Inside the gorgeous dining room at Triniti, which is currently a James Beard Foundation finalist in the Outstanding Restaurant Design category, you can always spy the chefs hard at work in the open kitchen creating food that is both delicious and beautifully plated. But it makes you wonder: If these chefs make beautiful food day in and day out, what do they eat in their downtime?
This week, we answer that question when our Where the Chefs Eat series visits Triniti to see where Greg Lowry, Matthew Lovelace and Dax McAnear like to eat when they're out of the spotlight. (Executive chef Ryan Hildebrand shared his answers in a previous post, which you can read here.)
Greg Lowry Chef de Cuisine at Triniti
Standard go-to: We go to Collina's -- simple Italian food. Usually we get pizzas; their pizzas are awesome. Their margherita is really, really good. We have three kids, so it's easy stuff. We go to Chuy's quite a bit, the one in The Woodlands. We get the Elvis fried chicken. It's chicken breast breaded in Lay's potato chips and topped with queso. It's kind of a heart-attack plate, but it's so good.
Cheap eats: Taco Bell is a weakness. I think every chef is into Taco Bell. I like the new Doritos tacos, to be honest with you. It's like that guilty pleasure.
Other faves: We go to Mooyah Burgers every now and then. It's kind of a new small chain that's popping up. It's straight up good ol' American burgers, hand-cut french fries, very similar to Five Guys, but it's thicker patties. Right next to that is a Tutti Frutti that we like to take the kids to.
Matthew Lovelace Sous Chef at Triniti
Standard go-to: Boondoggles, a classic on my side of town -- I live in Clear Lake. Best pizzas in Houston, in my opinion. Their "Tejas" is good -- they have the only wood-burning pizza oven on our side of town -- it's chorizo, goat cheese, pickled jalapeños and sour cream. Gilhooley's -- it's family-owned. One of the oldest oyster houses in Texas. No one under 18 is allowed. Cash only. If you don't like it, don't eat there. They're famous for smoking their oysters with parmesan garlic butter. They've got chicken-fried chicken livers with country gravy, their boudin's good -- everything's good there. Michiru [Webster location at 20911 Gulf Freeway] has great sushi, phenomenal. If you want standard, classic American food, there's Classic Cafe -- they have the best chicken-fried chicken ever. There's also a new place called the Cock & Bull Pub -- they have the best shepherd's pie and good fish and chips.
Cheaps eats: I really like a place called Nobi Public House. Nothing is over $10. It's on my side of town -- it's on Nasa Road 145, which is technically in Webster. I like them; they're new, they've been open about a month and a half now. Their Nobi Hot Dog is good. It's a hot dog on a banh mi roll with all the vegetables.
Other faves: There's a place called Gio's that does great Chicago-style pizza. I like to eat with my family a lot. People are afraid to venture out of the 610 or outside the Loop, but there's other places to eat in the world. Chris Shepherd has made that place, Thanh Phuong, in Pearland famous, but I've been eating there forever; it's awesome. Their calamari is awesome. Their venison carpaccio is the best thing in the world. Their caramelized catfish in the clay pot is hands down the best ever, and their goat and dumplings take awhile but they're phenomenal and totally worth the wait.
Dax McAnear Chef de Cuisine of the upcoming Brande Restaurant
Standard go-to: Honestly, Buffalo Wild Wings lately. I'm better at trivia than my wife, so I get to beat her at trivia while eating wings. I get the mild; I'm kind of a pussy when it comes to heat.
Cheap eats: Under $10? Nowhere, really. My house, I guess. We just had a kid, so we're not going anywhere...Fiesta, I would say. I'm making flank steak and tacos.
Other faves: I think Justin Yu's doing the best food in town at Oxheart. I had a great meal at Coppa. The octopus was awesome -- that little octopus jelly thing was really, really good. Underbelly, obviously, I love Chris [Shepherd]. The roast beef was really good the last time we went; the little wagyu skewers he's doing, I like a lot. Also, anything Ryan Pera makes at Revival Market is good.
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If you missed our previous posts, click below to see more of Where the Chefs Eat:
- Ryan Hildebrand, Michael Pellegrino, Kaz Edwards
- Roberto Castre, David Guerrero, Hugo Ortega
- Anita Jaisinghani, Elouise Adams Jones, Erin Smith
- John Sikhattana, Ji Kang, Junnajet Hurapan
- Grant Gordon, Matt Marcus, Kevin Naderi
- Chris Shepherd, Ryan Pera, Antoine Ware
- David Cordua, Jonathan Jones, Randy Rucker
- Bryan Caswell, Randy Evans, Danny Trace
- Brandi Key, Monica Pope, Jamie Zelko
- David Denis, Jean-Philippe Guy, Philippe Schmit
- Rebecca Masson, Philip Speer, Chris Leung
- Seth Siegel-Gardner, Terrence Gallivan, Justin Yu
- Amalia Pferd, Sean Carroll, John Peterson
- Alex Padilla, Jose Vela, Mario Valdez
- Christine Ha and Alvin Schultz
- Ryan Lachaine, Lyle Bento, Victoria Dearmond