to start your day, with the vegetal bite of spinach balanced against the salty creaminess of soft cheese underneath.

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Great list! Love that Hot Bagel Shop is on there. Really love that goat and dumplings too!