Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Favorite Houston/Galveston Eateries

John Marine | 8/11/2011 01:44:00 AM | | |
(UPDATED: May 16, 2012)

The Houston/Galveston area has some lovely places to eat at. So for this blog post, I'll share with you some of my favorite places to eat at around here. They are all based on places I've eaten at before and like. So feel free to have a look at some of the many different places I've eaten at and will make reference to.

A Preface Before I Begin...

It is important that I provide local flavor to my blog despite the national and international blog hits I get. Perhaps these are places you can visit and eat at if you are visiting the Houston/Galveston area. I am not trying to say that I know Houston inside and out. However, I do want to show that Houston is a much better place than most people make it out to be. We are not the fourth-largest city in the United States with hundreds of cultures and nationalities represented by asking nicely. We are a world-class city even if not up to New York City or Los Angeles standards. We are a diverse people in a wonderful city. Hopefully, some of the locations mentioned here, both local and national, will help shed some light on what makes Houston such a great city. This, speaking as a Houston native.

Alright. Enough words- more eats! :D

loaded baked potato
^ One place I will mention in this blog post is where I got this massive loaded baked potato from. What place is it? Find out in this blog post!





--- Houston/Galveston Eating Favorites ---

All of the following include local eateries as well as (maybe) national chains here in Houston. It also contains some other places offering good food and/or things to eat. You can visit its homepage or some other sort of page if you see a header with a hypertext link with it. All of my material is based on places I've actually been to and eaten at. If I haven't been there and/or didn't like the food or the place, I won't mention it here.

The establishments mentioned are not listed in any specific order. I am not paid to discuss any of these establishments in the way that I do. Everything is entirely my opinion. Some facts on certain featured places came from the places' official websites or from any Wikipedia reading. I chose not to display pictures of the restaurants because I want to surprise people with my picks.


Dot Coffee Shop (Facebook Fan Page link).

Dot Coffee Shop is a great place to have breakfast either with family, friends, groups, sports teams, or whatever. My parents and I used to go to this place not very often on Saturdays. What I would usually get is either the Grand Prix or the Paris Grand Prix. One time at Dot's, I was REALLY hungry that I actually finished off the Paris Grand Prix breakfast! I think the Grand Prix and Paris Grand Prix consists of two or three stacks of pancakes, some delicious bacon, and... not sure what else. It's been so long since going there for me.

James Coney Island.

James Coney Island has been a long-standing Houston restaurant chain since 1923. They specialize in tasty and delicious hot dogs and coneys. I would often get either some corn dogs or a Texas-style jalepeño dog (only without onions). JCI was a common place for me when I went to Houston Community College-Southeast Campus. The people there were fun and friendly. Missed being around them.

Schlotzsky's.

Besides James Coney Island, Schlotzsky's is another fine restaurant. This chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA specializes in delicious deli sandwiches. I would sometimes go to Schlotzsky's after class from HCC-Southeast to go to the Schlotzsky's across the street. A very friendly South Korean woman would often greet me as I entered. The best thing I've had at Schlotzsky's was the Grilled Chicken Romano Panini. It was offered for a limited time, but it was a GREAT-tasting sandwich.

Shipley Do-nuts.

Shipley's is a good way to start your day. I usually like their glazed donuts and their juicy sausage kolaches. They're a good way to start the day. Sometimes, I even pick up a little bottle of orange juice to get me going for the day. Shipley Donuts has been a Houston institution that's been around since 1936.

Jason's Deli.

I have only been to one(?) Jason's Deli before- the store in Rice Village. It is a place where you can enjoy some tasty deli sandwiches. Maybe you can get yourself some good chips and salads. But regardless, I am a fan of Jason's Deli. There are other locations across Texas as well as MANY more across the United States.

Luby's Cafeteria.

No matter which one you go to, expect great fresh food. It is a great place to go to when you want fresh food for your family or for whatever group you are with. My family has been to Luby's restaurants since childhood for me. I usually get their fish fillets, some mashed potatoes with country gravy, macaroni and cheese, and sometimes either fried okra and/or a roll. Good eating guaranteed at Luby's! This chain of restaurants services mostly the Mid-South with locations here in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as Arkansas.

Kelley's Country Cooking.

Kelley's is just good old down-home eating. With a number of restaurants in and around Houston, this is a great place to either eat at or order to go. I usually go with their big chicken strips with country gravy. It's the kind of place where a local sports team can enjoy a good meal after a game at. Just down home goodness.

Central Texas Style BBQ.

Pearland is home to Central Texas Style BBQ. They've been around since 1969 and hasI know them best for their super-loaded baked potatoes. That's what I usually get. You can get baked potatoes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives, and your choice of meats. Trust me- a full baked potato with either beef or chicken (I prefer chicken) will fill you up. Can't take a full baked potato from Central Texas Style BBQ? You can order a half-size baked potato with your choice of trimmings or meat. Texas is best known for barbeque (which is basically its own sport down here), and this is one place that surely specializes in quality barbeque.

Fuddruckers.

The World's Greatest Hamburger is what Fuddruckers pursues. This national chain was founded in San Antonio, TX, USA in 1979 and headquartered here in Houston. I've loved going to Fuddruckers especially in my younger teen times. I would usually enjoy a delicious burger from them and then go play some arcade games.

Floyd's Cajun Seafood.

The goal of Floyd's Cajun Seafood is to bring Cajun-style cooking to Texas. This place does NOT disappoint. Floyd's specializes in Cajun seafood and Texas steaks. You can enjoy sports games on the TV units while also enjoying a good meal. I am most used to the location in Pearland, and I am most used to having fried pickles with ranch dressing as an appetizer. It's a great place to check out. Besides Pearland, there are two other Floyd's restaurants in Texas in Webster and in Beaumont.

