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Judy’s Bread & Breakfast

Jul 31, 2017 By Texas Monthly

What really draws people seems to be the pastries: huge cinnamon rolls and other goodies that look as though they would need giant hands to make. Fluffy house-made biscuits play host to white sausage gravy while thick, wonderful slices of buttered multigrain bread sidle up to egg dishes. Laid-back customers…

Specialty Kitchen and Bakery

Jul 25, 2017 By Texas Monthly

We are addicted to the bacon, Gouda, and apple sandwich, though the quiche is coming on strong; we sampled the spinach, ham, and cheddar variety and had to take another slice to go. Don’t miss the spectacular orange scone. This is a true neighborhood spot, and it’s building a solid…

Tamarindos

Jul 19, 2017 By Texas Monthly

The rather misleading sign says “Tamarindos Raspas and Snacks,” but those in the know come to this busy strip-center spot for exceptionally fresh seafood with a Baja twist. You might start by pairing a fresh-squeezed lemonade with a bowl of shrimp, fish, and scallop ceviche topped with roasted corn kernels.

Bobalicious

Jul 19, 2017 By Texas Monthly

In the past few years we’ve often found ourselves saying, after a visit to the Asian neighborhoods of Houston, “We wish there were a boba place in Lubbock.” Well, now there is, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Bobalicious offers a variety of snow ices and bubble teas, with a…

Obregon’s

Jun 26, 2017 By Texas Monthly

The border search for breakfast tacos worthy of early Sunday morning bed extraction is often legendary, and winners remain guarded family secrets. But the secret’s long out with this former gas station that’s punted out hand-hewn flour tortillas stuffed with standards for decades. Hearty guisado (beef stew) is thick with…

The Ritual

Jun 22, 2017 By Texas Monthly

The improbably authentic Ritual stands out in this small East Texas town (population 15,000) some 25 miles south of Tyler. Think one-stop shop for overall well-being upstairs (massage, facials, yoga, and meditation) and imaginative lunch fare downstairs. Perhaps it’s the location, tucked as it is into a turn-of-the-century downtown brick…

Picnik

Jun 21, 2017 By Texas Monthly

All restaurants have a goal: feed their patrons well. Picnik, in a white, airy, light-filled space, has a mission as well: improve its patrons’ nutrition. The restaurant’s founder, Naomi Seifter, ardently believes that processed foods and grains are bad for you whereas vegetables, fruits, meats, fowl, and fish are good.

Harvey’s Charcoal Hamburgers

May 27, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. We know we can’t be the only ones who remember Goff’s on Lovers Lane, and we still salivate thinking of those luscious burgers with house-made hickory sauce. So we’re delighted that Harvey Gough is back, slinging burgers in a small spot in a…

Poke-Poke

May 22, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Not all of us are grousing about the Californication of Austin, especially if it brings us deliciousness in the form of the raw fish salad known as poke. This Hawaiian food became a trend in Venice Beach, the original location of Poke-Poke, and Austin is the first outpost away from…

Benedict’s

May 8, 2017 By Texas Monthly

There were seven of us and nobody had the same dish, so that should tell you there’s something for everyone here. The freshly squeezed orange juice is a real treat, and a perfect accompaniment for the California Benedict, with its artichokes, sliced avocado, and tomatoes. You also can’t go wrong…

My Name Is Joe

Apr 5, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Back in the eighties, downtown executives had so-called power breakfasts and lunches in high-rise buildings. They still do, of course, but My Name Is Joe has an Austin state of mind. It’s an Airstream serving coffee and morning-type food that you eat at a picnic table while checking your email.

