100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: No. 83, Grillades and Grits at BB's Cajun Cafe

​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.


Last year, Robb Walsh placed the Tex-Cajun poutine from BB's Cajun Cafe on his list of 100 Favorite Dishes. And while it's hard to argue with the allure of gravy-and-cheese-covered fries, I have my own personal favorite at the late-night Montrose hangout (as well as the new one in the Heights).

Like poutine -- which is actually called the Tex-Cajun Virgin on BB's menu -- grillades and grits are difficult to come by in Houston. One of the ultimate recycled leftover dishes, it's a Cajun creation using slow-cooked cuts of beef (the grillades, pronounced "gree-yahdz") in a dark, roux-like gravy served over grits. Traditionally, this would be more of a breakfast item, repurposing dinner scraps from the night before into a morning meal by pouring them over grits.

But at BB's, you can enjoy this meal any time. Here, your dish of beef and grits is served with a light, flaky, fluffy biscuit that tastes anything but canned and a few gratings of cheese on top. I like to save the biscuit until last, to sop up every last bit of thick gravy and creamy grits left in the bowl. Notice how there are no versions of meals made with leftover grillades and grits...

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

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Katharine Shilcutt