Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017

1 Boylston Street

I had lunch with my dad the other day, and he started to tell me about a restaurant that his great grandfather owned at 1 Boylston Street, in Boston. He had little information on the place, besides the name. The restaurant was named Number One, simply because of its address. I now have a new project to learn about this place and will update as I find out more!

Grandma Dorothy's Cornbread

The best kind of recipes are the ones passed down from family. They may not be the most authentic, award winning, or complex recipes out there, but when you sit down to eat them, all of the memories shared around the table come rushing back. 
My family has an entire cookbook assembled from past generations that we love to get out and cook from and reminisce over. I've even got a pot of our family gumbo on the stove as I wright this! Today I want to share Grandma Dorothy's Corn Bread, something that has been a mainstay on the table from childhood all the way through today!

The Recipe: 1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal1/2 Cup Flour2 Tablespoons Sugar1 Teaspoon Salt1 Cup Milk1 Egg4 Teaspoons Baking Powder4 Teaspoons Oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, heat a cast iron skillet with half of the oil. For the oil, Grandma Dorothy used vegetable oil, but I have switched it to olive oil. Mix the dry ingredients. I usually don't add the sugar anymore, but it does add a…

Handy Kitchen Strainer

It's been quite some time since the last post. But don't worry, I'm still cooking as much as I can! The two little boys running around the house seem to take up most of my time lately!

As you probably know, I love to cook with fresh flavors, especially when it comes to adding fresh juices! But when I add fresh juice, I typically only want the juice and not any pulp or seeds. The biggest problem though is the

Reverse Seared New York Strip

One of my favorite meals is steak night! Last Saturday night was a rainy, Houston night, so what could be better than a steak and a movie at home? A creature of habit, I usually cook a steak the steak the same way each time. The same seasoning, the same sides, the same method. A good steak doesn't come cheap, so why take a chance and risk getting it wrong?

I have been hearing a lot about the "reverse sear method," when it comes to grilling meats, especially steaks. I decided to take a leap of faith with the two New York Strips I had picked up and try it out. I'm not sure that I'll ever go back. The cooking time is a little longer, but well worth the wait. The color is consistent throughout and melts like butter.

Conventional wisdom would tell you that a good sear when a piece of meat first lands on the grill will lock the juices in. The reverse sear does the same thing, but better. Since the meat is not over direct heat, the juices don't ever have a chance t…

Taco Tuesday on the 4th of July

It's been pretty busy around here, leaving little time for blogging. But I'm back and ready to go, with some great new ideas.

Rewind to the 4th of July. We always have a block party in the cul de sac and this was no exception. We all decided to do a nacho bar and have everyone chip in. Homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, smoked chicken, and my contribution, carnitas.

For the carnitas, I looked at a few recipes and got work!

The Recipe: 4 to 5 pound pork butt3/4 Cup Lime Juice1/4 Cup Orange Juice1 Tablespoon Olive Oil1 Teaspoon Chili Powder1 Teaspoon Oregano1 Teaspoon Cilantro1 Teaspoon Cumin1 Teaspoon Salt1 Teaspoon Pepper5 Garlic Cloves - Minced

Combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and spices. I used fresh squeezed juices for mine. Marinate the pork butt overnight. I used a gallon storage bag. Make sure to save the marinade for basting.
The next morning, get the smoker fired up. I use a combination of lump oak charcoal and hickory and pecan chunks in my smoker. Tip…

Pad Thai

I've always loved Pad Thai. My love adventure with this classic Thai dish began when I was younger and wasn't sure what else to order when we would go out for Thai food! I've slowly gotten a bit more courageous, but I keep falling back to my first love of Pad Thai!
The other night, we were on the phone and my wife's aunt mentioned how she always remembers how good it was when I made Pad Thai for the family a few years back. I dusted off my recipe, and my wok, and set out to make it for dinner!
The Recipe: 2 Limes - Juiced4 Eggs1/4 Cup Fish Sauce2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne3 Garlic Cloves - Minced3 Green Onions - Diced2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil1 Cup Chopped Chicken1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro1/2 Cup Whole Peanuts1 Package Rice Noodles
The key to making great food in a wok, is to get the wok good and hot. That said, the food is going to cook really fast, leaving very little time to prep in between steps. It is best to get everything chopped, prepped, …

Chicken Fried Venison

Over the weekend, my dad gave me some venison steaks. I almost immediately decided that some chicken fried venison was in order. So I grabbed some potatoes to make some home fries and got to work!

