Random Ephemera

10 Best Things We Ate This Month, July 2017

The burger might be the best thing on Presidio's menu.
The burger might be the best thing on Presidio's menu. Photo by Troy Fields

It's the end of July, and that means it's time to take a look back on the dishes we have been obsessing over all month. From Chinese pastries to Tex-Mex staples, this month is not lacking for diversity. On the list you'll find Italian, Vietnamese, modern American, Hawaiian, Spanish, soul food and even a steakhouse, with both fine dining and casual eats well represented. There's a little something for everyone, including those in search of decent quail.

Make sure to check out our slideshow, featuring 20 of the best dishes we ate this month as well.

click to enlarge Custard it up. - PHOTO BY ERIKA KWEE
Custard it up.
Photo by Erika Kwee
10. The Coconut Tart at 85C Bakery Cafe

Pastry-obsessor Erika Kwee found that this "crunchy, buttery short crust" holds up against a mild coconut filling during a taste test at Chinatown's hottest new bakery and coffee shop, also known as "The Starbucks of Taiwan." Pair it with a sea-salt coffee and call it a day.


Short rib mac and cheese is one of the best sides at Grazia. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FULLER
Short rib mac and cheese is one of the best sides at Grazia.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller
9. The Short Rib Mac and Cheese at Grazia Italian Kitchen

This beefy macaroni and cheese at Grazia Italian Kitchen, which opened its second location in Clear Lake (the first is in Pearland) in the summer of 2016, features a melted three-cheese blend and tender short rib that hits all the right comfort food marks for our contributor Jennifer Fuller.

click to enlarge Patatas bravas, collect them all. - PHOTO BY MAI PHAM
Patatas bravas, collect them all.
Photo by Mai Pham
8. The Patatas Bravas at BCN Taste & Tradition

Chef Luis Roger's patatas bravas may just be one of the coolest platings in town. Plus, the carefully crafted potatoes come bursting with creamy notes of garlic and paprika in each "little bite of heaven," as our contributor Mai Pham calls them. "I order this every time I visit the restaurant, and it never disappoints."

Quail and pork belly? Better call in the personal trainer. - PHOTO BY DANIEL KRAMER
Quail and pork belly? Better call in the personal trainer.
Photo by Daniel Kramer
7. The Fried Quail and Crispy Pork Belly at Bacon Bros. Public House


The batter on the quail is crunchy and salty, a great pairing for the corn succotash it rests upon, reviewer Cuc Lam discovered this month, "full of bursts of freshness from the corn and tomatoes, and the buttery finish of the beans and the okra" and stewed bacon, making for "a sublime bite."

click to enlarge Keep it light with bun. - PHOTO BY CUC LAM
Keep it light with bun.
Photo by Cuc Lam
6.  The Special Vermicelli Bowl at Pho & Crab Memorial

Nothing fussy about it. This vermicelli bowl comes packed with perfectly grilled meats — lemongrass chicken, pork and shrimp — with loads of fresh greens, sprouts and pickled carrots on top, making for one very reliable and very tasty lunch.


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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.