You want to make this list? You better be old. If you're a restaurant younger than 35, keep it moving. The places below have been around awhile, a long while, but still churn out an excellent product.
5. Swinging Door I can already hear it, "This is not in Houston." Technically, that's true, but damn it, this place is close enough in nearby Richmond. They've been doing pecan-smoked barbeque in this rustic setting since 1973. That sweet smell just slaps you in the face as you make that walk to the entrance. The ribs, sausage and brisket are especially enjoyable. Also, here's a little known fact: In the fall of '02, a young fellow delivered a heartwarming speech to a crowd of 75, proclaiming his love and devotion to a young vixen. The young fellow--me, the vixen--my future wife, the speech--golden. Although, if you gave out a lie detector test to everyone that night, you might discover they enjoyed the platters of barbeque even more.
4. Doyle's Restaurant This place has its critics, but if you're looking for a reasonably priced solid meal, Doyle's is the place. And it has been since 1954 -- that's old. I enjoy their gumbo and sandwiches, and my daughter likes the spaghetti. The friendly service and consistent food is what sets the place apart. They have a loyal following of neighborhood patrons, and for good reason.
3. Lankford Grocery and Market Did you think 1954 was old? Try 1938. Sure, Lankford was a grocery store for many years, but as times changed, so did the place. Now, they serve up delicious hamburgers and just about every artery-clogging comfort food you can imagine. I tried a breakfast hash the other day that was quite memorable. That peach cobbler (pictured) is nothing to sneeze at either. If you haven't been to Lankford, you need to go. It's a piece of Houston history.
2. Ninfa's on Navigation Speaking of Houston history, what list would be complete without a mention of Ninfa's on Navigation (1973)? I'm guessing, at times, this iconic restaurant is a victim of its own success. Judging by the crowds, I could be wrong. If you can deal with the wait on a Friday night, get a margarita on the rocks and the Fajitas Barry. Barry created the amazing fajita platter that's topped with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and mushrooms.
1. Supreme Sandwiches Stop shaking your heads. And stop wondering why on earth someone put me in charge of writing Top 5 lists. I am all about Supreme Sandwiches (1967). There are a few locations around town, but I usually hit the one on TC Jester. Another location should be coming soon to 290/34th. Other people must favor the Supreme concept as much as I do. Just park your car, walk in, grab the sandwich, leave, eat, and enjoy. Get a bag of chips and a drink, and the whole combo costs around $5. I love their chicken salad sandwich. But then again, I love just about any sandwich they make. That's why Supreme Sandwiches is #1.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.