Local Spotlight

The Five Best Hidden Restaurant Gems in Pasadena

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3. Pizza Agave To be honest, I have no idea why this place is called Pizza Agave. As far as I know, you get tequila and mezcal or agave nectar from the agave plant, not anything pizza-related. Regardless, this is a great little pizza shop nestled inside a gas station convenience store. There's a coal pizza oven inside the small space, and the pizza is the type I remember eating at birthday parties as a child--somewhere between gourmet, wood fired pies and delivery pizza. It's doughy and clearly hand formed, and though the slice I got could have used another several minutes in the oven to get the cheese bubbly and the crust more toasted on the bottom, but the tomato sauce is bright and acidic, the pepperoni spicy and the crust wonderfully doughy.

2. Credeur's Cajun Cookin' Be forewarned: Credeur's is so popular, it often sells out before closing time at 3 p.m. That's what happened on my most recent trip to the Cajun eatery for some crawfish étouffée and buttermilk pie, and unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the food on a previous trip because I was so excited to eat it. Credeur's serves everything cafeteria style, and diners can choose from a variety of Cajun classics that are every bit as good as what you'd find in the bayous and backwoods of Louisiana. Though I'm a Danton's devotee when it comes to most Cajun food, this little family run joint could certainly give any Houston Cajun restaurant a run for its money. If you've been in search of smoked boudin, crawfish-stuffed pistolettes and catfish po'boys like mama used to make, look no further.

1. Star Burgers What do you get when you cross an old fashioned Texas drive thru burger joint with a Chinese restaurant and plant it near the Gulf Coast? You get Star Burger, a classic burger shack that also serves some great seafood fried rice and baskets of fried shrimp and fish. It's the burgers most come for, though, and they never disappoint. Each burger is grilled fresh to order, and the cheese is placed on top while the patty is still on the grill, allowing it to melt into the meat. The bun is also toasted on the grill, and the whole thing is topped with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and mustard, in true Texas style. The patties are thin and crisped on the outside, but even though they're almost flattened, they spread flavorful juice throughout the veggies and bun. Order a cheeseburger basket for just over $6, and you'll get fries and some of the most crispy onion rings in town with your burger.

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Kaitlin Steinberg