Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Best

The other day I was asked what was the best restaurant I ever ate at. Ignoring the preposition at the end of the sentence I pondered that question for some time.

The Best Restaurant.

After much pondering I came to the great conclusion that: it depends.

It depends on the time and the place. At least in my case.

In the past I would have said the International in Carefree, Arizona where I first had beef stroganoff and wild rice. Also in the past would have been the Cave in Nogales, Mexico where I had the amazing shrimp dinner already immortalized in this blog. Or it could be Pepino's Patio, home of the best Az-Mex in Arizona. I doubt if any of these places are extant today.

Today, I'd have to break Best Restaurant into categories, based on where I live in Houston, Texas.

Best Lunch Restaurant: Bayou City Seafood on Richmond. Also subject of a blog. Dale's Special is all I eat!

Best Indian Restaurant: Bombay Brazier on Richmond. What's with Richmond?

Best Oriental Restaurant: Kim Son tied with Vietopia. Kim Son is an all rounder, but Vietopia has atmosphere and good food.

Best Sushi: Sushi Jin on Memorial and Dairy Ashford. The sushi chefs know me and start preparing ikura as soon as I walk in the door. It's touching.

Best Mex-Tex: Picos with locations in Bellaire and I-10 West. Again, chicken chipotle. What else is there?

Best Seafood: Goode Seafood Company. Seafood margarita and stuffed flounder will do you for a month.

Best All Round Restaurant: Daniel's Brazier in Seattle. Excellent food and service and view. What more could you ask?

Best Thai Lunch: Thai Cottage, Bellaire, Houston, Texas. Never ask for a Number 4 pepper level. Trust me.

Best Meat Fest: Fogo de Chao, Houston. Haunch of Brontosaurus on a sword. Served by gauchos. Women swoon.

Best Italian of all time: Piccola Venezia 39 Thurloe Place South Kensington London SW7. If you don't like what's on the menu, Mama will cook you something special. Ernesto, you must eat something! Many a long night with the owner here. Ah, to be a student again!

Best Fondue: Amy's house. Tulsa, Oklahoma. Is that funny or what?

Best pork tenderloin dinner: My house, Houston, Texas. It's not funny. I take it very, very seriously.


nick said...

You and me would get along well I believe, Bill. It's all about the food!

Next time you're in Denver, here's where you gotta go:

Vesta Dipping Grill (downtown)- no matter what you order, it's completely incredible. In the dozen times my wife and I have broken away from the kids to get down there for dinner, it hasn't disappointed ONCE. Also, hands down, best beef tenderloin in town (and I've eaten at ALL the steak places too). http://vestagrill.com/

Cafe Giovanna (colorado springs) - well worth the hour drive south. Giovanna is THE chef. If she's sick, or gone back to 'the old country', place is closed. (call ahead first!) all the meats and cheeses are fedex'd straight from Italy. Seriously. Amazing. Pasta made fresh daily. If it's not on the menu, ask, and Giovanna will probably make it for you. My favorite place for Italian.

There are a few more, but those are by far the standouts in my opinion. Drop an email if you're in town and we'll enjoy it together!

schmims said...

Best dry rack (ribs of course), The Rendezvous in Memphis, TN.

kilowatthour said...

Fogo de Chao! My sister used to live in Houston, and she always loved that place. Sadly I never got to go...

Student-budget places I loved when I visited Houston: NitNoi, Ninfa's, and Mai's.

The best (and I mean BEST) barbecue I ever had was in Weatherford, TX, at a place called the Mesquite Pit. It is worth any amount of travel to sample the brisket. Seriously.

Andrew Purvis said...

Bill, I write this as one who teaches English, so pardon me. However, It was reported that Churchill, upset with media types who criticized the frequency with which he ended sentences in prepositions, once said this: "That is one thing up with which I will not put!"

Sometimes it is better to break the rules than break people's ear drums.