The Houston Press polled an all-star panel of local and national food writers to create a list of the 30 Essential Texas Restaurants that it published today. Ranging from high-end to low-end, the list represents the state of eating in modern Texas that transcends the typical steaks, Tex-Mex and barbecue outsiders might usually associate with the state. Which is not to say there aren't those places on the list, but some of the usual Texas destinations like The Grist Mill in Gruene and the Monument Inn in La Porte aren't here.
In Houston, the restaurants that made the cut are Hugo's, Ninfa's on Navigation, Pappas Bros Steakhouse, Tony's and Underbelly: all of which are worthy even if none are very surprising. Houston's greatest restaurant strength may be its ethnic diversity, but this list tends towards fine dining restaurants (in price if not atmosphere). Apparently, none of Houston's ethnic restaurants in neighborhoods such as Bellaire's Chinatown or the Mahatma Ghandi District on Hillcroft have established themselves as sufficiently essential to make the cut.
· 30 Essential Texas Restaurants [Houston Press]