10 Best Things We Ate This Month, April 2017

Lim's fried chicken: Bring on the napkins.
Lim's fried chicken: Bring on the napkins. Photo by Troy Fields
It's the end of the month, which means we can finally look back at all the incredible dishes we've had to eat this month, and boy, have there been a bunch. The month of April brought incredible riches from street food-inspired eats to once-in-a-lifetime luxuries at Houston's finest. Here are the ten best dishes we feasted on in April. Make sure to check out our slideshow for even more dishes we loved.

10. Korean Fried Chicken at Lim's, 10603 Bellaire

"At Lim’s Chicken, the chicken is dipped in a bath of hot oil twice, which locks in the natural juices while fully committing to the birth of a crispy outer shell. They call it the new KFC, or Korean fried chicken, and Lim’s version meets the standard when it comes to a good fried chicken," writes our reviewer Cuc Lam.
click to enlarge Churro madness. - PHOTO BY ERIKA KWEE
Churro madness.
Photo by Erika Kwee

9. Churros at Fusion Taco, 801 Congress

The churros with housemade vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and caramelized pineapple were absolutely "LOVED" by our contributor Erika Kwee at this new Heights eatery.

La Table's duck was a Grand Tasting hit. - PHOTO BY MAI PHAM
La Table's duck was a Grand Tasting hit.
Photo by Mai Pham

8. Spice-Cured Duck Breast from La Table at Sugar Land Food & Wine Affair

The spice-cured Hudson Valley duck breast prepared by chef Hassan Obaye was "cooked to a perfect medium rare and served on a bed of parsnip puree with a citrus duck jus and a blood orange wedge," an astounding feat for an event that had about 1,000 guests, writes Press contributor Mai Pham. Find it on the menu at Chateau, the upstairs eatery at La Table, 6 BLVD Place, 1800 Post Oak.

The flavors of pho. The glory of fries. - PHOTO BY TROY FIELDS
The flavors of pho. The glory of fries.
Photo by Troy Fields
7. Pho Fries at Maba Pan-Asian Diner, 510 Gray

"A small mountain of crispy, thin french fries came steaming up to the table accompanied by the familiar scent of star anise, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom," Cuc Lam wrote in her review this month. "Sweet, salty and spicy specks of seasoning sautéed with thin crescents of red onion and finely chopped cilantro stems topped the mound of fries. Drops of hoisin and sriracha had been sprinkled here, there and in between on the plate."

click to enlarge A surprise hit at Saravanaa Bhavan. - PHOTO BY MAI PHAM
A surprise hit at Saravanaa Bhavan.
Photo by Mai Pham
6. Butter Masala Dosa at Saravanaa Bhavan, 11929 University, Sugar Land

At this chain restaurant in Sugar Land, "the standout was the butter masala dosa. A paper-thin chickpea flour crepe sprinkled with butter, the dosa comes to the table rolled up like a giant cigarette spanning the width of our table. Open it up, and there's a spicy mixture of curried potatoes inside."

click to enlarge Field & Tide's pimento fritters: once you pop, you can't stop. - PHOTO BY GWENDOLYN KNAPP
Field & Tide's pimento fritters: once you pop, you can't stop.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

5.  Pimento cheese fritters at Field & Tides, 705 East 11th

"Made with local sharp cheddar and swimming in a pool of hot-sweet-and-sour pepper jelly, the crispy balls of gooey pimento cheese are almost too good to share. Something to keep in mind: the one-biters come five to an order," writes contributor Brooke Viggiano of chef Travis Lenig's signature item at this new Heights eatery.

click to enlarge Do you even truffle, bro? - PHOTO BY GWENDOLYN KNAPP
Do you even truffle, bro?
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
4. Acquerello Cacio e Pepe (with black truffles) at Tony's, 3755 Richmond

Acquerello's aged carnaroli rice is the finest risotto rice you'll find in Italy, hailing from the Piedmont, and at this legacy restaurant in River Oaks, the end product yields a decadently tender, creamy and dreamy mouthful with notes of nutty, salty pecorino and subdued peppercorn. In this case, a shaving of Norcia Black truffles didn't hurt matters, making chef Kate McLean's dish the most luxurious on our list this month. Buon appetito indeed.

click to enlarge Kata Robata, always a win-win situation. - PHOTO BY MAI PHAM
Kata Robata, always a win-win situation.
Photo by Mai Pham
3. Hokkaido Scallop Sashimi Three Ways at Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby

"A few weeks ago, one of the daily specials happened to be a Hokkaido scallop — scallop that is imported from Hokkaido, Japan," says Press contributor Mai Pham. "The silken flesh has a mild sweetness and some fantastic umami — I always order it when I can. That day, chef Manabu Horiuchi presented the sashimi three ways. First, we were to taste the scallop in its purest form, by itself with nothing else. Then, we tried it with a piece of Hokkaido uni (sea urchin) on top of it, which punctuated the bite with a dose of creamy brininess. The third version of the sashimi was topped with Osetra caviar, which popped like little pearls of saltiness on the tongue. Each bite tasted of the ocean, beautiful, diverse and impeccably fresh."

click to enlarge The fried rice at State of Grace is a must order for the table. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STATE OF GRACE
The fried rice at State of Grace is a must order for the table.
Photo courtesy of State of Grace
2. Basmati Fried Rice at State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer

It's a little bit country. It's a little bit rock 'n' roll. But chef Bobby Matos's Southeast Asian-inspired fried rice with succulent bits of smoked redfish, egg, peanut and loads of cilantro is 100 percent delicious. It's pretty much the perfect side order for the entire table, whether you're noshing on raw oysters, an array of delicate pastas or that glorious bubbling dish of queso Oaxaca.

click to enlarge An epic mash-up: Louie Mueller Barbecue and Fluff Bake Bar. - PHOTO BY GWENDOLYN KNAPP
An epic mash-up: Louie Mueller Barbecue and Fluff Bake Bar.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

1. Beef rib croissant from Louis Mueller's and Fluff Bake Bar at Houston BBQ Fest

Who doesn't love a great restaurant mash-up? Also, who doesn't love the most decadent and portable festival food with no utensils required? Such was the case at this year's Houston Barbecue Festival, where folks lined up for a taste of legendary Louie Mueller Barbecue's fall-apart beef rib and pastry chef Rebecca Masson's buttery, flaky croissant. No condiments necessary. There's obviously a reason Masson has so many Saturday-morning friends, though, because this was one of the best breakfast sandwiches ever.

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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.