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100 Favorite Dishes 2014: A Love Letter to Houston Food

Celebrating our city's diverse culinary scene.

No. 81, Katfish and Grits at The Breakfast­ Klub

3711 Travis, 713-528-8561, thebreakfastklub.com

The catfish and grits breakfast at The Breakfast Klub is a big ol' piece of battered and fried catfish, two eggs cooked however you want, a biscuit or toast, and a delectable mound of perfect grits with a little pool of yellow butter in the center. It's the ideal combination of seafood and carbs for breakfast.

No. 80, The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch

1010 Banks, 832-660-3038, sandywitch.com

The Marie Laveau features tender and juicy Dr Pepper-braised short rib with just a hint of herbal sweetness from the soda, stewed collard greens and house-made honey mustard with a kick. That's all served on a Kraftsmen challah bun sprinkled with crispy shallot strings that can get quite messy from all the saucy stuff inside.

No. 79, Carnissima Pizza at ­­Coppa ­Osteria

5210 Morningside, 713-522-3535, coppaosteriahouston.com

This wood-fired pizza is topped with crumbled Italian sausage, prosciutto, cured coppa, salumi toscano and pepperoni. Each meat originates on a pig, but they are all cured and prepared differently (and from different cuts) to create a diversity of pork flavors all on one delectable round package. The final product is drizzled with a Parmesan cream sauce and a bit of scamorza.

No. 78, Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius

3000 Caroline, 713-529-8466, 13celsius.com

It's a deceptively simple sandwich, but the bright pop of acidic mustard and the little bits of creamy fat in the thinly sliced mortadella add new dimensions to what's arguably a glorified meat, cheese and tomato sandwich. When that golden yolk breaks and oozes all over the rest of the sandwich, the ensuing flavor combination — meaty and buttery, salty and tart — is a thing of beauty.

No. 77, Lamb Lollipops at Américas

2040 West Gray, 832-200-1492, cordua.com/americas

At Américas, they get lamb just right. The marinade helps keep it juicy and tender while adding an extra dimension to a meat that can often be gamy. It's grilled so that it's nice and charred on the outside, but still soft and pink in the center.

No. 76, The Heights Burger at Gratifi

302 Fairview, 832-203-5950, gratifikitchenandbar.com

Unlike many meat-free burgers that use fillers like bread crumbs and weird, science-project pseudo-meat, Gratifi's black bean patty is just that: black beans. In addition to being substantial, the burger is also delicious, thanks to the addition of salsa to the patty and the thick slice of pepper Jack melted ontop.

No. 75, "Date With a Pig" at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop

3701 Travis, 713-524-6922, sparrowhouston.com

The "Date With a Pig" is served by the single date on the bar menu, and it's drizzled with homemade north African chermoula. The date is slightly sweet, the chorizo it's stuffed with is creamy and slightly spicy, the bacon wrapped around the whole thing is fatty and crisp, and the drizzle of chermoula adds a hint of cumin and garlic to the mix.

No. 74, Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto

1401 Cullen, 713-224-1898

For only $1.50, you get a single taco filled with cheese and chunks of sliced pork that appear to have been pan-fried to achieve a crisp on the outside of the corn tortilla, along with papas sautéed with cumin and chile and blackened around the edges, caramelized onions, fresh cilantro, half a lemon, and a generous helping of green tomatillo and jalapeño salsa on top.

No. 73, Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac

2617 Yale, 713-622-8646, jusmac.com

Chewy macaroni is doused in a cheese sauce that comes from an 80-year-old family recipe, then this creamy combo is topped with a layer of homemade chili that's rich and hearty enough to stand on its own without the added mac and cheese. Corn chips scattered on top provide a nice crunch.

No. 72, Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's

2327 Post Oak, 713-871-8883, kennyandziggys.com

Available seasonally.

Kenny & Ziggy's does pot pie by stewing a hearty mixture of lean cubed chicken, celery, onion and carrot in a thick, meaty broth, then topping the whole thing with a buttery, flaky puff pastry hat. It's not too salty, as many pot pies and stews can be, nor is it too glutinous from flour added to the broth to thicken it. The meat is tender and flavorful.

No. 71, Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19

1962 West Gray, 713-524-1919, brasserie19.com

The Lazy Lane frites are served in a big bowl — bigger than I anticipated for an appetizer — of slightly curly, dark orangey-brown fries tossed in sauce au poivre, grated Parmesan, truffle oil and chives. Then the mound of frites is topped with a generous portion of seared foie gras.

No. 70, Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery

5216 Morningside, 713-434-6129, cloud10creamery.com

It's three scoops of different ice cream — chocolate, vanilla and Nutella with marshmallows — and three types of sauce — a dark-maroon berry jam, a milk chocolate shell and rich fudge. The banana slices are sprinkled with a little sugar and then caramelized with a torch before being added to the ice cream, along with candied pecans, whipped cream and impossibly cool Nutella powder.

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13 comments
ACookNotAFoodie
ACookNotAFoodie

Pho Binh = Pho from instant powder, just add water. Never a good pho place unless they're cookin bones from scratch.

rachelili91
rachelili91

I have to say that I'm loyal to Oh My Gogi for kimchi fries-- no fake cheese there (after eating Oh My Gogi so many times, Koagie Hots' fries were a real letdown...) shredded cheese, chipotle mayo, sriracha, cilantro, onion and of course, bulgogi has won my heart over, time and time again.

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks

The bottom 50 looked better than the top 50.

anaszeineddine
anaszeineddine

the Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro is a must try.

anas zeineddine and fabio meneg tried this it was delicious.

bronson
bronson

nice work, that's quite a selection of goodies!

Jilian Ryan
Jilian Ryan

Corry Cummings, a "few" options for your other meals in Houston

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

Thought for sure the Mcrib at one the area's 25 McDonald's would have taken top prize.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@timblack2  I really wanted to put Taco Cabana's queso on there. No lie.

yourdad
yourdad

@darjae  Can you read, dude? The list is called "100 Favorite Dishes" not "100 Top Dishes" and most certainly not "Darjae's 100 Top Dishes."

 
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