I can’t see myself ever living in Houston, but I surely don’t mind visiting. I spend most of my time down town and there’s always someplace tasty a quick Uber away.
I recently turned several of my co-workers on to Gyu-Kaku so just about every trip involves a meat coma after several courses of grilled meat followed up with beef tongue w/ green onions. That one is usually all mine, for some reason a lot of folks won’t try tongue….
Just down the street is Izakaya. They have a really good selection of Japanese liquor and sake (especially cup sake) and some really good small plates. You can’t go wrong starting off with the red pepper edamame, the fried chicken (karaage), and a large Asahi draught.
If you’re in this area it’s almost impossible not to stop at Spec’s and oogle the huge selection of wine, liquor, and beer. I can always come away with something new to smuggle back, usually from the huge gin and weird euro liqueur sections.
Heading way out East to La Porte you’ll come across Main101 , my favorite restaurant around that area. Their carbonara is to die for and adding the home made hot Italian sausage to the Pasta Eva is a revelation.
A couple more worthy mentions are Phoenicia with its huge selection of deli items, fresh food, and olive bar. If you’re after Mediterranean food and drink (including plenty of bagged teas, coffee, other drinks and treats and a killer fresh-made Turkish Delight) or just a light lunch it’s one of my favorite downtown choices. Irma’s Original on North Chenevert is a great spot for dinner and relaxing for a while. There’s no menu so you get to choose from just a couple of things prepared each day but you won’t miss the choice once you taste the food.