The Recipe:

Venison SteaksMilkFlourOilSalt and Pepper Marinate the venison in enough milk to cover for 4 to 6 hours. The amount of milk you use, will largely depend on the size of the container and how many venison steaks you have. 
After the steaks have marinated in the milk, mix together some flour, salt, and pepper. To be honest, I didn't measure this. I just used what I thought was enough. It's always good to have extra. Generously cover the venison in the flour mixture.
In a cast iron skillet, heat about a half inch of oil. To test if the oil is hot enough, sprinkle some flour in it. If it sizzles with the flour, it is ready. Place the venison steaks in the oil. Cook about 5 to 7 minutes a side. 
Happy eating!

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

I always loved getting stuffed pastas when I was little when we would go out to eat. It seemed so exotic! How did they get the stuffing inside the pasta? Now not that I've mastered the art if pasta making, I'm still in awe of people who can make tortellini, but in my house we like to make our own ravioli and stuffed shells! Today's recipe is for stuffed jumbo shells.

The Recipe: 2 15 Ounce Containers of Ricotta1 Package of Fresh Spinach1 Recipe Tomato Sauce1 Cup Shredded Chicken (optional)1 Box Jumbo ShellsShredded MozzarellaSalt and Pepper
Equipment: Piping Bag13x9 Baking DishFood Processor
In boiling water, cook the jumbo shells until slightly al dente. Set aside.
Combine 1 container of ricotta with the tomato sauce. Set aside.
Using a food processor, combine the remaining​ container of ricotta with the spinach. I don't measure it, but I go off of color. A light, pale green us a good mix. You'll know it when you see it. Mix in some salt and pepper. Stir in the chick…

No Sugar Tomato Sauce

For as long as I can remember, I've added sugar to my tomato sauce. Whether I'm making something quick or an all day affair, I've used sugar to cut down on the acidity from the tomatoes. The other day, I decided to try something different. Instead of the usual sugar, I added some carrots to the sauce. The naturally sweet carrots took care of the job the sugar usually performs, and added some extra nutrients too!

The Recipe:

1 Large Onion - Diced3 Garlic Cloves - Diced3 Celery Stalks - Chopped3 Carrots - Peeled and Chopped2 Large Cans Crushed Tomatoes1/2 Cup Red Wine1 Tablespoon Parsley1 Tablespoon Oregano1 Tablespoon BasilOlive Oil
In a heavy bottom stock pot, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the remaining ingredients. 
From here, there are 2 different routes to take: 
The high heat method, which can be little risky, but can make the in less than an hour. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Be ca…

Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of those things I always heard was really hard to make. But once I watched someone make it, and how simple it is, I had to try it fr myself.

The Recipe:

1 Onion - Diced3 Garlic Cloves - Minced1 Quart Chicken Broth1 Cup Arborio Rice2 Tablespoons Butter - divided1 Package Portobello Mushrooms - Sliced1/4 Cup Dry White WineSpinach - Rough Chopped (optional)Salt and Pepper1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese1/4 Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

In a saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a slow simmer. In a heavy bottom Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Over medium-high heat, sauté the arborio rice until translucent, or not quite browned.

Remove the rice from the pot. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sauté the onions and garlic until slightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the dry white wine. Return the arborio rice back to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper.

The next step is where it can get a little tricky. It's not hard, it just takes patience. A…

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a staple in our kitchen. We always have a mason jar of it in the fridge. It comes in handy for sweetening drinks and coffees and using as a base to make other flavored syrups. It is so easy, I'm surprised they sell it in the store!

