It wasn't too long ago that the Houston Chronicle called Oak Forest "the new West University." The neighborhood just north of Loop 610 and to the east of Highway 290 has been attracting young families in spades -- families who are helping to reinvigorate the subdivisions that make up Garden Oaks and Oak Forest. Along with the influx of residents is a slow influx of new restaurants, which is making the area a hotspot for both new and old coexisting side-by-side.
Lance Fegen and Lee Ellis are opening Surfing Cowboys soon in the vacant space that recently housed That Pizza Place on Ella, and there's a full-sized restaurant planned for its neighbor across the street: Facundo Cafe, which serves burgers and breakfast tacos inside a car wash. Meanwhile, spots such as Cottonwood Bar and Shepherd Park Draught House are drawing people north of 610 with craft beer, cocktails and above-average pub grub.
And just a bit further south -- while not technically in the Garden Oaks / Oak Forest confines -- restaurants such as El Gran Malo, Pappa Geno's and the Rainbow Lodge give the larger area personality and a wide range of options. But for today, we're just focusing on the spots that make GOOF great.
Note: For purposes of this post, Garden Oaks / Oak Forest is defined as north of Loop 610, east of Highway 290, south of Tidwell and west of Shepherd.