Houston's Best Restaurant Lunches
It’s been that kind of a week.
And I love it. I love the diversity of food in the Houston culinary scene. Fine dining, take-out hotdogs, Tex-Mex both modern and vintage, greasy spoon diner fare, some of the best sushi around and just about everything in between. Sometimes you dress up or dress down, but meals to me are always a special event.
I don’t always go in for highbrow food but when you’re celebrating with beloved family and friends Tony’s is the go-to spot. Beautiful surroundings, impeccable service and amazing food.
Sometimes you dress up or dress down, but meals to me are always a special event.
We started with a Prosecco toast and a raw seafood amuse bouche topped with a generous amount of trout roe then moved onto a bottle of white wine with an appetizer of delicate halibut crusted with black truffle. Then it was more wine, steak tartar prepared tableside with French fries followed by . . . yes . . . Tony’s famous chocolate souffle.
I love that the tartar has chopped jalapenos in it. I love that the souffle is topped with real whipped cream and chocolate sauce you could drink.
Three hours, four courses. It was an epic meal that I will always treasure.
But there are other meals that also make for lovely moments. Maybe not as epic, but nice.
The lunch at Tony’s was followed by a day of heavy work and a simple, at-home lunch on the balcony with take-out for James Coney Island. Now there’s no way you can compare the food from these two places, but, you know, sometimes you just need a hot dog eaten off a paper plate outside in the sunshine.
And dogs from JCI fill the bill. Love their chili dogs and tater tots, and if I eat at home then the Chihuahua can nibble a bite of tots. Now that’s a real family meal.
Sometimes you just need a hot dog eaten off a paper plate outside in the sunshine.
But James Coney Island is also going a little upscale this year with its Chefs and Show Dogs event featuring chef designed special dogs each month to celebrate the chain turning 90 this year. I got in just under the wire for July’s special: The Kata Ro-dog-a from chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi of Kata Robata.
It was a delicious panko-crusted, deep-fried Hebrew National all-beef dog nestled in a grilled Slow Dough Bread Co. bun and topped with soft-scrambled eggs, Japanese curry sauce, pickled cucumbers, pickled red onions, Yuzu Kosho QP Mayo and micro greens. No, no sushi on this dog. But not bad, not bad at all!
And I didn’t have to wear makeup and high heels and the good jewelry.
But maybe that’s a Texas, and in particular, a Houston thing. We are equally at home getting all dolled up and dining in posh establishments with award-winning chefs or throwing on some shorts and flip-flops to head down to the neighborhood watering hole and hamburger joint. That’s just how we roll in the Lone Star State.
And come to think of its, I’ve seen women in fur coats in the drive-thru at Whataburger and guys in jeans and cowboy boots at Tony’s.
And while your budget may be more Coney Island than tony eateries, don’t forget Houston Restaurant Weeks offers special deals in August at some 200 area restaurants ranging from $20 to $45 including fine dining establishments, some of the hottest new eateries in town and neighborhood bistros. Check out the full list here and get out and enjoy some great food for a great cause.
Restaurant Weeks benefits the Houston Food Bank, which helps everyone eat healthy.