The Recipe: 1 Cup Water1 Cup Sugar Add the water and sugar to sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir with a whisk until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. See how easy that was!
Note: Although the recipe is for 1 cup, it is easy to convert to any quantity. Just make sure that amount of water and the amount of sugar are equal.
Happy Eating!

Best Houston Coffee Shops

Anyone who knows me really well, knows that I drink a lot of coffee. So it seems fitting to compile a list of my favorite coffee shops around Houston. This list was surprisingly hard to make. There are so many great places to get a cup of coffee in this city, that limiting it to 10 meant leaving out some of those great places. Why 10? Well, a Top 10 list seems pretty standard, and I've already started a trend with the Houston Essential Restaurants 2016 post!

To be a great coffee shop is pretty simple. Good music, WiFi, comfy chairs are a plus, but overall good coffee! Oh and one more thing, it has to be a Houston original.

Paper Co Coffee
1100 Elder Street

Look for the blue door. Paper Co Coffee is located just across Buffalo Bayou from downtown. There is an art gallery off to the side that is always great to walk through.

Mod Coffee (Galveston, TX)
2126 Post Office St, Galveston, TX, 77550

I've always enjoyed heading to The Strand down in Galveston, but lately I've enjoyed…

4 Recipes Using a Rotisserie Chicken - Chicken Salad

Lately, I've been looking for ways to make dinner prep a little easier. So I decided to put together a series of 4 recipes using a rotisserie chicken, something that can be picked up at the store on your way home from work and then combined with a few simple ingredients that may already be in your kitchen. The last recipe in the series is Chicken Salad.

The Recipe:

1 Cup Chicken - Cubed1 Cup Grapes - Halved3 Apples - Diced1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds1/2 Cup Celery - Diced2 Green Onions - DicedMayonnaiseSalt and Pepper
This Chicken Salad is by far the easiest recipe of the series. Just combine all of the ingredients and bowl. I don't measure the mayonnaise. For me, it's a consistency thing. I add a little at a time until everything is combined. The mayonnaise serves more as a binder than as a flavoring ingredient. If there's too much, it just tastes like mayonnaise. The chicken should still the star. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to serve mine as a sandwich on …

4 Recipes Using a Rotisserie Chicken - Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

Lately, I've been looking for ways to make dinner prep a little easier. So I decided to put together a series of 4 recipes using a rotisserie chicken, something that can be picked up at the store on your way home from work and then combined with a few simple ingredients that may already be in your kitchen. The third recipe in the series is Greek Chicken Pasta Salad. You may notice this one as a repeat, but it works so well with a rotisserie chicken I couldn't leave it out of the series!

The Recipe:

Rotisserie Chicken - ChoppedOlive and Feta MixPastaCherry TomatoesCucumber - Quartered and Chopped1 Recipe Greek Salad Dressing
This recipe is super simple to make on a busy weeknight. With the rotisserie chicken, the only thing to cook is the pasta. I don't measure anything. I just put everything in a big bowl and mix it up. My only requirement is to go heavy on the olives, the more the better! Combine all of the ingredients, poor the dressing over, and serve. It's that simpl…

Greek Salad Dressing

Lately, I've been more and more interested in making things myself, instead of buying them from the grocery store. From spaghetti sauce to barbecue sauce to various vinaigrettes, the flavors that come from these home made version knock the store bought items of the water. It may seem like it takes more time to make these items yourself, bought they are all super easy. And, the items use are probably all in your pantry already! Today I'm sharing a new recipe for Greek Salad Dressing!

The Recipe:

1/2 Cup Olive Oil1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar2 Garlic Cloves - Minced1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard1 Large Lemon - Juiced1 Teaspoon Thyme1 Teaspoon Basil1 Teaspoon Oregano1 Teaspoon ParsleySalt and Pepper

This recipe is really simple. Just combine the ingredients and mix. I like to put all of the ingredients in medium sized mason jar so I can store for it later. Just put all of the ingredients in the jar and give it a shake. Now to pick out some salad ingredients!
Happy eating!

