This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.
As I understand it, the "X" that comes before every burger on a Brazilian fast-food-style menu -- like the one at Friends Pizzeria -- indicates that the burger will have, at the very least, cheese. That's because the letter X is pronounced "sheesh" in Portuguese, a sound which comes very close to sounding like "cheese." So a X-Tudo burger on the Friends Pizzeria menu means that you're getting a cheeseburger "Tudo" -- with almost everything.
Everything means everything: bacon, ham, peas, corn, potato sticks, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise and even a fried egg. It's a burger that's difficult to eat, for sure, but rewarding. I liked the pleasant crunch provided by the peas, corn and potato sticks, and the fatty, smoky slick from the extra-fatty bacon used on the X-Tudo burger.
"It's the classic style of burger back in Brazil," says Friends Pizzeria owner Ronaldo Gomes, who comes from a small town in Brazil -- so small, he says, that they "don't have McDonald's or Burger King."
And while he doesn't have any idea why corn, peas and potato sticks ended up being standard toppings, Gomes says: "That's what we used to eat all the time."
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The list so far:
No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F. No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill