Slay:Houston

In North American Sandwiches, Travel!

As 2019 is coming to a close, I can’t but think of the amazing places I’ve gotten to try across the United States. Some spots are better than others, but most big cities have their own unique charm. If I’m being honest, I didn’t give Houston Texas much of a chance at first. After going several times, I realized the error of my ways.  There is an interesting mix of cultural foods all around the city and while I didn’t get a chance to try much of it, it gives me an excuse to go back. On the bright side, I did find these chips at a local liquor store:

Not gonna lie, I bought almost all the flavors to try them. It’s the most street cred I’ve had in years.

Awesome bags of chips aside, there were some gems in the downtown area that I didn’t expect to find; some of which I didn’t get very good photos of. Sorry, I know I failed, but me and natural light have a weird relationship. So before we go into the passable photos, let me give a shout out to Bombay Pizza Co. an Indian/Italian Fusion restaurant. Imagine a Chicken Tikka pizza, it’s beautiful:

Bombay Pizza Co.

914 Main St #105
Houston, TX 77002

I’ve been to Houston three times now and this post is a collection of restaurants from all three visits. The menus may have changed since this posting, but hopefully you’ll get a good idea of what you can get. Enjoy.

Tex Mex in Houston

When I first learned that I was going to Houston, my friend Dan told me that Torchy’s Tacos was a must. Admittedly, my pretentious Southern California foodie nature kind of took over. When I got over myself, I made it a point to try Torchy’s and I’m happy that I did. To be fair, it’s pretty different from tacos that I would normally get in California. I never thought I’d have a taco with a jalapeno sausage in it but Torchy’s proved me wrong. Of all the restaurants in the blog post, Torchy’s is by far the largest. You can find locations all over Texas and Colorado and several in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

An impressive spread of various tacos from Torchy’s with a side of Queso dip

I gave into my gluttonous demons and ordered WAY more than I should have. Luckily, I was with a friend, so it didn’t look so bad. Regardless of the judging eyes upon me, I ate like it was my last meal. My favorite tacos of the night, were the “Trailer Park,” A taco with fried chicken, cheese, green chili, pico, and poblano chili sauce; and the “Crossroads,” with beef brisket, grilled onion, jalapeno, cilantro, avocado, and jack cheese.

Do yourself a favor and indulge in the hillbilly queso, a hot cheese dip with green chilis and chorizo. It seems to be a staple of Tex Mex cuisine.

Modern Sandwiches Downtown

The first thing that I do when I land in any city, is try to find a sandwich place to try. It doesn’t always work out, but I am usually willing to go out of my way to at least try ONE place. It can get pretty pricey, especially if I have to pay for an Uber, so imagine how happy I was that Local Foods was near my hotel. It’s modern approach to food and decor makes for a damn good lunch in a nice setting.

The portions at Local Foods are pretty good as all the sandwiches comes with two sides or a cup of soup, but they can get pretty pricey depending on what you order. I’ve never really been a chicken salad sandwich type guy, but their “crunchy” chicken sandwich was very good. It’s a modern take on the flavors and textures of a traditional chicken sandwich and is perfect if you don’t want to get weighed down by a heavy lunch.

[Click on thumbnails to enlarge]

Local Foods Downtown

420 Main Street
Houston Texas 77002

A Food Truck Staple in Finn Hall

As I’ve traveled more and more throughout the US, I’ve noticed that modern food halls have become more popular. It’s interesting to think that while malls in America are dying, the food courts have somehow broken off and become their own independent businesses. Finn Hall has a nice selection of restaurants, from Vietnamese cuisine to southern style seafood. I went with one restaurant in mind: Craft Burger; a restaurant/food truck operated by Chef Shannen Tune, who saw success in Food network’s contest “Chopped.”

The Morning After Burger from Houston's Craft Burger restaurant
The Morning After Burger: Angus Beef, Gouda, Brown sugar a chili rubbed candied bacon, sunnyside up egg, lettuce and tomato on a bacon cheddar waffle

I’ve never really been a breakfast guy, but when I was told about the “Morning After Burger,” I had to try it. I’ve had some indulgent burgers during my time as a food blogger but this may very well be the most indulgent. The combination of sweet maple flavors with savory and fatty angus beef is truly something to behold. If for whatever reason you need more sweetness, the burger comes with a side of maple syrup.

Craft Burger Finn Hall

712 Main
Houston, TX 77002

Barbecue in Montrose

Montrose is a neighborhood in Houston known for it’s modern artistic style and it’s hipster culture. With some colorful buildings and interesting restaurants, there is a whole treasure trove of interesting spots for you to explore. I didn’t have much time to hang around, but I did get a chance to try Brookstreet BBQ. At the time, I wasn’t particularly educated on my BBQ knowledge, had I known what Texas BBQ was known for, I would’ve ordered something other than the sausage and Wagon Wheel roll. Either way, it scratched the itch for some smokey flavor and disdain for leafy vegetables.

“Wagon Wheel” with chopped beef, cheese, and beans on a challah roll

There’s no ingredient in the Wagon Wheel that I would refuse to eat on it’s own. Baked beans are meaty and sweet, chopped smoked beef is freaking amazing, and cheese is proof that cows should be revered as gods. When housed inside a soft and buttery Challah roll, you really can’t go wrong. Of course, it wasn’t enough for me, so I finished it off with a smokey jalapeno cheddar sausage. My stomach was not amused.

[Click on thumbnails to enlarge]

Brookstreet Bar-B-Q Montrose

1009 Missouri St
Houston, TX 77006

More Burgers in Houston

Just behind the George R. Brown Convention center (which I keep calling George R.R. Martin convention center) is a collection of bars and restaurants that are worth your consideration. When friends first suggested I try Rodeo Goat, I thought they were referring to one of those weird moves you read about on Urban Dictionary (don’t ask). When I realized it was a restaurant, I apologized profusely and headed in that direction.

The Terlingua: Hamburger patty, Havarti, homemade chili, fritos, onion, and garlic herb mayo

 

After a lot of deliberation, I decided that I couldn’t leave Houston without having some chili, so I ordered a customer favorite known as the Terlingua. Think of it like a frito pie in burger form with corn chips making every bite extremely satisfying. The star of the show is the housemade chili, which essentially just adds more beef to an already beefy burger.

There are several Rodeo Goats in Texas, all of which have a pretty righteous selection of burgers and beer. They also have two dueling special burgers that compete with one another. Every time you order one of the specials, it counts as one vote. I’m not sure what happens when one of the specials win, but it’s a fun idea.

Rodeo Goat Houston

2105 Dallas St.
Houston, Texas 77003

 

Thank you again to Houston Texas for being so welcoming, I know I didn’t give you much of a chance at first, but I’m happy we became friends. For those of you who make it to this wonderful metropolitan city, I’m always taking restaurant recommendations. Hopefully I can go back soon! I may even become a Rockets fan.

-Vy

 

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