4 Recipes Using a Rotisserie Chicken - Chicken Roll-Ups

Lately, I've been looking for ways to make dinner prep a little easier. So I decided to put together a series of 4 recipes using a rotisserie chicken, something that can be picked up at the store on your way home from work and then combined with a few simple ingredients that may already be in your kitchen. The second recipe in the series is Chicken Roll-Ups.

The Recipe:
2 Cups Cooked Chopped Chicken2/3 Cup Mushrooms - Sliced8 Ounces Cream Cheese2 Green Onions - Chopped2 Cans Crescent Rolls2 Tablespoons Melted Butter1 Recipe Bread CrumbsPreheat Oven to 50 Degrees

Combine the cooked chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and cream cheese in a bowl. Unroll and separate the crescent rolls. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into each crescent roll. This will take around 2 tablespoons each. Wrap the crescent rolls around to cover the mixture. Arrange the roll-ups on a greased sheet pan. Brush each roll-up with the melted butter and dust then dust the bread crumbs. Place in the oven at 350 degrees…

4 Recipes Using a Rotisserie Chicken - Chicken and Rice Casserole

Lately, I've been looking for ways to make dinner prep a little easier. So I decided to put together a series of 4 recipes using a rotisserie chicken, something that can be picked up at the store on your way home from work and then combined with a few simple ingredients that may already be in your kitchen. The first recipe in the series is Chicken and Rice Casserole.

The Recipe
1/4 Cup Butter1/4 Cup Flour3 Teaspoons Chicken Bouillon2 Cups Milk2 Cups Cooked Chicken - Cubed1/2 Cup Mushrooms - Sliced4 Cups Cooked Rice1 Cup Shredded CheeseSalt and PepperPreheat Oven to 350 Degrees Melt the butter in a small to medium sauce pan. Add in the flour, chicken bouillon, and milk. Stir to combine. Stir occasionally until it reaches a boil and remove from heat. 
In an 11 x 17 baking dish, combine the rice, chicken, and mushrooms. Spread evenly around baking dish. Pour the chicken bouillon mixture over the rice, making sure to cover the rice evenly. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese. Bak…

Junior's Texas BBQ and Seafood

I went through the archives and found another throwback post from my days as the Houston BBQ Examiner. This time around, I'm sharing a restaurant review I wrote for Junior's Texas BBQ and Seafood!

Although the restaurant and clientele may seem a little ruff on the outside, it is quickly apparent that Junior’s Texas Barbecue and Seafood is a place where everybody knows your name. It is apparent that the people sitting around the bar have all shared some good times together. The restaurant is homely and everybody is a friend. You will quickly find yourself caught up in a conversation with a stranger, enjoying a beer. The menu covers the classic barbecue and seafood dishes with little flair, but the food itself makes up for it. A perfectly sweet barbecue sauce accompanies the tender brisket and ribs, chicken and turkey, ham and sausage. The chopped beef sandwich is great and far from a sloppy-joe, like some of the other places out there. The beef in these sandwiches has a ruff chop…

Homemade Pasta

For some reason, I always talk myself out of making fresh pasta. It seems like so much extra work! But in the end, it is worth it. The pasta is so much better than the store bought version.

The Recipe:

1/2 Cup Flour1 Egg
Makes 1 Serving.

Make a crater in the mound of flour in a bowl. Add the egg in to the middle of the flour. With a fork, slowly beat the egg inside of the crater. Slowly incorporate the flour in to the egg. Continue stirring until all of the flour is mixed with the egg. You may have to use your hands to get all of the flour mixed in. You want the dough to be a little sticky. It should not have the same consistency of pastry dough.

Run the pasta through a pasta roller, starting with the widest setting. The first few times through the roller, it will seem the dough is crumbling. Once the dough runs through the roller, fold it back in half and run it through again. Continue this process until the dough comes back together. Set the roller to the next smallest setting. Run …

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Spring is around the corner and Summer will follow soon after. That means that barbecues and pool days are on the way! The best thing to add to those barbecues and cookouts is the perfect homemade barbecue sauce.

