Zelko Bistro - CLOSED
In keeping with its casual, neighborhood vibe, Zelko Bistro has always prided itself on offering unusual yet highly affordable bottles of wine. But chef and owner Jamie Zelko takes it one step further with a large section that's entirely devoted to vintages from women-owned-and-run wineries. It's her way of paying it forward to other females in the male-dominated food and beverage industry, as well as a way of allowing customers to experience new wines and broaden their own horizons.
Benjy's on Washington
The happy hour scene at Benjy's on Washington is always hopping, and with good reason. What draws the crowd is not just the consistently excellent cocktails but the unbelievably priced bar menu, where a myriad of dishes can be had for a mere $5. The menu changes, but standouts have been the Asian dumplings served on a tangy slaw, chicken and pine nut pizza with truffle oil, crispy salmon mini-tacos, and beef arepas. The food is delicious, and though service is a bit harried because it's so busy, your food is always served with a smile. If only all happy hours were this good.
Tacos Mayra Taco Truck
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, this colorful taco truck located in front of a washateria dishes up some super-tasty tacos. What sets it apart from its competitors is that there's no scooping of premade filling onto a taco shell when you order here. All the fillings are finished on the grill, which means you will have to wait for your tacos to be done. The piping-hot tacos are oh-so-satisfying every time.  Flavorful, well-marinated pastor tacos burst with flavor; lengua are juicy and tender; chicharron are fatty and decadent; barbacoa hearty and melt-in-your mouth. Order on flour tortillas with everything on it (grilled onions and fresh cilantro), add some spicy salsa verde and prepare to take a trip to Mexico for just $1.50 each.
Goode Co. Seafood
Campechana at Goode Co. Seafood is almost a Houston institution, and we're pushing for it to move out of "almost" territory and into permanent acceptance. As with the seafood joints that line Airline Drive, the campechana here is served in tall sundae glasses with an olive perched on top like a cherry. Underneath, you'll find the freshest seafood that the Goode family can muster out of the Gulf along with buttery avocado chunks and a just-spicy-enough cocktail sauce that never distracts from the briny sweetness of the shrimp and crab. And during the cold months of oyster season, the campechanas are that much better.
One of the original bubble milk teahouses in Houston, Star Snow Ice is still serving up the same delicious boba drink they've been making for decades. Because the drink here is not as creamy as those you'll find at other teahouses, you can really taste the authentic flavor of the milk tea; it isn't masked by an overwhelming amount of sugar. The tapioca balls are prepared to a perfect gelatinous texture. Star Snow Ice can be found at several locations in the southwest part of Houston, so you won't have to go far to grab dessert drinks after enjoying a meal in Chinatown.
Zelko Bistro - CLOSED
Jamie Zelko was originally the executive chef at Bistro Lancaster before opening her own namesake restaurant in the Heights. Featured on the Food Network earlier this year, Zelko Bistro serves Southern comfort food with a gourmet twist. Each bite of Zelko's parmesan truffle fries is delicate and delicious. The potatoes are cut shoestring-thin and then fried to a golden perfection before being topped with truffle oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The truffle oil and parmesan flavors are mild, so that the potatoes remain the star of the dish, as it should be with any order of fries. Order them as an appetizer, and you'll be licking the plate clean.
Wabash Antiques and Feed Store
Not only roosters — ahem, cocks — can be found out back behind Wabash, the old feed store that's been here since Washington Avenue was paved with bricks. You can also purchase chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, doves, chicks, kittens and puppies. And you can purchase chicken byproducts, too, with a selection of farm-fresh eggs near the front counter. Of course, you can buy soil, fertilizer and plants here as well, but not without a lingering visit to the livestock first.
Shade
Jeff Balke
This little side order of macaroni and cheese is not your typical version. Made with Gruyère, with a drizzle of truffle oil finishing off the creamy pasta, Shade's mac & cheese is distinct, yet not pungent. The overall impression is of a dish rich but delicate in flavor. It usually accompanies the grilled pork chop, but you can order the Gruyère mac & cheese as an individual side dish, an appetizer or even as a dessert.
Chinese Café
The original location in Chinatown has been serving up savory Chinese food for decades. Now, with a second location in the Galleria area just outside the Loop, both Chinese Cafes are popular destinations for diners wanting quick, delicious Chinese food. Catering to both American and Asian palates, the place is often crowded with patrons ordering individual inexpensive specials for lunch or several dishes to share family-style for dinner. Pictures of the dishes hang on the wall to whet your appetite and make ordering easy. Some favorites include shredded pork or beef with green beans, spicy tofu in black bean sauce, and hot and sour soup. The fried rice is cooked in an authentic hot wok, which makes each grain crispy and flavorful. Hot tea is free of charge.
Wild Cajun Crawfish
Most people come to Wild Cajun for the crawfish, and with good reason — the Vietnamese sports bar's two crawfish blends are hopped up with spice and finger-licking fantastic. But the hidden secret here is the chargrilled oysters, each plump bivalve individually topped with shallots and a nose-clearing, eye-opening ginger puree that will make you forget all about horseradish and cocktail sauce.

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