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Houston destroys Dallas in restaurant power: Major mag's new Top 100 touts H-Town, shuts out Big D

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Provisions of The Pass & Provisions
At Provisions, try any of the house-made pastas. Photo by © Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Barbecue Inn Houston interior with people
Cole recommends the chicken fried steak at Barbecue Inn, but we prefer the fried chicken and shrimp. Barbecue Inn
Reef restaurant Houston exterior night
Reef still turns out some of the best Gulf seafood anywhere. Photo by © Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau
Oxheart Restaurant window diners planter box
A table at Oxheart is the toughest in Houston to book, but it's totally worth the wait. Photo by © Debora Smail/Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau
News_Underbelly, entrance
Underbelly tells the story of Houston food thanks to excellent ingredients and a talented kitchen staff. Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Provisions of The Pass & Provisions
Barbecue Inn Houston interior with people
Reef restaurant Houston exterior night
Oxheart Restaurant window diners planter box
News_Underbelly, entrance

Southern Living magazine travel & features editor Jennifer V. Cole is offering a list of her 100 places to eat now in a new story. While the magazine article notes that list will be "always evolving," it currently has five Houston restaurants: Barbecue Inn, Oxheart, Provisions, Reef and Underbelly.

That's comfortably ahead of Austin, where only Uchi rates a nod, and Dallas, which is shut out entirely.

Cole makes similar observations that other national writers like John T. Edge have, but, since hearing how awesome Houston's food scene is never gets tiresome, here it is: "Without a doubt, Houston is the most interesting, far-ranging, delightful food city in the South— strike that, in America — right now. There’s a confluence of a post-Katrina Creole population, traditional Southern staples (biscuits, barbecue, pimiento cheese), diverse multinationals (Vietnamese, Korean, Pakistani, Mexican), fertile farmland, easy access to the Gulf, and a general yearning to make a culinary mark."

 That's comfortably ahead of Austin, where only Uchi rates a nod, and Dallas, which is shut out entirely. 

Each restaurant includes a dish recommendation, and most of them are expected: Korean braised goat dumplings at Underbelly, cresto de gallo pasta at Provisions, roasted grouper at Reef, and, of course, the tasting menu at Oxheart (when a table's available). 

Playing the Sesame Street game of "one of these things is not like the others," Barbecue Inn stands out from its inside-the-Loop, frequently-touted, chef-driven companions. While that restaurant is certainly a local treasure, Cole whiffs by touting the chicken fried steak, which, honestly, can be kind of bland, instead of Barbecue Inn's best in the city fried chicken and shrimp. At least she recommends against order the barbecue.

Even with all the praise, it feels like Southern Living's barely scratched the surface. Please come back for a tour through the Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants on Bellaire, the raw seafood options at Cove or the beef short rib at Killen's BBQ.

Once Cole really gets to know Houston, Dallas is totally screwed. 

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