The Recipe:

3 Cups Tomato Puree2/3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar2/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar1/4 Cup Molasses2 Tablespoons Onion Powder2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder2 Tablespoons Pepper2 Teaspoons Celery Salt1 Teaspoon Cayenne (optional)2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring almost to a boil. Reduce heat let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 
After 1 hour, bring out the blender. This will help remove any clumps that have formed and bring all of the flavors together. If you have an immersion blender (if you don't have one, I highly recommend you get one), you can blend it up directly in the pot and save a dish.
Let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
If you are looking for a spicy barbecue sauce, add the cayenne pepper.
Most good barbec…

Quick Trick for Making Buttermilk

If you're like me, you often find yourself needing buttermilk, but there's no buttermilk to be found. Instead of making a trip to the grocery store, here's a quick and easy trick to make your own buttermilk.

The Recipe: White Vinegar or Lemon Juice Milk

Add 1 Tablespoon to a measuring cup and add enough milk to make a cup. Let sit for five minutes. I like to do this first while I'm gathering the rest of the ingredients. Of course, this can be edited depending on how much you need.

Baked Brie

This is one of favorite, simple, almost effortless appetizers to make for parties. I made it over the weekend and forgot to snap a picture. I think you'll get the idea though.

The Recipe:

1 Package Brie Cheese - Rind Removed1 Package Pasty or Croissant Dough Wrap the Brie in the pasty dough. It should resemble a small loaf of bread. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving, to allow the Brie to set. I like to serve it with a raspberry jelly on the side.
Happy eating.

Pollos Asados el Rodeo

I found another article in the archives from my time as the Houston Barbecue Examiner. This time, it is a little food truck on I-10 East called Pollos Asados el Rodeo.

Walking up to Pollos Asados El Rodeo, the smell of smoked chicken fills the air. Located on the Southeast corner of South Wayside and I-10, the yellow trailer is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite in the east side of Houston. The menu is simple. Six dollars will buy a half chicken, with homemade corn tortillas, charro beans, green chili sauce, and a lime. If that is not enough, ten dollars will buy the whole chicken. Additional side portions are available for another dollar.
On the down side, there is no place to sit, but the food is wrapped up ready to take home or back to work, making it ideal for a meal on the go. Overall, the food at Pollos Asados is basic. But that is the charm. The chicken is cooked to perfection, leaving anyone wanting for more.  This writer is ready for the leftovers in the fridge and p…

Sausage and Peppers with Pasta

There's nothing I love better than a classic Italian recipe. So when I first came across this idea, I had to work on my own version!

The Recipe:
3 - 5 Links Sweet Italian Sausage - Sliced1 Onion - Diced3 Garlic Cloves - Minced 1 Red Bell Pepper - Rough Chopped 1 Yellow Bell Pepper - Rough Chopped 1 Package Cherry Tomatoes Pasta - Linguine, Pappardelle, and Fettuccine work wellFresh ParsleyGrated Parmesan Salt and Pepper

Brown the sausage in a heavy bottom skillet. Remove sausage to bowl to add later. Saute the onion and garlic in the sausage grease. Add a little olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bell peppers. Saute until the peppers are wilted. Add the sausage back in. Add the tomatoes. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes begin to open. Toss the sausage and peppers with the pasta in a large bowl. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.

Optionally, I like to add some crushed red pepper flakes with the the onions to give a little extra spice…


I've stumbled across a website called Cookpad. They are a Japanese based website that serves as a digital recipe box for sharing and discovering new recipes. I plan to have a few recipes posted there in the next few days, so be sure to check it out. You can find me under memyselfandcuisine.

Italian Sausage Zucchini Soup, Slow Cooker Style

Some nights, you need something that is easy to make. The crock pot comes in to play here. A lot of times we will try to rework a recipe we already have for the crock pot, so we can focus on other things. Last weekend we did that with Italian Sausage Zucchini Soup. Check out the original recipe here.

