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Houston Chef's Table: Food snob Craig Mallinson unearths the best steak in Houston

Houston Chef's Table: Food snob Craig Mallinson unearths the best steak in Houston

News_Chef Chat_Craig Mallinson
Chef Craig Mallinson of Red Lion Pub Courtesy of Red Lion Pub
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Craig Mallinson with Guy Fieri. Courtesy of Red Lion Pub
News_Chef Chat_Craig Mallinson
News_Chef Chat_Craig Mallinson_blondie

No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them, and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.

Craig Mallinson's Red Lion has walked the line between restaurant and bar for years — like a gastropub, without the fancy moniker or matching pretension. The Food Network's Guy Fieri is a fan — Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives made a stop at Red Lion in 2009. But as for Mallinson, his Houston favorites are decidedly diner-free.

Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: I'm a bit of a snob ... one of them would would be Tony's and another would be Mark's. For pizza I like Pink's Pizza and for Asian food my favorite is Qin Dynasty.

Restaurant for a special occasion: I just took my family to Tony's before The Nutcracker last Saturday. The service is probably the best service in the city.

I like what they do with the menu, and I'm generally a big fan of Tony Vallone, I like what he's done for the city. He's produced so many good chefs because he gives people a shot.

Favorite meal: I like to say Carrabba's on Kirby. They are always very hospitable, I like the way that Johnny runs it, but the best kept secret is that they have the best steak.

I believe it's Australian, it's the best steak in the city, bar none.

Breakfast/Brunch favorite: Without a doubt Backstreet Cafe. I don't know what it is about their brunches, but they have a chicken hash or pork hash they conjure up — I'm always like, "One day I'm going to steal this idea," but I haven't yet.

I like the feel when the weather is nice and it's a good place for the whole family.

Dessert: Dessert Gallery — I don't go for desserts often but when we do we go there, they've got some lovely ideas.


Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series:

Lee Ellis loves Les Givral

Sugar hooker Rebecca Masson can't get enough of Catalan's Cake

Beachy L.J. Wiley digs the special occasion simple flavors at Dos Brisas

David Grossman goes for Vic & Anthony's crab cake, Yelapa late nights & some Bootsie

Jeramie Robison appreciates Kata Robata's sushi, Beaver's bangin' meatloaf & foodie chicks

Tony Mandola finds breakfast magic at Sunrise Taquitos

Philippe Schmit craves a Picnic romance & Stella Sola's French toast

Benjy Levit is torn between Indika's salads and Hank's Ice Cream

Flora & Muse's David Luna likes to hang with his fishing buddy and hit the Blue Nile

Asian Bistro's Gigi Huang seeks out spicy fried chicken at a Dive

Hugo Ortega believes in a Goode tradition

Soma Sushi's Jason Hauck is anti-brunch, pro-Feast

Jenni Tran-Weaver can't get enough hot pot

Bistro Alex's Juan Carlos Gonzalez finds a great $1.50 meal & giant key lime pie

Mockingbird Bistro's John Sheely treasures homemade Mexican & cool Connie's Seafood

Elizabeth Abraham dishes on her secret Royal Restaurant

Fleming's Jason Cole finds Texas' best barbecue, surf secrets

Kraftsmen Cafe's Scott Tycer hungers for the Taco Nazi's tortillas

Robert Del Grande reveals his IHOP regular past & his Baskin beginning

Ristorante Cavour's Renato De Pirro finds hidden food gems

Chip Hight adores Queen Vic, but he's still a Le Peep kind of guy