The meme is on your five favorite restuarants and why.
- Top of my list is a three way tie between Marquette Gyros, Kopp's Frozen Custard, and Whataburger. These three burger joints are the bee's knees in hangover recovery food. I spent many a Sunday morning scarfing down a bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings and a large Coke at Marquette Gyros. It was the perfect greasy spoon with cheap chairs, cracked linoleum and a menu board that dated back to the 70's. When I brought my truck up to Milwaukee senior year, I was able to sample goods near and far. One girlfriend....I mean date...introduced me to frozen custard by way of Kopp's. This was in the middle of winter. I didn't care. I later learned that their bacon double cheeseburger dripped even more grease down my arm than Marquette Gyros. Winner! That, and the tiramisu custard on a dipped cone cured even the worst 100 proof hangover. When I moved back to Texas, Whataburger was the only place that came close to the bacon double cheeseburger (now with jalepenos!) that could satisfy my hangover needs.
- My favorite seafood joint has to be the State of Louisiana. No, seriously! I haven't met a seafood joint there that I didn't like. I learned all about fried and barbqued softshell crab, proper gumbo, and all sorts of variations of fried and fish. Prejean's in Lafayette, and that other place I can't remember the name of south of I-10 in Lafayette are great places to stop for lunch on the way down to Venice when we fish. I haven't been back and don't know if they rebuilt, but Kamp's restuarant in Venice was a great way to end a long day of fishing out in the West Pass. The only other seafood I will eat with regularity is at the Ragin' Cajun on Gessner at Westheimer in Houston. I went to high school and played little league with the owners. They run a far superior store than the original run by their uncle on Richmond. You can even see my smiling face on the wall as you walk in.
- BarBQ is a toss-up. I have had good and bad Q in Texas and elsewhere. I classify BarBQ into two distinct classifications, ribs and everything else. For ribs, hands down winner is Brew City BarBQ in Milwaukee. You got your choice, a 1/2 rack or whole rack of ribs. I couldn't finish a whole rack my first time out. For everything else, there was a place out in Mason, Tx. that had great Q, but I like Luling City Market in Luling and the one in Houston.
- Chicken Fried Steak is the food I judge all others by. Every new town I visit, I have to order some Chicken Fried. The biggest is a diner in Somerville, Tx. Even I can't finish this off on a good day. It is HUGE. And I'm talking about the regular order. They have a small order for those not brave enough. The regular order is so big, they have to fold it back on itself to fit on the plate. (Sidenote: The first night I went there with family and friends, we all ordered CFS and we all had leftovers. This rancher brought his wife and amply girthed daughter and sat at the table next to us. They all ordered the regular, too. Mom and dad had leftovers...for about a minute. Daughter practically inhaled the entire table. She was eyeing ours as we left. We thought we'd have to sacrifice my lil' sister just to appease her.) Now, Goodson's had a great CFS with the best cream gravy and yeast rolls. They only have one restuarant in Tomball, and I haven't been there in years. I have to settle for a mediocre one at Texas Land and Cattle or Saltgrass Steakhouse.
- Tex-Mex is as big a part of my diet as Whataburger and Chicken Fried Steak. There are only three places that bear mentioning here. Irma's in downtown Houston for lunch. She's got the best lemonade and even better chicken mole. El Tiempo is run by the two oldest boys of Mama Ninfa Lorenzo (Ninfa's Cantina) and has great fajitas and even better guacamole. My wife and I were turned on to Cyclone Anaya's recently. They have a great enchilada dish that uses an ancho chile sauce.
**There is one place that bears mentioning, but I don't know whether to classify it as Tex-Mex, Asian or Seafood. Tampico is a place of the I-610 North Loop at Airline run by a Mexican cook and his Vietnamese wife. They have blended their cooking styles to form a very popular restuarant. If you go, order the family platter grilled redfish and fried rice. Make sure to get an order of scallops and shrimp to go with it. You won't be disappointed.
Feel free to pass this meme on to whoever wants to play.