The Recipe
1 Package Italian Sausage - Sliced2 Onions - Diced2 Zucchini - Sliced1/2 to 1 1/2 Cups Merlot2 15 oz Cans Whole Tomatoes2 Boxes Beef Broth1 Teaspoon Basil2 Garlic Cloves - DicedSalt and PepperChopped ParsleyPasta - Penne, Farfalle, and Rigatoni work really well
Brown the sausage in a pan. Sauté the onion and garlic in the juices left from the sausage. Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. If time permits, add the pasta about 30 minutes in. This will help keep the pasta from over cooking. 

Happy eating.

Seven Layer Dip

I'm borrowing this recipe from my wife. She made a Seven Layer Dip for a Super Bowl Party we went to over the weekend, and I had to share the recipe!

The Recipe:

2 Cans jalapeno refried beans1 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon onion powder1 teaspoon cumin8 ounces sour cream8 ounces cream cheese1 cup salsa1 cup pico de gallo3 to 4 medium avocados1/2 onion - diced1/4 cup lime juice2 cups Mexican Blend cheese1 small can sliced black olives2 to 3 green onionssalt and pepper
Mash the avocados in a bowl. Combine with salt and pepper, lime juice, and the diced onion to make a guacamole. This is the bottom layer of the dip. Combine the 2 cans of refried beans and mix in the cumin, garlic power, onion powder, and some salt and pepper. Spread over the top of the guacamole. Combine the sour cream and cream cheese. Spread this over the refried beans. Combine the salsa and pico de gallo and spread over the sour cream. Top the salsa with the 2 cups of a Mexican blend cheese. Top the cheese with…

Cleaning and Caring for Wooden Cutting Boards

We've all been there. A perfectly good wooden cutting board warps or separates and ends up in the garbage. We've used a wooden cutting board, and it's dirty, and it needs to be cleaned without damaging it. About ten years ago I built a butcher block from Baltic Birch plywood, and did a lot a of research. Here is what I learned while researching the project, and what I've learned since then.

I'm going to warn you. I'm a little overprotective of wood cutting boards and maybe go overboard when it comes to taking care of them. The tips here are what I do and I'm sure there are other ways of taking care of them.

The cutting board doesn't belong in the water. It is okay to give a wooden cutting board a rinse, but don't submerge. The wood will absorb the water and will warp before it dries and will never be the same.If you do have to use soap and water to scrub anything off of the wooden surface, rinse it and towel dry immediately. Don't let it sit on …

Italian Sausage Zucchini Soup

I'm feeling a little nostalgic lately, so I decided to share a recipe we always made growing up. This soup recipe was past down from my aunt.

The Recipe:

1 Package Italian Sausage - Sliced2 Onions - Diced2 Zucchini - Sliced1/2 to 1 1/2 Cups Merlot2 15 oz Cans Whole Tomatoes2 Boxes Beef Broth1 Teaspoon Basil2 Garlic Cloves - DicedSalt and PepperChopped ParsleyNoodles  Brown the Italian Sausage in a large heavy bottom stock pot. I prefer to use either sweet Italian sausage or spicy Italian sausage. The mild sausage doesn't quite fill out the flavor profile of the soup. 
Remove the browned Italian sausage from the pot. There should be about a tablespoon of grease left behind from the sausage. If not, add a little bit of olive oil. 
Sauté the onions and garlic. Add the Italian sausage back in to the pot. Add the remaining ingredients bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Add the noodles, zucchini, and parsley and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Penne or Rigatoni pasta …

Houston Essential Restaurants 2016

This is the first of what I hope to make an annual list of my top 10 Houston Restaurants. The choices and opinions are purely my own and are not meant to rule out any particular restaurant as not being great. Who knows, if a restaurant doesn't make it on this list, there is always a future list. This list is not concerned with category or genre, and my tastes may overlap with a few restaurants. I am however, working on a few Best Of categories.
When I set out to compile this list, I had one requirement. These restaurants have to be completely unique to Houston. They can't be franchises or a concept of a larger corporation. If a Houston restaurant sold its rights, they still count, just not the corporate edition. I wanted to capture the Houston experience, not the Houston experience you might experience somewhere else. Some of these restaurants I have a long history with. Others, I'm, just getting to know. 

The Original Carrabba's on Kirby As the name would imply, this…