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.
At BB's Beef & Hot Dog, owners Charles and Brenda Rivers aren't just serving a roast beef sandwich and calling it a hot Italian beef. This couple from the south side of Chicago is serving the real thing, dipped and all. They even sell tubs of their popular giardiniera to go for $5.99 if you want to try your hand at an Italian beef at home.
But why would you, when the ones at BB's are so damn good? They're so good, in fact, that you won't mind the juices running down your hands and arms while you eat; you'll just be appreciative, if you're like me, that the juices are there at all -- it's the hallmark of a great Italian beef, after all. Strongly flavored with oregano, basil, marjoram and sage, that juice -- along with the spicy giardiniera blend of peppers on top -- is what makes an Italian beef so wonderful.
The juices don't just soak into the bread, of course; they infuse the meat, too. And the end result of this ultra-messy sandwich is something that's greater than the sum of its parts, all meat and bread and juice and peppers fused into one. And although it isn't for everyone (just like a Chicago-style hot dog, with its festive vegetable topping), it's a welcome Bayou City outpost for those who miss the Windy City and its food.
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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