Dining Deals

Pico's Mex-Mex and Samba Grille: Try Two of Houston's Best for Less

Do you know how much I love Pico's Mex-Mex and Samba Grille? Let me elaborate, ever so briefly: The soft-shell crabs at Pico's are a thing of beauty, and the finest preparation of the crabs you'll consistently find in the city. Those are them up there, looking all fancy and fat and begging to be washed down with one of Pico's famous margaritas.

The 28-year-old Bellaire restaurant is also a four-time Houston Press Best of Houston® winner: In 2010, it won Best Tex-Mex Restaurant; in 2008, it won Best Margarita; in 2007, it won Best Nachos; and in 2000, it won Best Mariscos. In other words, you're guaranteed to find something you love here.

You can peruse the menu at Pico's Mex-Mex in search of your own favorite dish and only pay half the cost: Through this Sunday evening, the Voice Daily Deal gets you $30 worth of food for only $15. You can only redeem one coupon per couple per visit, but the good news is that you can purchase up to five coupons during this weekend's deal. Save at least one of them until softie season gets here in May; you won't regret it.

On Monday, look for the same offer at Samba Grille, itself the recipient of its fair share of Houston Press accolades: its tamarind-glazed salmon was No. 12 on our list of 100 Favorite Houston dishes last year and the restaurant itself was awarded a Best of Houston® award for Best Steakhouse in 2011 and No. 7 on our list of the Best New Restaurants of 2010.

These days, Samba Grille is garnering praise for its modern and inventive takes on traditional South American and Central American cuisine, such as chef David Guerrero's simply splendid beef heart anticuchos and Peruvian-style ceviches. Use your 50 percent off Voice Daily Deal coupon to enjoy Samba's new lunch menu -- three courses for only $19 -- or have a pre-theater dinner date there with your sweetheart. The steakhouse is ideal for either activity, or simply enjoying a few plates of ceviche at the beautiful bar.

The Voice Daily Deal for Pico's Mex-Mex runs through Sunday night, while the Voice Daily Deal for Samba Grille starts Monday morning and ends that evening (or whenever the coupons sell out!).

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Katharine Shilcutt