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bookluvingbabe

Solo Dining near Toyota Center

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My family decided not to come to Houston with me so I'm on my own for dining.  2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts.  I will be at the Hilton-Americas, across from Toyota Center, and I don't want to stray too far--willing to cab for one or two meals but otherwise I'd rather walk.

I'm moderately adventurous but can not do hot peppers. 

Tell me where I should eat.  Please.

Thanks!

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Xochi in the Marriott Marquis has gotten two good reviews here, and is an easy walk across Discovery Green from you (it was a 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in the U.S.)

Screenshot 2018-10-24 at 07.32.14.png

As for one of your cab-ride dinners, Hugo Ortega at Hugo's won the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef - Southwest.

Eater Houston has a Downtown section which is really just a reformatting of press releases, but clicking through it will probably be good for a meal or two, and they came out with a more thoughtful piece this past May.

The constraint is that, since you want to walk to most meals, you're really confined to the business district around Toyota Center, which may mean walking between various hotels:

Screenshot 2018-10-24 at 07.50.24.png

the good news being that some of these hotels are places like The Four Seasons.

There's a Phoenicia Specialty Foods near you, Potente for pasta, and most importantly, a Pappas Bros. Steakhouse right by your hotel (prepare in advance for their wine list).

My strategy would be to go to one of the can't-miss places early, and do some digging when you're down there (this of course does not mean asking your hotel concierge).

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Ok, so you are close to a number of great places...I don't know what eater has to say, but here's my take:

Dinner:

Xochi for sure. You can't miss out on Hugo Ortega's cooking while in Houston.

Nancy's Hustle is a short ride away. Get the lamb dumplings.

Theodore Rex: if you can grab a spot, it's well worth it and a short cab ride away. One of my favorite (if not my favorite) places in Houston.

Lunch:

Hyunh is within walking distance and would be a solid Vietnamese lunch choice. Go for the rice paper wraps. For pho, you could venture sliiiightly further out and hit Pho Saigon. Near Pho Saigon (these are in the "Midtown" area) is Cali Sandwich, where the Cali special banh mi lives...my favorite sandwich in Houston.

Ninfas on Navigation: The original and best Houston Tex-Mex. Get fajitas or tacos al carbon, queso, and a margarita.

Andes Cafe: Great Central and Southern American food

Seaside Poke: one of the better joints in town, run by people who actually know what they're doing.

Phoenicia: Might also be a good breakfast spot. Lots to choose from.

Conservatory Food Hall: A handful of food stalls including pizza, bbq, poke, among others, with a ton of craft beers on tap.

Drinks:

Public Services: Love this bar. Looks swanky but really isn't.

Pastry War: Great mezcal-centric joint with a secret bar in the back called:

Tongue-Cut Sparrow: kind of like Columbia Room I imagine.

---

There are others...DM me if you have questions while you're here. I'm happy to direct and help however I can!

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On 11/12/2018 at 9:47 PM, bookluvingbabe said:

WIll post more but wanted to say a quick thanks. Ended up at Xochi, Pappas Steakhouse and Phoenicia.  

Would love to hear details when you find the time. Josh is your man when it comes to Houston dining! All my research was academic; he actually knew.

(Hey, if we helped you, please SPREAD THE WORD, the more, the better - we need more native Houstonians here, and ditto with other cities. I probably have more time than Josh - and have become something of an Internet-search wizard, knowing how to filter out the good from the bad - I'll be glad to help anyone the way I helped you (it actually helps me, also).

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