This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus® issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape.
Yes, part of the reason I'm enamored with Goode Co. Seafood on Westpark is that I can eat in a real passenger rail car while sitting on silver and teal bar stools and being served by people who call me honey (in a non-creepy way). I love the old-school diner feel of that spot, but what I love even more is that the food is far better than your typical diner grub.
Take the fried oyster po-boy.
True, po-boys are essentially sandwiches, and it's pretty hard to mess up a sandwich. But it's even harder to make a sandwich that's truly crave-worthy like the fried oyster po-boy, a dish I keep going back for lately, anticipating that one of these days it'll just be another boring sandwich. So far, Goode Co. has proved me wrong.
There are several key elements in a po-boy that must be balanced for it to achieve maximum deliciousness. First, the bread, which is a French baguette-type bread that's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Next, the meat or protein. If it's seafood (or alligator...is that seafood?), it's usually fried. Otherwise, it's roast beef.
When a po-boy is served dressed, as it usually is, it will come with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo. There should be just enough mayo to keep the lettuce stuck to the bread, but not so much that it oozes out with every bite.
At Goode Co. Seafood, the po-boys are just as they should be.
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The white baguette bread is sliced down the middle and the chewy insides are pressed down a little to allow more stuff to fit on the inside. The oysters are breaded and fried until golden brown, but in spite of the deep oil bath they remain crunchy on the outside with a gooey oyster interior. The sandwich is dressed with the requisite shredded iceberg lettuce and mayo, but here's where the Goode Co. po-boy diverges from the norm.
Instead of sliced tomatoes, pickles and maybe onions, Good Co. slathers its bread in garlic butter, then mayo, then pico de gallo with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a bit of heat, which makes for a sandwich with more dimension than the average po-boy.
The addition of pico de gallo means that you really don't need the sauces (cocktail and tartar) served with the po-boy, though both are tangy and welcome extras that add a little somethin' somethin' when you use them for dipping every other bite.
The list so far: No. 43: Roasted Duck Red Curry at Morningside Thai No. 44: BBQ Pulled Wild Boar Sandwich at Sammy's Wild Game Grill No. 45: Guanciale Burger at Plonk No. 46: Parma 600 Pizza at Pizzeria Solario No. 47: CFC Deviled Eggs at Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar No. 48: The El Real Burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe No. 49: Custard Sandwich at Petite Sweets No. 50: Black Pepper Beer Lobster at Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant No. 51: Red Dragon Roll at Michiru Sushi No. 52: Fried Bananas Foster at Custom Confections No. 53: Bánh Canh Hue at Simply Pho No. 54: Kimchi Koagie at Koagie Hots No. 55: The Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow No. 56: Eggplant Fries at Batanga No. 57: Macarons at Ganache Dessert Bar No. 58: Grilled Cheese at The Golden Grill No. 59: Baklava French Toast at Harry's Restaurant & Cafe No. 60: Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro's No. 61: Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace No. 62: Korean Spiced Brisket Plate at Revival Market No. 63: Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich and Cafe No. 64: Squirrel Master Burger at Cottonwood No. 65: Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19 No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme