Phaedra Cook is eating her way through Houston and counting down her 100 favorite dishes of 2015. It's a collection of personal favorites that is also indicative of Houston dining. It's a scene where a vast range of dishes coexist: highbrow and lowbrow; local and international; cheap and expensive; modern cuisine and beloved tenets — and everything in between.
The 420 Slice at Pi Pizza sounds like the most ridiculous, over-the-top pizza ever. It’s topped with sweet, smoky and spicy barbecue sauce, Chili Cheese Fritos and an extra-thick layer of mozzarella cheese. As with many things that sound like madness, it's actually a stroke of genius.
The 420 Slice (as well as the big Pi monster painted on the side of the truck and the annual free-pizza-for-life tattoo promotion) helped secure Pi Pizza’s standing as one of Houston’s most recognizable food trucks. For years, revelers flocked to it at its old spot in front of Catbirds bar. That stopped working out after a while, and after trying out a few other places, Pi Pizza finally has a consistent home in front of Johnny’s Gold Brick.
You don’t have to be a stoner to appreciate the combination that hits a wonderful sweet-savory balance and gets a lot of crunchy texture from the Fritos. Owner Anthony Calleo makes his own dough, too, and hand-tosses pizza crusts right there in the truck.
A single slice of the 420 is enormous, with the edges nearly spilling over the sides of the humble paper plate it’s served on. If it’s going to be a late night, the 420 Slice is one of the best ways to keep going.
Be sure to check out some of Calleo’s other creations on his ever-rotating menu. The options range from light to meaty and often take advantage of the best-quality ingredients of the season.
The List of Top 100 Dishes of 2015 So Far:
No. 64, Frenchy's Fried Chicken On Scott Street
No. 65, 3 Pig Mac & Cheese at Urban Eats
No. 66, Pucchia Pugliese Foggia at Sud Italia
No. 67, Triple-Smoked Pastrami On Rye At Kenny & Ziggy's
No. 68, Fume Pizza at Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana
No. 69, Banh Mi Thap Cam at Café TH
No. 70, Caramelized Onion Soup at Mockingbird Bistro
No. 71, Milk Chocolate Stout Malt at Fat Cat Creamery
No. 72, Pork Ribs at Roegels Barbecue Co.
No. 73, Carrot Pizza at Weights + Measures
No. 74, Jalisco Wings at El Big Bad
No. 75, Mussels at Cafe Brussels
No. 76, Cresta di Gallo at The Pass & Provisions
No. 77, Beef Fajitas at El Real Tex-Mex
No. 78, Chicken Tikka Masala from the Tandoori Nite truck
No. 79, Chocolates at Cacao & Cardamom
No, 80, Hummus Supreme at Al's Quick Stop
No. 81, Red Oil Dumplings at Mala Sichuan
No. 82, Tex-Cajun Fries at BB's Café
No. 83, Mac & Cheese at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
No. 84, The Principal Burger at Bernie's Burger Bus
No. 85, Hunter's Honey-Roasted Duck at Brennan's Of Houston
No. 86, Fish & Chips at Good Dog Houston
No. 87, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit at Blacksmith
No. 88, "Saucy Balls" At Brooklyn Meatball Company
No. 89, Perry's Steakhouse/Perry & Sons Pork Chop
No. 90, General Tso's Chicken from The Rice Box
No. 91, Eggs, Refried Beans, Hash Browns and Hugo's Sauce at 59 Diner
No. 92, Shipley Do-Nuts Plain Glazed
No. 93, Housemade Bologney at Public Services Wine & Whisky
No. 94, Bo Luc Lac at Cheno's (formerly Chino's) Fast Food
No. 95, Combo #5 at Soto's Cantina
No. 96, Carnitas Salad At Chipotle
No. 97, Pickled Shrimp At Punk's Simple Southern Food
No. 98, Lobster Roll At Maine-Ly Sandwiches
No. 99, Chili-Cheese Coneys At JCI Grill
No. 100, Corned Beef Hash And Eggs At House Of Pies