Top 5: Appetizers

Vietnamese egg rolls from Hollywood.
Vietnamese egg rolls from Hollywood.

Which places start your meal off just right? Find out, as we take a look at some of the best appetizers Houston has to offer.

5. Pappasito's Matador Nachos Unless you're a complete fat ass, I'd highly recommend splitting these between at least two, probably three people. Matador Nachos have an awesome name, and taste even better. Pappasito's uses thicker tortilla chips to withstand the massive amount of pressure applied by queso, refried beans, ground beef, guacamole and a variety of other condiments. I sometimes order these as an entrée, and at$8.95, it's hard to find a better deal out there.

4. Hollywood's Vietnamese's Egg Rolls The more I think about this battle, the more I want to go back and get several orders of these little fried delights. Again, the chewy, yet crispy wrapper is what really separates this egg roll from the competition. Dip one in some fish sauce, and let the magic that is a Vietnamese egg roll consume you. You will not be disappointed, and I'm guessing stopping at one order will prove to be difficult.

Lasagna fritta from Olive Garden.
Lasagna fritta from Olive Garden.
www.olivegarden.com

3. Mark's Oysters How does "hearth roasted Wianno oysters topped with a ragout of jumbo lump crabmeat, shrimp and roasted leeks in a truffle oil vinaigrette" sound? That's the description, according to Mark's menu, and I can tell you the taste lives up to the fancy wording. Next time you have a special occasion, splurge a little, and order the oysters. Like the restaurant itself, they are quite elegant.

2. Haven's Pig Trotter Fritters First off, Haven doesn't offer appetizers, it offers enticements--which sound a hell of lot more appealing. Topping the enticement list are those darn fried balls of tender pig, accompanied by, among other things, some pickled onions. Everything works together so well with this dish--and it's fried to absolute perfection. Most people go with Haven's popular shrimp corn dogs, but if you're feeling a tad bit more adventurous, give the trotters a try.

1. Olive Garden's Lasagna Fritta Olive Garden nails it with soup, salad, bread sticks - and, yes, lasagna fritta. The dish consists of pieces of lasagna fried in a parmesan breading, placed over alfredo sauce, and topped with marinara and more cheese. Other than the caloric content, what's not to like? It's the best appetizer you'll find in Houston, and because it's found at Olive Garden, this app is always only one exit away.

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