December 29, 2014
City Eats: Uncovering Houston’s Culinary Hotspots
Houston is special – and not just because it’s the hometown to both Beyonce and Bun B. With more than 11,000 different restaurants, the city has grown to be a southern culinary hotspot. According to Zagat, Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city in the United States. In a city with so much cultural diversity, it’s sure to offer options to satisfy any taste buds. From Tex-Mex, soul food, to southern barbeque, you can find some of the best eats in the world. With thousands of options, you will need to know where to start. BlackEnterprise.com has narrowed down your options to a few gems when visiting this popular Texan city.
Underbelly is the perfect title for “the story of Houston food,” and when it comes to Houston, there is no better storyteller than Chef Chris Shepherd. Chris has described Houston as “The most secretive and dynamic culinary destination in the country,” and Underbelly is the story of his journey through that city. Beneath its surface lies an endless array of the ingredients and cultures that shape Chris’ unique perspectives on food.
When the words “original” and “Tex-Mex” enter the same sentence in Houston, the first thought that comes to mind one is the rustic Original Ninfa’s at 2704 Navigation Blvd., in Houston’s second ward. Ninfa’s executive chef Alex Padilla has held a vision to continue carrying on the legendary dishes of Mama Ninfa, but keeping the concept unique with handcrafted cocktails, local coffee and innovative dishes celebrating the native dishes and food of Mexico. Signature dishes range from jumbo lump crab cakes to crispy calamari Mexicana, handmade tamales, Mama Ninfa’s famous tacos al carbon,fajita platters, cochinita pobil, shrimp diablo, fajita burger and tres leches.
The Breakfast Klub has become synonymous with Houston. It’s more than a place serving soul food breakfasts and savory lunches, it’s an integral part of Houston’s daily life. It’s where families gather after church; friends enjoy breakfast after an evening on the town, and where students, professionals, politicians and celebrities alike can find solitude and comfort in its tasty menu. Not to mention, it’s also where you can find the best chicken wings and waffles in the city.
Bistro Menil, the quaint cafÃ© located in the lush green surroundings of the Menil Collection campus is spearheaded by Chef Greg Martin (best known for his work with CafÃ© Annie). Featuring a sleek and contemporary yet warm and casual interior, the Bistro is divided into three main dining areas — the”Vueâ€ room, the main dining space, accommodating 68; the “PrivÃ©â€ room, a convertible private dining space, accommodating 24; and a beautifully landscaped outdoor space, accommodating up to 40.Chalkboard menus created by local chalk artist Matthew Tabor feature daily selections such as flatbreads, pizza, small bites and delicious entrees.
This Houston treasure was born from the inspiration of the Texas culinary legend Lucille Bishop Smith who was famous for her world renowned chili biscuits and BBQ. Grandson Chef Chris Williams offers Houston incredibly innovative takes on southern classics like shrimp & grits, oxtails, and pork & beans as well as hand-crafted cocktails and exclusive wine-list. The well designed space, housed in a turn of the century home is located on a tree-lined street in the heart of the museum district. You feel right at home when you walk in, being instantly greeted by warm and friendly staff. This is appropriately so, as Lucille’s strives to offer diners a comfortable experience with impeccable service and cuisine that is not matched throughout the city.