Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#88: Trentino Gelato's dulce de leche at Shisha on Westheimer
Trentino Gelato's dulce de leche is an Argentine-style caramel-flavored gelato with melted chocolate poured on top and then mixed all through it. It's like they made the rich caramel into chocolate-covered ice cream bars and then mushed it all back up again. I sampled this luscious dessert with an espresso at Shisha Express & Deli on Westheimer near Fondren.
"Shisha" is slang for "hookah." There were four other customers sitting around the café in the middle of the afternoon, and all of them were smoking hookahs. The business is a combination espresso, gelato and hookah bar. The espresso was very good, the Trentino gelato was exquisite, but I passed on the tobacco. If you want to get a hookah, it's $9. And apple is the most popular tobacco flavor at Shisha Express.
Shisha Express also sells mesquite-grilled kebabs, half chickens and gyro sandwiches along with salads and Middle Eastern mezzes. They have an extensive outdoor seating area for hookah worshippers.
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The list to date: #100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's on 34th St. #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala 5800 Bellaire #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89 Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill