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.
What will $9 get you at Taqueria Arandas? The bowl you see above, which is roughly a half-gallon of caldo de mariscos with nearly an entire ocean's worth of seafood inside.
In case you can't tell from just the photo, the inventory includes: a whole crab, mussels (two kinds), shrimp, octopus, squid, catfish and fake krab-with-a-K (because why not?) along with huge rounds of carrots and potatoes. You also get a toasted and buttered torta bun on the side for sopping up the broth when you've eaten all the seafood (very important stuff) as well as a bowl of Mexican rice, if you want to dump it in and make your meal even heartier.
I recommend getting the seafood soup, as my friend Guns and Tacos has instructed me to do, with Arandas's lemonade ("You don't get fake shit at a taqueria," he mused one day over lunch), then taking half the limes that come with the soup and squeezing them into your lemonade for added punch. The other half of the limes go into the soup for some bright acidity, all topped off with about four tablespoons of Valentina hot sauce for good measure. Buen provecho.
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The list so far:
No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F. No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill No. 73: X-Tudo burger at Friends Pizzeria No. 72: Esparragos gratinados at Tintos No. 71: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen No. 70: Geisha dog at Happy Endings No. 69: Oyster po-boy and gumbo at Goode Co. Seafood No. 68: Ceviche at Sirena Seafood