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.
It's a given that the mussels should be good at a Belgian restaurant. But at the Broken Spoke, you get much more than a solid pot of mussels; you also get some of the city's best fries and owner Catherine Duwez.
In addition to making a thick, lemon-zinged mayonnaise for your frites, Duwez will warn you ahead of time if the mussels are too small to really be enjoyed. Right now, however, they're ideal: fat and plump and almost too big to be believed. La Complet Belge is my favorite way to enjoy the duo of mussels and fries, because it comes with a pint of Stella Artois to round it out -- and all for $25, which is only $5 more than just the pot of moules marinières alone.
And if you're adventurous, Duwez will whip up a special dipping sauce for the mussels with her wonderful mayonnaise. In the style of Antwerp, the sauce is meant for the mussels only -- "not the fries!" as she will quickly point out -- and is made by whipping mayonnaise together with malt vinegar. The combination is addictive, especially on the briny-sweet, super plump mussels that I pop like candy until the pot is empty.
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The list so far:
No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19 No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia No. 79: Goat pepper soup at Peppersoup Cafe No. 78: Melon and Texas feta salad from Beaver's No. 77: Hot Italian beef from BB's Beef & Hot Dog No. 76: Bacon-avocado burger from Facundo Cafe No. 75: Pancakes from Fountain View Cafe No. 74: Hobnobs from Fluff Bake Bar No. 73: Chu chee eggplant from Nidda Thai No. 72: Sausage sampler from King's Biergarten No. 71: Shawarma from Abdallah's