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.
You can get chicken soup nearly anywhere in Houston. But at Tacos del Julio, you'll find a Mexican masterpiece of comfort food in the caldo Tlalpeño: thick pieces of white meat chicken, pulled straight off the bone, in a citrus-tinged broth filled with rough hunks of carrot, potato and avocado with white squares of panela cheese bobbing throughout.
The real draw of the caldo Tlalpeño, however, is the little plastic tub of chipotle chiles in dusky, dark red adobo sauce that comes on the side. Dose up your soup as you see fit with the smoky chiles, adding it alongside squirts of lime juice and the vibrant green salsa that sits on each table. (A warning to go easy on the green sauce if you can't handle heat, though.)
The result is a chicken soup that will cure more than the common cold: It also cures the bouts of homesickness experienced by the many Monterrey ex-pats who populate the restaurant morning, noon and night.
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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