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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.

Country Kitchen

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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.

Barbecue Inn

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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.

Aunt Bea's Restaurant

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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.

Panda Express

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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.

369 Oriental Bistro

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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?

Mel's Country Cafe

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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.

The Shack

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One word…Burgers. Really, really, good burgers. Go there, get a burger, eat it. Be happy.

Hot Bagel Shop

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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.

New York Bagels

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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."

Jackie's Kitchen

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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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Country Kitchen

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.

Barbecue Inn

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.

Aunt Bea's Restaurant

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.

Panda Express

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.

369 Oriental Bistro

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?

Mel's Country Cafe

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.

The Shack

One word…Burgers. Really, really, good burgers. Go there, get a burger, eat it. Be happy.

Hot Bagel Shop

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.

New York Bagels

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."

Jackie's Kitchen

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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