Houston City Guide: Super Bowl Eats
Houston is bursting at the seams with excitement as Super Bowl LI approaches. The nation's 4th largest city can be overwhelming due to its sprawling size, hectic roadway system and variety of options for dining and entertainment. We locals can barely keep up with the ever-expanding roster of restaurants so I can only imagine how out-of-towners must feel. Below is just a taste (see what I did there?) of what this city has to offer to satisfy an appetite that rivals the BIG GAME:
1) Uchi (Montrose)- Attention to detail and bold and unexpected flavors are what sets this not-your-typical-sushi-restaurant apart from the others. Imagine Japan meets a Texas palate and you've got Uchi. You can't go wrong with the menu, but order the namahotate (dayboat scallop) and the brussels sprouts and prepare to have your mind blown. Oh, and make a reservation.
2) The Original Ninfa's On Navigation (Downtown): This joint boasts major street cred for being one of the, if not THE, original tex-mex joints in town. Many have come and gone since then, but there is none other like the original. Try Oaxacan-style tamales and don't miss the queso which is the best in town. Of course you must indulge in a sip or two - try the Ninfarita (if you dare).
3) Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette (River Oaks): Gulf cuisine meets San Tropez in this well-heeled seafood establishment. Not only is this place a great option for dinner, but it is highly recommended for brunch. Regardless of which time of day, don't miss the oysters (cooked any way) and just say yes to the bacon jam smothered on homemade biscuits or toast. Also popular is the Hawaiian poke make-it-your-way offering if you are feeling fancy!
4) Holley's Seafood (Midtown): Chef Mark Holley is a Houston icon and so is his namesake restaurant. With deeply southern style food with an innovative Asian twist (yes, you read that right), everything on the menu is a treat for the tastebuds. Although I recommend the Benne Seed Parkerhouse Rolls and Thai-Styled Fried Snapper for Two, make it easy on yourself - bring friends and order one of everything. Trust me.
5) Pappas Burger (Galleria Area): The Pappas family has made a mark on Houston for every type of food from seafood to Greek cuisine to barbecue. But it is the burgers that get top billing here. There is no twist on anything with these suckers - just good old fashioned beef and flavor. For an "aha" moment, try the turkey mushroom burger and thank me later. Luckily all sandwiches come with the best shoestring fries in the city.
6) Lucille's (Museum District): Co-Owner and Chef Chris Williams serves up southern comfort food done right in this relatively new establishment named after Williams' great-grandmother. Beautifully framed hand-written recipes from Miss Lucille herself adorn the walls of this cozy restaurant in the city's Museum District. Don't miss the Old School Chili Biscuits (Miss Lucille's recipe), the Shrimp and Grits, or the Yardbird - the latter of which is as good as it gets. Order a southern cocktail and stay a while - allow the spirit and warmth of the south wash over you as you lounge.