We decided that we had seen enough of New Orleans so we packed our bags, checked out and got on the road to our next destination Houston, Texas. The sat nav reckons 6 hours, so we take it slowly, not even stopping for lunch, just a coffee. The day is really hot and when we hit Houston in late afternoon it really is sweltering. We check into our rooms just and unpack.
We were here for a few nights so rather than bar b q or fried chicken we thought the best steak bar in town was next on the list. After all we were in Texas, the spiritual home of beef, lots and lots of beef and Pappas we were told, was the best. We get a table after a bit of haggling and set off in a cab. As we arrive the place is buzzing and we wait in queue for a few minutes so the doorman can o=pen our door. I did feel a bit scruffy, in an open neck shirt, and did get a few disapproving looks.The restaurant is huge, with a large open kitchen down one side. There must have been 200 people sat down at once and the place is at full tilt. We order asparagus, fries (bit overcooked for me) veal chop, rib eye steak and the biggest onion rings I have ever seen. The meal was excellent, just way too much to eat, in fact we couldn’t eat dessert. The meat I have say was outstanding. I did take a couple of photos, not the best, but gives you a rough idea what the food was like.This time we really were stuffed, so ordered our cab and waddled out absolutely full to the brim.Pappas Bros Steakhouse 1200 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas, TX 77010 Tel: US-713 658-1995 Web: www.pappasbros.com
The next day we do a bit of shopping and wander about downtown Houston and wonder about lunch. We had heard from our driver that the best fried chicken joint was a place called Punk’s. After a quick look at the website we set off.
The restaurant is set in a very nice part of town about 20 minutes ride from downtown and has a lovely feel to it as you walk in. We are greeted by cheery staff and given menus and a really nice local wheat beer.
We start with devilled eggs, pickle chips with buttermilk ranch and pimento cheese dip, served with Ritz (yep) crackers, celery and carrots and hush puppies with spicy remoulade. This really is simple southern food with no frills. The dip is tasty, pickles lovely and eggs are just fine, but the star were the hush puppies.
This place has won the best fried chicken in Texas 2 years on the trot, so main course was a no brainer. Crispy fried buttermilk chicken is fried to order and is served with horseradish mash, brown gravy, buttermilk biscuit, honey butter, dill pickle and Punks sauce.
I also have a side of collard greens, which I really like. The chicken is the best I have ever tasted. Soft, succulent non-greasy and fried to perfection in lard, it really is the only way. The mash and sauces are equally as good, biscuits are as light as a feather. I would come here everyday if I could, its that bloody good. We pay the bill and set off back to the hotel for a lie down, we needed it!!!
Punks Simple Southern Food 5212 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005, USA Tel: US-713-524-7865 Web: www.punksrealsouthernfood.com
Dinner that evening was in a place I had filmed at a few years ago Goode Company. Its been here since 1977 and started by Jim Goode and uncle Joe Dixie. It prides itself on real honest food and reasonable prices in un fussy surroundings. There are now 7 outlets plus a catering arm, and the food is as good (e) get it? as ever.
As we were in Texas we had to have the blackened brisket, smoked low and slow. With a couple of sides, rice and a bean salad plus a little cornbread. The meat was soft and succulent, oozing beef fat and was totally delicious, as good as it was when I visited a few years ago. To be honest we couldn’t really do it justice as we were stuffed from lunch, but we did try.
Goode Co. BBQ 2 8911 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024 Tel: US-713-464-1901 Web: www.goodecompany.com