Bettie Jean’s Homestyle Cooking

Apr 5, 2017 By Texas Monthly

The daily menu reads like Sunday lunch at grandma’s house: smothered pork chops, fried catfish, slabs of meat loaf studded with green peppers and onions and sauced with a tomato gravy. Did we mention the tender fried chicken with the crispy coating? It’s some of the best we’ve tasted. Sides…

Deli News

Apr 5, 2017 By Texas Monthly

There’s one on just about every block in NYC. In Dallas, there are just a few. But if you want the real deli experience, sit down in this no-nonsense room and sample an ABC sandwich of New York rye bread, mountainous layers of corned beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw (yes,…

World Cup Cafe

Mar 30, 2017 By Courtney Bond

This out-of-the-way cafe is smack-dab in the middle of an area of Waco that is undergoing serious gentrification. Adjacent from the Jubilee Market, like a veritable mirage in the food desert that is East Waco, this eclectic eatery (and fair-trade market) could be anywhere but seems right at home in…

The Patio

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

We think that the motto of this very eclectic little restaurant right along the main drag (Highway 690) should be “Do just a few things (not necessarily related) and do them well.” The Patio has already earned fame in this small East Texas town for its signature hot dogs (like…

Piada

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Advertising itself as a purveyor of Italian street food, this new outpost of a large national chain is quite good. We found the Diavola piada (sort of like an Italian burrito) to be more angelic than devilish, with it’s not-too-spicy sauce, romaine lettuce, Parmesan, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pancetta. Also craving…

Vickery Cafe

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Yes, you can get a fine plate of bacon and eggs, but this coffeeshop does so much more—and so well. Brined in-house, the corned beef with diced potatoes, peppers, and onions is the finest hash around, especially if topped with two over-easy eggs and accompanied with toasty challah bread. The…

1848 BBQ

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Abraham Avila has been very much missed since he shut the doors at Wild Blue Barbecue and disappeared from the scene. But now he’s back, keeping it simple in an old office building with a large covered patio. His brisket, pulled pork, and ribs were executed perfectly, with well-rendered fat…

Bryan’s Steaks

Mar 1, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Bryan’s is the steakhouse for people who don’t want all the fuss and frills of fancier joints. Drawn by the cheap fare, trips to the salad bar with every entrée, and free soft-serve cones, families with children and pensioners are the most loyal customers. But despite a cafeteria feel, the…

Porky’s

Jan 27, 2017 By Texas Monthly

This place is a longtime favorite with locals, and for the best of reasons: great burgers made from fresh ground beef, with bread options that include a jalapeño-cheese bun; deliciously crisp onion rings; hand-cut fries; milk shakes. And now they have new digs, with easy parking, an airy dining space,…

The Magnolia Pancake Haus

Dec 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Whether you’re hankering for an all-American short stack, a fluffy fruit-topped Belgian waffle, or one of a global array of omelets, breakfast (and a bunch of salads, burgers, and sandwiches too) is lined up and at the ready daily. They don’t take reservations, but they’ll text you if you want…

Angela’s Kitchen

Dec 6, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Tyler is fortunate that celebrated Dallas caterer Angela Gordon decided to expand her enterprise ninety miles south to the La Piazza shopping center. The care that goes into her food was evident in every bite of our sandwich of thinly sliced beef tenderloin, Brie, caramelized onions, and burgundy mayo. Soups,…

Republic Chicken

Dec 6, 2016 By Texas Monthly

If you take your fried chicken seriously, then batter up! At Republic it’s the signature dish. This vintage home in Old Town is the perfect setting for a home-style feast that includes a heaping platter of tender, crispy fried chicken with house-made sides of creamed corn, mac and cheese, fresh…

Manara Cafe

Dec 6, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Manara Cafe’s new location is an improvement on the old spot, warmer and more welcoming. Thankfully, their menu is the same delicious fare that has made them a staple in town. If your party is big enough, we recommend ordering the vegetable platter entrée as a starter, so you can…

Pat’s Kitchen

Dec 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The black-and-white-tiled floors and deep vinyl booths here hint that the Fonz might be in the back flipping burgers. Fortunately, a menu heavy on comfort food matches the meticulously sourced atmosphere. Burgers and sandwiches are staples, including an impressive Philly cheesesteak bracketed with your choice of house fries, tater tots,…

Mojo Bowl

Nov 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

With all the fried food and dessert options close to campus, this healthy alternative is very welcome. As we looked over Mojo Bowl’s menu—smoothies with names like Red Dragon, Pink Dragon, Green Dragon—the staff behind the counter happily explained the various options for our vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free—but somehow still delicious—smoothies…

