When Jeff Zalaznick came up with the name for his blog-cum-restaurant search engine, he christened it the fitting "Always Hungry." The New York City-based website aggregates the best that the city's restaurants have to offer, culminating in useful sections like "Top 5," where Zalaznick and crew have listed the best of the best in categories such as bone marrow, tater tots and lobster rolls. What's not to love about that?
Although its focus is primarily on NYC, the Always Hungry crew gets out from time to time. And on their most recent road trip, they came to the Bayou City and hit 20 different restaurants over the course of a long weekend. Between the two-person team -- senior editor Arthur Bovino and director of photography Maryse Chevriere -- they ended up consuming no less than 63 dishes. (Many of those were at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, naturally.)
Chevriere grew up in Houston and was eager to introduce Bovino to our wide range of cuisines and cultures. When asked how they decided on the restaurants, Chevriere responded that "it was a mix of me showing him my longtime favorites (like fajitas at Lupe Tortillas, shwarma at Phoenicia, barbecue at Goode Co.) and trying out new places that I'd never been to before. We did a lot of research beforehand, too, looking through local blogs and guide books for reference."
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But of those 63 dishes and 20 restaurants, was there anything that shone brightly for the duo above the rest? According to Chevriere, "I would love to have Feast in NYC. That restaurant is truly outstanding. They tackle offal in a way that you don't really see, even here. Reef is great too. That fish banh mi was one of the best things we had all weekend. Beaver's was a really cool place that I'd never been to before. Such a great vibe, I wish we could have had more dishes there."
Also included in the list of restaurants that Chevriere and Bovino hit up were more low-key places like El Hidalguense, Cafe Pita +, Shipley's Donuts, Fuzzy's Pizza and El Ultimo, the taco truck parked in a car wash lot at Antoine and Long Point. As for Houston's famous barbecue and Tex-Mex, they got plenty of that too, which is just what Chevriere needed: "While NYC actually has some really good barbecue, in my six years living here I still have yet to find fajitas that measure up."
You can see the entire restaurant lineup, along with photos of each dish and short reviews of the food at Always Hungry. Are there any resoundingly Houstonian restaurants that you feel weren't covered by the out-of-towners and should have been? Let us know in the comments section below.