Froberg's Farm and Greak's Smokehouse.

Froberg is a big name in Alvin. About as big a name in Alvin as a very famous (understatement) pitcher named Nolan Ryan. Neither Froberg's Farms nor Greak's Smokehouse are a sit-down-and-eat places, but especially Greak's Smokehouse features some of THE best sausage I've EVER tasted. The sausage from Greak's Smokehouse is tasty. When you eat into one of their sausages, my favorite is the one that has cheese in them, providing great-tasting sausage. As for Froberg's Farm, fresh quality foods and produce are available from them.




But, wait... there's more! Read on after the Jump Break to find out about more favorite eating locations of mine! Or disregard this paragraph if you are reading the full post.






Monterey's.

Monterey's is the number one Mexican restaurant to my family. Since the Almeda Mall-area restaurant shut down years ago, we've missed the food Monterey's provides. The only ones I've known of that are still around are the locations not far from Pasadena Town Square and the one near downtown Alvin (or in downtown Alvin?).

Casa Olé.

Casa Olé... fresh to-day... Ev-ery day... Casa Olé! Casa Olé has been a Texas tradition since 1973, when the first store opened in Pasadena, TX, USA. Houston's first Casa Olé was opened in 1976. Today's Casa Olé features restaurants across Texas, in Oklahoma, and in Louisiana. My favorite meal from Casa Olé is spinach-stuffed chicken. It is a GREAT and healthy eat from Casa Olé.

Taco Cabana.

Taco Cabana is a chain of Mexican restaurants that has been around since 1978. The first one opened in San Antonio, TX, USA; and it has since served all of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. What I usually get are chicken quesadillas from Taco Cabana. I did once try their chicken flautas and thought they taste great. It's a nice place to go to if you just want some good Mexican food in the restaurant or to go.

Genghis Grill.

One of the most unique restaurants I've ever been to was Genghis Grill in Webster, Texas, USA. Genghis Grill is a restaurant serving up Mongolian cuisine. You are given these cool-looking bowls that you fix up yourself with various items. Pick up a card that lets you in on the various combinations you can put into your bowl. Once you prepare your bowl, the chefs will prepare your meal proper. All you do then is... dig in! It was a great eating experience for this national chain based in Dallas, TX, USA.

And yes, in case you're wondering... it IS the same Genghis as in the great Genghis Khan of 12th Century A.D.!



Most of the rest of this post includes cafés.


Empire Cafe.

With only one visit long ago (that I remember), Empire Cafe is a café serving up some delicious European food and some good drinks. My brother keeps telling me about their currant tea. I actually want to try their currant tea one day if I were to ever visit Empire Cafe again.

Cheddar's Casual Café.

Cheddar's is a great place to enjoy a good meal. The location I've been to most often is the Cheddar's next to Fry's in Webster, TX across the street from Fry's. I've been to this location for a good eat, but also for dinner the night before my brother's wedding as well as lunch after getting my Associate's in the Arts degree. I am big on chicken, and both their Hawaiian Chicken sandwich and World Class Chicken sandwich are just great to eat. There's even a cool-looking fan system inside the main eating area. There is also a classy sports bar, a nice aquarium, and a good selection of wine and champagne. I have only been to the Webster location, and it is a must-visit location for anything ranging from casual lunch/dinner to any formal-type lunch/dinner.

5115 Restaurant and Lounge.

This was a grill I once attended on a hot Saturday night. 5115 Restaurant and Lounge is a place kind of tucked away from the Saks Fifth Avenue store at the Houston Galleria shopping mall. It is accessible from the second floor of the Saks Fifth Avenue store.

Grand Lux Cafe.

With a number of locations across the United States, the Grand Lux Cafe just outside of the Houston Galleria shopping mall was a place I visited only once. That one visit, however, was a great one. Grand Lux Cafe is a fabulous-looking establishment. And since you're only a short distance from the Galleria shopping mall, you know that you're in Money Town here in Houston. The Grand Lux Cafe I've been to here in Houston is absolutely lavish and beautiful. The wait for your food is sufficient and adequate. The food was of great quality when I went there back in 2008 or so.


Finally, Honorable Mention...

Café Japon (Honorable Mention!).

I pay tribute to Japon, which was the first place where I had eaten sushi rolls before. In Rice Village here in Houston, my brother took me to a place called Café Japon some 10 or 13 years ago. There used to be a Planet Animé store (a great place to find loads of Japanese music and loads of animé goods) and a Café Japon across the street. The kitchen was built around where you eat at. You would see the chefs prepare sushi for you. You picked up your chopsticks and enjoyed your sushi. It was a great place to enjoy sushi rolls. These days, I either go to certain dedicated Asian restaurants that serve sushi rolls or just buy some sushi roll packs from grocery stores.

JUST SO YOU KNOW... I do want to blog about sushi rolls in the future. I had planned a post long ago, but never released it.





--- If I Mentioned Your Restaurant (if you were to read this)... ---

I just want you to know that I included you for a reason- good eating. If I enjoyed your food, perhaps my readers would be interested in your food as well, whether here in the Houston/Galveston area or for anyone who may be visiting the Houston/Galveston area.

There are still a number of places where I haven't yet eaten at that I would be interested in eating at. I only named as many as I could. There were some places I liked but couldn't remember too well the experience there. Some places were some I had visited only once and don't really recall any unique experiences or food from these places. Therefore, I elected not to discuss a few different places in my initial posting of this blog post.





If there are any other places I want to make mention to, I may update this blog post accordingly to add more favorites. Until next time, thank you for reading!

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