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  • Article

    Best Retro Tex-Mex Restaurant - Larry's Original Mexican Restaurant

    Neon beer signs glow brightly in the cool darkness. The taco and tostada are made of old-fashioned ground beef with a minimum of seasonings and a maximum of chopped iceberg. The tamale and rice and beans are served swimming in chili gravy. Larry's se...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Polish Restaurant - Janina's Restaurant

    This cozy little restaurant a few blocks from Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Polish Catholic church, is the place to catch up on the doings of the Eastern European community over blintzes and tea. Be prepared for a long wait if you arrive during the po...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Salvadoran Restaurant - Super La Mexicana

    Why would a Salvadoran restaurant choose a name like Super La Mexicana? Well, it didn't really. This part-convenience store part-luncheonette already had that name when the current proprietors bought it. The new owners decided it was too expensive to...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Barbecue - Thelma's Bar-B-Que

    Look for the little red house in the crusty Third Ward neighborhood east of the George R. Brown Convention Center. You have to pass through a screened-in porch with a dilapidated sofa and a pile of broken chairs to reach the entrance proper. Inside, ...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Soul Food Restaurant - Pearl's Soul Food Caf

    The brick floor, wood-paneled walls, fake hanging plants and stained-glass light fixtures hanging over every table make the dining room look like an expanded breakfast nook. Friends and neighbors gather here to linger over lunch and watch sports on t...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Steak House - The Palm Restaurant

    Palm on Westheimer (the cognoscenti don't say "the") has a lot of special memories for Houstonians. When it opened in 1977, it epitomized the "anything goes" spirit of the oil boom. And it's still a boisterous joint with big steaks, big Bordeaux and ...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Sushi Bar - Kubo's Japanese Restaurant

    Chef Kubo (short for Hajime Kubokawa) made this the best sushi bar in Houston. But Kubo doesn't work here anymore. Luckily, Hori (short for Manubu Horiuchi), the new head chef at Kubo's and Kubokawa's former second-in-command, is extremely talented ...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Thai Restaurant - Bangkok Place

    Recently reopened under new "old" management, Bangkok Place continues to churn out top notch Thai food. At $6.95, for both the lunch and dinner buffets, it's one of the best values in town. Starters include two different soups (tom yam or sweet-and-s...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Vegetarian Restaurant - Naturally Yours Caf

    We know what you meat lovers are thinking: It's not "naturally mine" unless it's made with flesh! Well, you can dine on hormone-free cattle products here, too, but the shining stars on the menu are Naturally Yours's vegan dishes: smothered Stakelets,...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Vietnamese Restaurant - Ba Ky

    It's such fun to take people who think of ethnic restaurants as tacky little dumps to the palatial Ba Ky and watch their eyes pop out of their heads. French colonial furniture, columns of giant bamboo stalks and tropical flowers greet you at the fron...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot Downtown - The Express Grocery and Deli

    A city work crew, bright vests glowing in the dim early morning, makes its way through a breakfast of eggs and bacon. Along the window-side counter, two young professionals fight to overcome the martinis of the previous night with eye-opening cups of...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot in Montrose - Barnaby's

    Celebrating its tenth year this December, Barnaby's is a landmark in the Montrose. Named in memory of principal owner Jeffrey Gale's beloved sheepdog, the restaurant is adorned with cute images of the pooch. And the menu, consisting primarily of good...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot in Bellaire - Auntie Pasto's

    Even foodies will agree that sometimes comfort means more than cuisine, though the elegantly casual Auntie Pasto's offers a solid mix of both. It's not surprising that pasta reigns supreme here, with the 22 menu offerings ranging from black bean past...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot in the Galleria Area - Chacho's Mexican Restaurant

    We know what you're thinking. You saw "Galleria" and imagined meals at Morton's Steakhouse, or Cafe Annie or any number of high-dollar restaurants. That's why Chacho's is a natural choice. Located just down the street from the Galleria in a faux adob...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Bistro - Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar

    The best thing about Mockingbird Bistro is the unpretentious menu. This is the perfect place to enjoy a big fat steak with french fries and an earthy Rhne red wine or a hamburger and a cold beer. In many cases, the quality of the ingredients elevate...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot in the Heights - Patrenella's Ristorante

    "It's such a nice night, why don't you have a seat on the patio and have a glass of wine while you look at the menu?" the kindly old man advises as you walk up the front steps. If owner Sammy Patrenella seems at home here in this big old house in the...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Breakfast - The Breakfast Klub

    Catfish and grits may sound odd to you, but it's a popular breakfast dish in the Southeast, particularly in Georgia and the Carolinas. And while Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in L.A. made that kooky combination famous, it was actually invente...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Brunch - Brennan's

    Turtle soup, champagne and gospel music; it's a heady combination on an early Sunday afternoon. You can't help feeling like you're in New Orleans when you walk in the front door, and Brennan's plays the Crescent City card for all it's worth. The Hous...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Burger Joint - Tookie's

    The junk-store decor of this waterside burger bar draws an odd mix of bikers and moms with toddlers. Seabrook is a scenic drive down Highway 146, past the majestic bayside refineries whose smokestacks stand as straight and tall as palm trees. You for...

    on September 26, 2002
  • Article

    Best Cuban Restaurant - The Little Havana

    A vertical arrangement of tropical fruit in a basket on the gleaming white bar looks like Carmen Miranda's hat. The bartender borrows from the overflow of pineapples, bananas and assorted tropical fruits to make smoothies. Meanwhile, the barista cran...

    on September 26, 2002
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