Welcome to the latest installment of Where Chefs Eat, a look at where the city’s best chefs spend their hard-earned money on food they didn’t actually have to cook. When he isn’t turning out some of Houston’s most exciting food at his Heights hotspot Coltivare, Chef Ryan Pera has to eat.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Pera has pretty killer taste when it comes to dining in Clutch City. Ranging from Houston’s best bowl of pho to the most exciting forthcoming restaurant, check out Chef Ryan Pera’s picks for the best that Houston’s culinary scene has to offer.
Eater Houston: What's your favorite Houston barbecue joint?
Ryan Pera: The Pit Room. Bramwell Tripp (former sous chef at Revival Market and cook at Coltivare) is doing an amazing job. It’s walking distance from my house, so I love to cruise in on foot. They take their sides seriously and use well-sourced meats and products.
Where do you grab a killer cup of coffee?
I have coffee at Revival Market every day. I know it’s my own business, but why would I go anywhere else? In the summer, I either drink the 48-hour cold brew or the Italian iced coffee sour, and when the weather is colder, I drink the Champurrado (Mexican spiced chocolate with masa de harina and a double shot of espresso). It’s a nod to our region, and it’s delicious. Plus, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have a drip black coffee at Revival Market.
What about breakfast or brunch? Where's the best early meal in town?
Hugo’s has the best brunch in town. It’s amazing how much good food he has out. Pro tip: If you end up at Hugo’s Sunday night after brunch is over, you can still order the Tres Leches, which isn’t on the menu.
Which Houston restaurant has the best bowl of pho?
I’m so happy that Pho Binh moved into The Heights. It’s such a great addition to the neighborhood, and it offers much-needed pho nearby.
What's the restaurant you're most excited to see open in the next few months?
One Fifth! Chris knows how to hit a homerun, and there’s no doubt he will with this restaurant. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do for the next five years.
Where's your favorite special occasion (date night, anniversary) restaurant?
Oxheart was my go-to date night spot with my wife, but now that it's closing, we choose BCN quite a bit. They understand service, atmosphere, wine and good ingredients. It’s a unique menu in town.
Where is Houston's finest fried chicken?
Mark Holley (of Holley’s) makes fried chicken on certain Sundays. It’s well worth making a reservation.
What's your favorite sandwich in town?
A great sandwich needs great bread, and the best bread in Houston is made by Otto Sanchez at Le Table. My favorite is the hot ham and béchamel on brioche. Comes with some amazing pommes frites as well.