The staff at Bonfire Wings pays homage to the restaurant’s River Parish roots with its menu’s Creole-style gumbo, Cajun boudain balls, and Louisiana pecan pie. The eatery’s signature wings come dressed in one of 12 flavors and adorn catering trays for football games and family gatherings.
Above all else, comfort food should taste familiar. Taqueria Taco-Riendo seems to embrace this philosophy wholeheartedly, filling the menu with faithful recreations of Mexican cuisine's best-known staples. However, familiarity doesn't make the flavors of chorizo, cilantro, and flour and corn tortillas any less hearty or more likely to share secrets. These ingredients appear throughout the menu, from tacos and tortas to fajitas and quesadillas. The taqueria presents diners with a selection of horchata, lemonade, and other drinks with which to wash down meals.
For more than 25 years, Sudie's has entertained taste receptors seven days a week with Southern home cooking for lunch and dinner. Both menus sprinkle themselves with individuality, but you'll mostly find succulent selections of golden-battered cuisine. Tantalize your watering chops by destroying starters such as the fried green tomatoes ($4.99) and Texas toothpicks, crispy fried slices of jalapeños and onions ($4.99). Once your pre-meal ordeal is complete, move on to Sudie's assortment of seafood, steakfood, and chickenfood. Make the world your waterway with Sudie's catfish connection, boasting an endless supply of all-you-can-eat catfish ($15–$16) served "Sudie's way," with hush puppies, coleslaw, pinto beans, and fries. If you can't eat all you can eat, try a hearty yet hopeful amount of catfish (two 5- to 7-ounce fillets with choice of two sides) in one of three styles: lemon pepper, broiled Cajun, or blackened ($12–$14, flavors vary by location). If hunger has hampered your decision-making skills, opt for the seafood platter ($19–$20), which boasts two catfish fillets, four oysters, four scallops, four fried shrimp, four boiled shrimp, four enthusiastic fist pumps, and one stuffed crab. Sudie's also serves salads, soups, chicken, steak, and the bashfully indecisive chicken-fried steak.
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
Cajun Shack imports the tastes of the Louisiana bayou with shrimp dusted with cayenne pepper and blackened catfish fried until it melts in the mouth. The menu's recipes draw from local seafood and produce. Cooks serve their specialties Monday–Friday inside the spacious eatery during lunch and dinner or by delivery.
Flakey’s Pizza slings a mean calzone and presents appealing wings, but it’s all about the pizza. The staff hand tosses every pie and can tailor them with more than 20 available toppings—ranging from canadian bacon and mushrooms to creative add-ons such as sun-dried tomatoes, sweet pineapple, and chipotle peppers. They also make half-pizzas available for the half-hungry, as well as gluten-free crust and vegan cheese for those with diet restrictions or lingering resentment from losing a bet about milk to Louis Pasteur.
You could say fate is the reason Merida Mexican Restaurant is able to purvey its authentic Mayan and Mexican dishes today. Founders Olga and Rafael Acosta started their culinary journey in the 1950s after U.S. citizen Olga personally wrote President Eisenhower to request a visa and passport for her new husband. The young couple then moved to Houston, where, after much toil in the refrigerator repair business, Rafael converted his shop into the family’s new restaurant, crossing numerous hurdles as new business owners to set up their original 12-table eatery. Soon the restaurant began to grow around the unique recipes from Rafael’s home, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, drawing in customers with specials and flavors lovingly prepared by Olga. Today the restaurant continues to thrive thanks to its fresh, home-cooked dishes and the continuing spirit of the Acosta family, who stills run it.
Merida’s recipes have spanned three generations, with Rafael’s grandson Junior now behind the restaurant and its culinary specialties, such as cochinita pibil. To prepare it, chefs marinate seasoned pork in an adobo paste, top it with pickled onions, and serve it with Yucatan style black beans. These flavors join the menu’s other subtle flavors and nuanced Mayan dishes that mingle with the crispy tacos and burritos of their traditional Tex-Mex dishes. On weekends, live entertainment injects Merida with the lively sounds of contemporary Latin soul and other energetic acts, creating a destination for fans of the menu’s unique recipes and authentic spirit.