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.
Pearland's got all the good restaurants these days: Killen's Steakhouse, Central Texas BBQ, MerCheri's, Floyd's Cajun Seafood House, Thanh Phuong, The Pie Garden and now King's Biergarten (which is conveniently located, as luck would have it, right next to the Pie Garden -- it's a garden of grub!).
As its name would suggest, King's serves beer -- and plenty of it -- as well as an array of homemade German and Austrian food that puts Rudi Lechner's and Old Heidelberg (the only two other Teutonic restaurants in town) to shame, whose glory days have since passed. King's offers the kind of hearty yet fresh sausages and schnitzels that Houston has long lacked, especially given our state's strong Germanic heritage.
The sausage sampler at King's, which is charmingly located in an old Mexican restaurant that's been converted to an oddly scenic location with a beautiful "biergarten" outside by owner Johann Sitler, is just shy of $11 and comes with enough food to split between two people: three sausages, bacon-studded sauerkraut, softly vinegared red cabbage, white bread and strong, thick mustard. The weisswurst is my favorite, a delicate white sausage from Bavaria made with a blend of pork and veal, flavored with parsley, lemon, ginger and cardamom. It's not the heavy, livery sausage so often associated with Germanic cuisine, and that's all the more reason to love the stuff: It has the texture of sifted pate, light and airy and simply ausgezeichnet.
The coarse, juicy, richly-spiced bratwurst is the polar opposite of the weisswurst, and both are equally good here. Of course, that bratwurst goes best with the spicy mustard on the side as well as washed down with a half-liter of Spaten Oktoberfest. That's right: King's sells its beer in liters or half-liters only. But if you're feeling sehr gut, you can order a boot for $35.
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The list so far:
No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19 No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia No. 79: Goat pepper soup at Peppersoup Cafe No. 78: Melon and Texas feta salad from Beaver's No. 77: Hot Italian beef from BB's Beef & Hot Dog No. 76: Bacon-avocado burger from Facundo Cafe No. 75: Pancakes from Fountain View Cafe No. 74: Hobnobs from Fluff Bake Bar No. 73: Chu chee eggplant from Nidda Thai