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.
When deciding what type of cuisine to eat, it’s not uncommon to use the word “or”: Italian or Thai, burgers or sushi. But at Indian Wok, no such choice needs to be made, and no coins nor tables need to be flipped as the deciding vote. Here, chefs have fused the foods from Indian and Chinese cultures into one super cuisine known as Indo-Chinese. They toss batter-fried chicken with Manchurian sauce, and cook marinated spicy-and-sour lamb with potatoes to create the lamb vindaloo. Vegetarian selections include saag paneer, which features freshly chopped spinach and cheese cubes in a creamy sauce. But guests needn’t limit themselves to one plate: they can also stop by for an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet that showcases Indo-Chinese flavors alongside specialties from both the northern and southern sides of the subcontinent.
Ba Mien Bistro's discreet entrance hides ample room for dining, but an equal portion of the restaurant belongs to the kitchen. The chefs craft a delicious fusion of French cooking styles and Vietnamese flavors such as pho broths or grilled pork and beef with pickled carrots and daikon. They need the space—and some time—to create these delicate dishes from fresh ingredients. "It's not fast food," the manager says.
Much like in its cooking, Ba Mien Bistro incorporates a heavy French influence into its decor. Archways open from the entrance and waiting area onto the dining room, where gauzy curtains filter the ample natural light. Low-hanging lanterns dangle from the ceiling, infusing the room with a warm glow come evening. The outdoor patio provides alfresco seating for both diners and their dogs to enjoy a little sunshine or jump up to chase their favorite cars.
Cuisine Type: Vietnamese
Reservations: Not necessary
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5–10
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Offering: Sandwiches, pho, spring rolls
Kid Friendly: Yes
Delivery/Take-Out: Parking garage
Outdoor Seating: Yes
When discussing the origins of his bakery with reporters from the Houston Press, owner Andrew "Drew" Rogers explained, "When I turned 40, my wife turned to me and said, 'If money were no object, what would you really want to do?'" Andrew told her he wanted to be a pastry chef, recalling the familiar smells of baking from growing up in an Italian household. After working in various bakeries and kitchens throughout Houston, he finally opened up his own New York–style bakery, Drew's Pastry Place.
Colorful displays of cookies, cakes, and housemade cannolis lauded by MyFoxHouston greet customers entering the bakery, where Andrew and his kitchen crew whip up baked goods and fresh bread from scratch. In the seating area, customers curl up in a cushy armchair by the bookshelf and bite into crunchy pizza. Soft lanterns hang from the bakery's ceiling, illuminating Italian-inspired artwork—from oil paintings of the countryside to marble statues of a puddle of olive oil.
Originally developed in Portugal and Galicia, Spain before spreading throughout Latin America, Southern Europe, and Southeastern Asia, the empanada is a classic comfort food with deep, global roots. This humble snack receives a slightly refined touch at Yummy Mpanadas, where cooks create more than 30 versions, filling the 6-inch pockets of crispy, fried dough with everything from curry-marinated chicken and bell peppers to strawberry and Nutella. With the addition of homemade sauces?including chimichurri, tahini, and guacamole?as well as a selection gyros, falafel sandwiches, and crepes, the chefs add even more international flair to an already globally inspired meal.
Red and orange walls add a vibrant splash of color to the restaurant's casual dining area. Although the space features a handful of stools lining the front window, the majority of the seats surround the conversation-stimulating round tables. Numbers on metal stands identify each of the tables and help guests decide how many empanadas they should eat.
If you're looking to get acquainted with Bosnian cuisine, Cafe Adel would be happy to make your acquaintance. The eatery proudly serves up home-made Bosnian classics, such as grah, a bean stew filled with smoked beef; sakavci, traditional Bosnian meatballs; or stuffed pljeskavica, a burger filled with mushrooms and cheese. Folks will also find plenty of familiar Mediterranean offerings, the likes of which include hummus and beef-filled grape leaves.