The suburbs don't have to be all about McMansions, box stores, and soul-crushing conformity, do they? Open your mind and head to the land of Tara Lipinski, Tom DeLay and sugar.
5. Sushi Bistro and Latin Grill, 2168 Texas Dr. Like many so-called fusion places, Japaneiro's falls short by trying to be everything to everyone. Skip the paltry Latin dishes, though, and you've still got an above-average sushi joint.
4. Original Eats Old Fashioned Grill, 3135 Hwy. 6 Not quite a hole-in-the-wall burger shack, not quite a gourmet burger emporium, it's hard to find a place that can do serious diner-style cheeseburgers and also put out a half-decent buffalo burger and a really nice chicken sandwich. The fresh sourdough buns are not to be missed.
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3. Amici, 16089 City Walk Blvd. Jeff Vallone (with executive chef Bruce McMillian) has inherited his family's knack for mixing comfortable Italian classics with less familiar offerings, earning Amici considerable success by calibrating perfectly for the Sugar Land crowd.
2. Sabai Thai Café, 2705 Town Center Blvd.
Someone should really tell the owners that they could charge more for their well-executed (if occasionally bland) Thai classics. Plus, half the menu -- including the standout green curry shrimp, Thai-style pork roast and ginger chicken -- is available at lunch in a modified Bento box for $6.99 or less.
1. Grimaldi's, 16535 Southwest Fwy. Putting aside the horrifying suburbanization of a beloved Brooklyn institution, Grimaldi's earns its spot with truly outstanding New York-style pizza made with the authentic, slightly charred crust that only comes from a big, coal-fired oven.