Uyghur Bistro

Nov 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Culinary explorations along Bellaire Boulevard are just plain fun, and the rustic, hearty fare at this welcoming Chinese halal bistro is worth checking out. We found the menu (with pictures) thoroughly approachable and selected two house specials. One, “Big Plate Chicken,” was a comforting platter of bone-in chicken pieces, mildly…

Sweet Basil

Nov 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Not much about the decor of this strip-center spot says “Vietnamese food,” but it’s cheery enough. The standard pho and crusty banh mi are better than most, but we swooned over the clay pot–style shrimp simmering in a spicy-sweet sauce. In fact, most of the chef’s recommendations are worth returning…

Bando’s

Nov 7, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The vibe at this tearoom feels like that of a family reunion most days, and soon enough you’ll be a regular too, returning frequently for the soups, sandwiches, and salads. The pasta served with grilled chicken and fresh sautéed vegetables is a house favorite, but there is much more to…

Railway Cafe

Oct 5, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Really no more than a hole in the wall, adjacent to the railroad tracks and a stone’s throw from the courthouse, this quaint lunch cafe is crazy busy; we endured twenty minutes of busy signal when we tried to call ahead. It would seem the delicious fare is worth it.

Royal Indian Cuisine

Oct 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

This unassuming little restaurant with an immensely friendly staff serves Indian food meant for true believers: the menu is untranslated and light on descriptions. You’ll want to know what you like beforehand or trust the waiters’ excellent recommendations. We recommend the chicken tikka masala and the lamb korma, especially with…

Z-Counter

Sep 30, 2016 By Texas Monthly

At Z-Counter the clientele runs the gamut: Navy pilots, A&M students, local artists, doctors. The self-described “Asian fusion” menu has equal range, with Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, and American ingredients mixed and matched to good result. The fried egg atop the bibimbap did its job perfectly, with the yolk acting as…

Nuri Food Truck

Sep 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The Nuri Food Truck is much more than just another taco truck. In fact, the Nuri Taco (seared cecina steak, chori-queso, and Oaxaca cheese with grilled onions) and the Devine Swine (Asian pork belly, pickled red onions and carrots, and ponzu sauce) are so good they would have been solid…

Tikka Shack

Sep 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Trying to do for Indian food what Chipotle has done for Tex-Mex, the modern and chic Tikka Shack is a welcome hot spot with franchising ambitions. Expect customizable bowls of masala, tikka, and curry, as well as kebabs and fresh naan. The flavors—bold and spicy with an American sweetness—are a…

El Papa Taco

Sep 12, 2016 By Texas Monthly

We love the tacos at Ace’s BBQ and are excited that the Aguilar brothers have gotten serious about them. Our tender beef fajita taco came with sautéed onion and a sprinkle of white cheese on fresh miniature corn tortillas. The fresh salsa was fantastic, making us contemplate a breakfast visit…

Norma’s Cafe

Aug 16, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Arriving on the cusp of breakfast and lunch, we went with an old-fashioned blue-plate special: a platter of Texas-style meat loaf, black-eyed peas, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, and a big fluffy roll. The mile-high pies are spectacular; we’re particularly fond of the coconut cream. The service is friendly, and the…

Masala Wok

Aug 16, 2016 By Texas Monthly

At this popular chain, you first pick your cuisine, Asian or Indian, then you pick a protein, a sauce, and add-ons. We landed on the Indian side of the menu, which meant chicken with a side of basmati rice, to which we added a spinach masala sauce (spinach, cumin seeds,…

iCreole Bistro

Jul 28, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The distinctive aroma of spicy cooking greets you when you enter this modest establishment. What was once just a bakery has expanded with a menu that reads like a top ten list of Creole and Cajun delights. Gumbo, étouffée, shrimp and grits, blackened redfish, and even some international delights like…

Michael’s

Jun 22, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The town whose main claim to fame is its vigilant Border Patrol checkpoint also has this surprisingly good cafe on a street paralleling Interstate 10. The somewhat tattered menu is as casually bilingual as the clientele. The painting of a bowl of caldo de res on the front of the…