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Texas

Report - Houston Galleria Area

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Restaurants & Bars

Report - Houston Galleria Area

Janet | Oct 23, 2003 10:44 AM

Thank you for all of the kind replies. Plane arrived late, and we started driving around looking for a spot for dinner (my notes were in my suitcase, so this was just a quick something to satisfy hunger only). We kept driving and started seeing lots of sexual-related clubs and shops – decided we had gone too far. So, we made u-turn and drove back to an interesting looking spot. It was an Irish pub with an outside deck. The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside and had a drink before getting the menu. After reading the menu 3X, we decided that there was not one edible menu item. I went to the car to retrieve my notes (which a good Chowhound would have done immediately upon landing at the airport), and we were amazed that we were less than 10 minutes from Goody’s BBQ.

GOODY’S BBQ was absolute heaven. I loved the old-time décor and the classic country music proudly turned up loud for the diner’s enjoyment. But what amazed me is how much I loved the food. I’m not usually into BBQ due to childhood memories of leathery chicken with a charred BBQ crust. However, Goody’s meats were sublime. I do not have the words to express how good that meat was. I tasted the sauce, and it was okay, but preferred my meat sans sauce. I had the beef brisket, which was so tender you only needed a fork. My absolute favorite was the pork spareribs. These were definitely not from a skinny little pig – there was just enough fat to make the ribs enjoyable, and the fat was not greasy – it just melted along with the meat in your mouth for the most exquisite mouth-feel ever. The Czech sausage was fantastic, too. I just couldn’t get enough. What put me over the top, along with the ribs, were Goody’s baked beans. I have never had beans taste that good in my life. They used the leftover ends and pieces of smoked in the beans and had chunks of what I thought were potatoes, along with sautéed onions and red bell pepper. I couldn’t identify the flavor in the potatoes, but it was an exquisite match. I inquired about the potatoes. The cook was very pleasant, but he only spoke halting English. He understood me enough to know that I was in love with those beans, and he told me that the “potatoes” were chunks of apple! Who would have thought ?!? The other side was the Texas-inspired “jambalaya”. Being from Louisiana, I don’t order jambalaya in restaurants, but this was really good. Not a true jambalaya, more like a meat-flavored rice, but it was nice and moist and tasted perfect with a few slices of jalapenos. We ate sitting outside on the wooden picnic tables and even had a slow dance to an old Hank Williams, Sr. tune before we left – yes, the food puts you in that good of a mood. He even asked me to dance knowing beforehand that I ate jalapenos and a slice of raw onion with my beans. Life is good.

The next night we opted for FOGO DE CHAO instead of Churrasco's because I liked the thought of gauchos walking around serving meat cut off the large skewers. What can I say about the place except that it is a meat-lovers paradise. The salad bar looked good, but I wasn’t even tempted. ALL OF THE MEAT was absolutely fabulous – the top sirloin was my favorite I believe, but it’s hard to choose. My least favorite were the little lamb chops.
Someone warned me beforehand about the disks on your table to signal the waiters – Green for more, red for "God, please stop." I had a Caipirinha, which is a really good drink originating in Brazil. It was a great experience. I wish I could tell you more about it, but since I had several glasses of wine before I even went to dinner (on an empty stomach – not a good idea), I don’t remember much other than the place was excellent.

Honorable mention goes to CAFÉ BEIGNET. It's a nice little spot to drop by for lunch. The place was right next door to our hotel and very convenient. The food was pretty good, but the service was fantastic. Very friendly wait staff. I had lunch there one day sitting at a little iron table on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. I was eating alone with a book, and the waiter could not have been friendlier. He never rushed me at all. I tipped him at 100%.

So, thank you Houston Chowhounds. It was a very nice trip.

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