Best Mom & Pop Restaurant Houston 2009 - Cafe Rita
The spicy Middle Eastern food at Cafe Rita is spectacular — eating here is like going over to your Armenian grandparents' house for lunch. George Sarikhanian, the gregarious cashier/owner, is a friendly bear with a bald head and spectacles. His wife, Rita, is a smiling matron in an apron who never comes out of the kitchen. There are pictures of grandkids stuck all over the sides of the deli case, which is stuffed to overflowing with goodies. Rita prepares traditional breakfast foul — the ancient fava bean soup with lots of lemon and garlic. The foul is replaced in the afternoon by a peppery bean soup. George and Rita always have something cooking that's not on the menu. "Taste this, we don't make it all the time, you better get some while you can," George will say, stuffing your mouth with something wonderful as you stand in line. How can you say no?