Houston's 10 Worst Restaurant Names

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A list of Houston's ten worst restaurants would be, how shall we say, divisive and ugly to say the least. And, really, who needs that kind of karma following her around? But to say that a restaurant has a terrible name? Now that's just pointing out the obvious.

Our sister food blog in San Francisco recently ran a list of the weirdest restaurant names in the world (or at least the weirdest they'd run across). While none of our own restaurants have names nearly as awful as "Dirty Dicks," "Taste of Negros" or "Hitler's Cross," that doesn't mean they aren't funky in their own way. So in the spirit of camaraderie -- and the spirit of gently letting local restauranteurs know that they may want to consider a new DBA -- we present the worst restaurant names in Houston.

10) Forno's: "What on earth is wrong with Forno's?" you may ask. We'll tell you. In our filthy, filthy minds, it comes across as nothing so much as a cross between "porno" and "fornication." And because we aren't the only people to have filthy minds -- just some of the only ones who openly admit it -- we're willing to bet we're not the first ones to have thought that.

9) Kata Robata: Domo arigato, Kata Robata. Don't act like you haven't sung that to yourself in your head. We don't care what (if anything) "Kata Robata" means in Japanese, the name of Houston's newest -- and possibly best -- sushi joint inspires not so much the appetite, but the insurmountable urge to sing cheesy Styx songs.

8) Cafe Beirut: Even our Lebanese friends agree that this name is terrible, and for one primary reason. No one wants to think of being surrounded by the rubble of bombed-out buildings and the anguished cries of a devastated city. Yes, Beirut has made great strides. But it's still a bit of a hovel, and Americans still associate the name of the capital with a certain Dresden-like horror -- not fine dining.

7) Todai: What is it with sushi joints and awful names? We love Todai. We especially love the completely non-sensical sight of waiters walking around with meats on sticks, pradaria-style, while you blissfully devour the plate of sashimi and dumplings you heaped on your plate from the all-you-can-eat buffet. But we don't love the fact that the restaurant's name sounds exactly like the infinitive form of dying. Us: "Want Todai today?" Friend: "Um...no thanks, dude." *runs away frightened*

6) BJ's Brewery: On the other hand, there are some restaurants to which your friends will happily answer, "Sure!" when asked if you want to eat there. Case in point: BJ's. Us: "You know what sounds good today? BJ's." Friend: "WORD." But before you know it, you're in a seedy massage parlor getting a happy ending and you've forgotten all about pub food -- until the cops bust in, that is.

5) Happy Lamp: If the best thing that you can come up with about your restaurant is the fact that your light fixtures are happy, serious doubts begin to exist about the quality of your food. We're just sayin'...

4) Phat Ky: Another restaurant name that just sounds terrible when spoken aloud: Fat Guy. Then again, that could be the end result of eating at Phat Ky if the food is good enough. (Anyone want to find out for us?)

Photo by pearlsgurl
Not the Houston "Pho King" but you get the idea...

3) Pho Kim: It was only a matter of time before we made it to the pho restaurants in town. Most pho restaurant names are harmless: Pho One, Pho Huy, Pho Binh. But then there are restaurants like Pho Kim, which -- when spoken aloud -- suddenly become NSFW. Coworker: "The boss wants to go to lunch today. Where do you recommend"? You: "Fuck him." *job immediately lost*

2) Pho King: Another terrible -- yet ubiquitous -- pho restaurant name, especially when spoken aloud. Let's just say that you don't want to necessarily consider this as a first date option. Pretty Date You're Trying To Impress: "What sounds good tonight?" You: "I was thinking of fucking." *slapped; date immediately lost*

1) Crapitto's: The old stalwart of terrible Houston restaurant names for many years now, Crapitto's (variously mispronounced as "crappy-toes" or "crap-ittoes") has that most unfortunate of problems: being assocated with a bowel movement and/or something that's shoddily made or done. Owner Frank Crapitto is one of the nicest men in the local dining community, and Crapitto's has some of our favorite Italian food in an absolutely stunning setting. But we're just saying: Howard E. Butt had the good sense to rename "Butt's" to the far more appetizing H-E-B. And they're kinda doing pretty well since then...

Which of your favorite terrible restaurant names did we forget? Let us know in the comments section below.

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