"Is Houston's multicultural dining scene the country's best-kept food secret?" Andrew Knowlton asks in the May issue of Bon Appétit. And though he leaves the question in the air, his article about what's new and hot in Houston food makes it obvious the answer is a resounding "yes!"
Knowlton describes Vietnamese food as his "desert island cuisine," so it's no surprise he quickly fell in love with Houston's array of Asian specialties along Bellaire, including Crawfish & Noodles and Que Hoang as well as the out-of-Chinatown staple Les Givral Kahve for bahn mi.
And it's not just the Vietnamese food that Knowlton raves about:
I knew the city has its share of good Mexican, solid BBQ, and cool places with big-name chefs at the stove. But I didn't expect to find strip malls filled with the best Southeast Asian food I've ever eaten, Indian-inspired chicken wings that won a spot in my bar food hall of fame, or a $14 value meal of pig's-ear cake and braised pork cheeks. Who knew that, dish after dish, I'd be scribbling 'Wish I could get this back home!' in my notebook? ....
Houston's also got authentic Thai, seriously great Indian, dim sum to cure the worst hangover, and street tacos that would be at home in Oaxaca, not to mention a wealth of high-end, local-ingredient-driven spots where the chef strolling the dining room may have been on TV the night before. And if you're looking for something a little more potent, the city's thriving artisanal cocktail scene will oblige."
He's short on details, but long on compliments, so we'll take it. It sounds like Knowlton visited Anvil, Feast, perhaps Queen Vic Kitchen & Pub and any number of other places, and he devotes plenty of space to the new El Real Tex-Mex.
The article ends by naming Houston the best dining destination in Texas. We may be the "best-kept secret," but with more glowing articles like this, it won't be that way for long.