Photo by Houston Press Staff

Chili's is the kind of place where you can take anyone — grandma, fussy kids, your golfing buddies, a date. Okay, maybe not a date, but the menu is so wide and varied, and the food so predictable, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Chili's is a casual restaurant with a great bar. Or, put another way, Chili's is a great bar that serves good food. At the bar or in the restaurant, you'll find two completely different atmospheres. They serve predominantly Southwestern-style cuisine and are equally at home with fajitas, tacos and quesadillas as they are with burgers, seafood and steaks. Down a pitcher of beer with wings, the famous "awesome blossom," the Terlingua chili or a mesquite-grilled ­chicken salad.

Let's start with the buns here. Katz's uses a rich, yellow, brioche-style bun to hold an all-beef wiener that snaps when you bite it. Cover that with a wad of caramelized onions and sauerkraut, and you have the makings of a damn good hot dog. If you're a purist, you can order the dog plain and squeeze mustard on it. Katz's is always open, so you can satisfy your hot dog craving whenever you want. And lucky for us, it's also a bar. You can wash down your pickles with an assortment of specialty drinks and cold beer. If you are in a particular mood, you can even take pictures in the photo booth with your awesome hot dog...but that can get messy.

Dawn McGee

Kanomwan has a cult following that speaks for itself. Sometimes the people who eat here communicate with each other using menu item numbers like a secret code. They also insist that the owner puts an addictive substance in the food that keeps them coming back at least once a week. There's a healthy dose of heat in just about everything, but the kitchen will happily make things spicier for you — at your own peril. The owner tends to have a wicked sense of humor when customers mess with the menu. Definitely check out the pork toasts (A3), tom yum goong (S1), tom ka gai (S3), pad panang (H5) and whole fried snapper with chile sauce (H11). Then you too will make the weekly trek out to Telephone Road with your bottle of wine or cooler of beer to quell your addiction for some sweet, sweet S3.

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