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Lopez Mexican Rastaurant

Lopez is my current go-to spot for gooey cheese enchiladas, serving the style of Tex-Mex enchiladas which most remind me of my favorites from my home town in the Rio Grande Valley of the 1970s.

I haven't gotten much beyond the enchiladas at Lopez, but I don't care for the crispy tacos, finding them to be much too underseasoned for my taste, and also don't like the chiles rellenos much, another important yardstick for me to judge a Tex-Mex joint.

I will try the carnitas, maybe even today, given that Lopez is just down the road from my office! I have worked and lived in this area of the city for lots of years and can make a minor correction to the excellent report above. Hickory Barn has been in its location since 1980. It is the little tortilleria next door to Hickory Barn that occupies the space that once was Lopez.

Hickory Barn puts out a very decent rib basket, by the way. I haven't found much to love about their brisket, though. The sauce it not bad, leaning more toward Central Texas than East (not cloyingly sweet and with some heat factor, in other words). The twice cooked, hand-cut fries are really good, but there is a tendency to undercook when the line is busy, so order them crispy.

Mar 05, 2013
chefspop in Houston

I LOVE visiting Houston!

What a splendid account! Thank you for this.

Dec 18, 2012
chefspop in Houston

Where and What Did You Eat?

Yesterday was WAY outside the norm for red meat and cholesterol consumption, but here you go:

Lunch at Hickory Barn (11534 Wilcrest) was a rib basket. Excellent pork ribs with twice-fried, hand cut taters.

After an evening meeting in the Heights, dInner at Hubcap Grill on 19th. Black and blue burger with stinky fries and St. Arnold Christmas Ale.

Today, two bike rides, a walk, and three apples.

Nov 02, 2012
chefspop in Houston

Avalon Diner

We hit the Avalon at the Fountains regularly for lunch. The staff is excellent; Kathy is our favorite waitress. I usually order the blue plate. The meatloaf is good, but I find the red sauce much too sweet for my taste. It is not baked on, however, so I get it with the brown gravy instead. Pork roast and dressing is also good, when they have it, as are the turnip greens. My dad likes the drugstore chili, and the kids love the pancakes.

Aug 03, 2011
chefspop in Houston

Large event in Houston next May

As beverage is the first prioriy, consider the Beer Hall at Saint Arnold Brewery. It accommodates up to 300, and beer is included in the rental price. You would need to arrange catering.

Aug 03, 2011
chefspop in Houston

Hoggs n' Chicks - Terrible name, GREAT food!

Tried the new location, in the old Meat and Greet spot next to Aura for lunch today. Ordered the lunch special, which was a choice of three sliders with a side and drink for $7.99, I think it was. The sliders were on lovely, house-made yeast rolls, crisped on the grill. The beef slider was rather boring and overcooked (not "medium" as I had specified, when asked at the counter). Aside from a nice, assertive, beefy flavor, there was not much to recommend this slider. After eating half, I added a little French's mustard, as there was no sauce or other embellishment. The Saigon pork slider was worth the trip. Nicely sauced, with bits of aromatics throughout the patty, juicy and delicious. Pulled pork was my third slider. I found the meat to be moist, tender, and smokey. The pinkish, mayo-based sauce didn't add much interest, in my opinion. My side was a buttery medley of seasonal veggies: squashes, carrots, and green beans.

My dining companion, who treated me to lunch, has been on a quest for the best chicken fried steak in Houston, and says that he has found it here (His prior top of the list had been Ousie's Table). I had a couple bites and was very impressed. I will go back to order this. The breading was crisp and fairly dark. The meat was tender and nicely seasoned, perhaps marinated. The cream gravy was savory, thick, and peppery. The portion was large, but not one of those fill-the-platter CFS's. His side of mac and cheese must have been unremarkable, since he made no remark about it. Came with one of those lovely rolls that the sliders are served on, for under $9.

Glancing over the menu, I saw several sandwiches and seafood dishes I will likely go back to try. For the quality here, the prices are very reasona

Jul 07, 2011
chefspop in Houston

june 19 2011 driving from houston to san antonio and back...anything worthwhile to pull over for?

Schobel's has some of the best pies on the planet. I once ate a slice of coconut cream pie, warm from the oven, that brought tears to my eyes and ended my quest for best in show for this item. (My prior favorite had been from Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls.) My dad, whose mother made him a fresh pie every day when he was growing up in Denton in the 1930's and '40's, prefers the buttermilk pie.

Jun 16, 2011
chefspop in Houston

Looking for GOOD Chinese Food in the Sugarland area!

Try Jade Garden at 4555 Highway 6. A mini-boom of Asian eateries has developed around the Well Farm supermarket, and Jade Garden is our favorite. They have dim sum every day and a fairly typical "lunch special" menu. If you are not Asian, you may need to help adjust the staff's expectations about what interests you. My first couple visits, I was presented only with the lunch special menu, and various offereing are described on posterboard without English translation. Once you get into the made-to-order dim sum and the live seafood option, though, there are some really fine dishes. The lunch specials are above average in quality, too.

Nov 16, 2010
chefspop in Houston

Near University of Houston

Midtown is within a 10 minute taxi ride, barring rush hour. Check out T'afia or Julia's Bistro. Both are on the same block. After dinner, you could slip into the Continental Club for some live music, if it you so wished.

Julia's Bistro
3722 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

T'afia Restaurant
3701 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Nov 15, 2010
chefspop in Houston

Vince Young Steakhouse

Hope it's good, but I've learned to have low expectations of any restaurant named after a famous person, unless that person got famous cooking.

Nov 10, 2010
chefspop in Austin

Downtown -- Dinner Options near Dallas St betw Travis and Main

What sad news. I loved that place. Sorry that my first post here turned out to be a bum steer.

Oct 12, 2010
chefspop in Houston

Downtown -- Dinner Options near Dallas St betw Travis and Main

Josephine's might fit the bill if you're up for Italian. It's about three and one half blocks from your hotel at 1209 Caroline St. You'll find a family-owned restaurant using top-notch ingredients at moderate prices.

Oct 11, 2010
chefspop in Houston