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The Underbelly Crew's Favorite Greasy Spoons, Mapped

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Greasy Spoons Week highlights those little out of the way places that are not known for their haute cuisine, but rather the comfort that they bring to their guests. Also, usually they are cheap. The classic American diner is a great example of a Greasy Spoon, but this classification is not exclusive to diners. A Greasy Spoon can be anything that providers a customer with fast, cheap, comfort food. That being said, comfort food is different for everyone. Here are a few places where the kitchen staff at Underbelly have been getting good, cheap eats for years.

-- JD Woodward

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Country Kitchen

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3333 W 11th St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 861-3957
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This place has been open forever and is a great breakfast spot. The thing that makes it stand out is the consistency. It’s one of the few places where you can get well cooked eggs to order that come out right every time. From omelets to chicken fried steak, when it comes to comfort food, this place is a winner.

2. Barbecue Inn

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116 W Crosstimbers St
Houston, TX 77018
(713) 695-8112
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Ever had a craving for good barbecue with all the fixins, but didn’t have $7 to throw down on half pint of coleslaw at Gatlin’s? Welcome to Barbecue Inn. They’ve been making quality barbecue for over 50 years. On top of that, they have killer chicken fried steak, and the fried shrimp are a reason to get out of the house. They might not have made it onto the Texas Monthly top 50 list, but they serve great food at a fair price.

3. Aunt Bea's Restaurant

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5422 North Freeway
Houston, TX 77076
(713) 692-9221
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This place will not win any awards or break any new ground in the world of modern cuisine. What they will do is serve a kick ass plate of biscuits and gravy at four in the morning. Yes, it is open 24 hours a day, and the food is definitely a step up from national chains: i.e. Denny’s and IHOP.

4. Panda Express

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1913 Taylor St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 862-6999
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This pick comes from Patrick Feges, part-time pitmaster and full-time line cook at Underbelly. Although it's a national chain, this restaurant is a perfect example of the variable nature of comfort food. Panda Express's cornstarch battered, fried meats make Patrick Feges happy; perhaps it could do the same for others as well.

5. 369 Oriental Bistro

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1009B Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 524-8686
When Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd has a craving for a greasy spoon, he goes to 369 and orders the General Tso’s chicken. Sweet, crispy, spicy: is there anyone out there who does not like this dish?

6. Mel's Country Cafe

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24814 Stanolind
Houston, TX
(281) 255-6357
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People in the suburbs need greasy spoons too, so here is a great pick for people in Tomball. Mel’s Country Café is family owned and operated and provides dines with country classics like fried catfish. The restaurant is also home to the Mega Mel Burger…Just try to finish it.

7. The Shack

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16602 Cypress Rosehill Rd
Cypress, TX 77429
One word…Burgers. Really, really, good burgers. Go there, get a burger, eat it. Be happy.

8. Hot Bagel Shop

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2009 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 520-0340
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Clumsy Butcher culinary director Erin Smith likes bagels, and the Hot Bagel Shop is a great place to get them. The take-out spot has been making bagels since 1984. Try one of the kolache-style bagel dogs to get the day started off right.

9. New York Bagels

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9724 Hillcroft St
Houston, TX 77096
(713) 723-8650
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Eater Young Gun Ryan Lachaine (aka Canada), sous chef at Underbelly, grabs a bite at New York Bagels when he needs his greasy spoon fix. Two things are assured. First, whether it’s an omelet or a banana(?!?) bagel, it’s going to hit the spot, Two, he's probably going to drown his order in maple syrup, but, as he says, "none of that Vermont shit."

10. Jackie's Kitchen

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2210 Mangum Rd
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 681-1916
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Located in a former IHOP just off Highway 290, Jackie’s Kitchen is a perfectly acceptable place to get a greasy spoon meal. Once again, it’s about comfort food at an affordable price. Anything with eggs is solid, and the service is always friendly.

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1. Country Kitchen

3333 W 11th St, Houston, TX 77008
This place has been open forever and is a great breakfast spot. The thing that makes it stand out is the consistency. It’s one of the few places where you can get well cooked eggs to order that come out right every time. From omelets to chicken fried steak, when it comes to comfort food, this place is a winner.
3333 W 11th St
Houston, TX 77008

2. Barbecue Inn

116 W Crosstimbers St, Houston, TX 77018
Ever had a craving for good barbecue with all the fixins, but didn’t have $7 to throw down on half pint of coleslaw at Gatlin’s? Welcome to Barbecue Inn. They’ve been making quality barbecue for over 50 years. On top of that, they have killer chicken fried steak, and the fried shrimp are a reason to get out of the house. They might not have made it onto the Texas Monthly top 50 list, but they serve great food at a fair price.
116 W Crosstimbers St
Houston, TX 77018

3. Aunt Bea's Restaurant

5422 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77076
This place will not win any awards or break any new ground in the world of modern cuisine. What they will do is serve a kick ass plate of biscuits and gravy at four in the morning. Yes, it is open 24 hours a day, and the food is definitely a step up from national chains: i.e. Denny’s and IHOP.
5422 North Freeway
Houston, TX 77076

4. Panda Express

1913 Taylor St, Houston, TX 77007
This pick comes from Patrick Feges, part-time pitmaster and full-time line cook at Underbelly. Although it's a national chain, this restaurant is a perfect example of the variable nature of comfort food. Panda Express's cornstarch battered, fried meats make Patrick Feges happy; perhaps it could do the same for others as well.
1913 Taylor St
Houston, TX 77007

5. 369 Oriental Bistro

1009B Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
When Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd has a craving for a greasy spoon, he goes to 369 and orders the General Tso’s chicken. Sweet, crispy, spicy: is there anyone out there who does not like this dish?
1009B Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

6. Mel's Country Cafe

24814 Stanolind, Houston, TX
People in the suburbs need greasy spoons too, so here is a great pick for people in Tomball. Mel’s Country Café is family owned and operated and provides dines with country classics like fried catfish. The restaurant is also home to the Mega Mel Burger…Just try to finish it.
24814 Stanolind
Houston, TX

7. The Shack

16602 Cypress Rosehill Rd, Cypress, TX 77429
One word…Burgers. Really, really, good burgers. Go there, get a burger, eat it. Be happy.
16602 Cypress Rosehill Rd
Cypress, TX 77429

8. Hot Bagel Shop

2009 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019
Clumsy Butcher culinary director Erin Smith likes bagels, and the Hot Bagel Shop is a great place to get them. The take-out spot has been making bagels since 1984. Try one of the kolache-style bagel dogs to get the day started off right.
2009 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77019

9. New York Bagels

9724 Hillcroft St, Houston, TX 77096
Eater Young Gun Ryan Lachaine (aka Canada), sous chef at Underbelly, grabs a bite at New York Bagels when he needs his greasy spoon fix. Two things are assured. First, whether it’s an omelet or a banana(?!?) bagel, it’s going to hit the spot, Two, he's probably going to drown his order in maple syrup, but, as he says, "none of that Vermont shit."
9724 Hillcroft St
Houston, TX 77096

10. Jackie's Kitchen

2210 Mangum Rd, Houston, TX 77092
Located in a former IHOP just off Highway 290, Jackie’s Kitchen is a perfectly acceptable place to get a greasy spoon meal. Once again, it’s about comfort food at an affordable price. Anything with eggs is solid, and the service is always friendly.
2210 Mangum Rd
Houston, TX 77092

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