Inside each 59 Diner location, friendly chatter ripples from booth to booth and white-capped servers scurry around dishing out retro classics. Recognized by the Houston Press as among the city's best in 2009, 59 Diner's made-from-scratch milk shakes and malts slide across tables in old-fashioned glasses before coating tongues in such flavors as mocha, fudge, and Oreo. Sweet sips offset savory burgers, patty melts, and all-day breakfast specials, which can also be ordered in pint-size portions for younger patrons. Meals transport tongues to the past, and jukeboxes release vintage tunes into the air, inspiring guests to try to catch their favorite notes inside empty glasses.
Each day, the chefs at Pepperoni's Pizza's eight locations crush premium tomatoes into sauces, roll out homemade dough, then cover the freshly baked pies with natural mozzarella. Diners can build their own creations from more than 30 toppings, including bacon bits and pineapples, or opt for more than 10 specialty pizzas such as the New Yorker, smothered with heaping amounts of sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Their menu also sates hearty appetites with more than 20 oven-baked subs, as well as local favorites such as calzones and smokey BBQ Buffalo wings.
Considered a "pork-filled glory" by the Houston Press, Hoggs & Chicks’ Pig's Delight sandwich layers fried pork loin, shaved ham, and bacon between slices of fresh roll. The Pig's Delight moniker could apply to plenty of other items that Chef Frédéric Perrier dreams up, piling pulled pork, pork loin, pork belly, and bacon onto his OhMyGosh! sandwich and smothering fries and pizzas in heaps of pulled pork.
On the chicks end of the menu, the chef douses wings in buffalo or barbecue sauce, fries chicken in buttermilk, and stacks avocado, chipotle mayo, and provolone cheese atop slices of grilled chicken breast. To accompany these southern-style, made-from-scratch dishes, Chef Frédéric crafts classic sides such as collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and sweet corn, a nicer alternative to corn that insults you when you bite it.
Known for its award-winning margaritas, Don Julio’s also wins guests over at several Texas locations with a variety of Mexican specialties, including guacamole made tableside. The chefs take pride in using fresh chicken, housemade chipotle sauce, seafood bought fresh at local Kemah markets, and a hearty amount of beans and avocado to flavor dishes. Entrees take their names from various Mexican cities, such as the Puerto Vallarta—a combination of enchiladas, tacos, tamales, and puffed chili con queso.
Tastee Buddies serves up a wide-range of American classics, including wings, burgers, and corned beef sandwiches, all made fresh-to-order. Signature sandwiches include fresh-fried perch, catfish, or tilapia piled atop a grilled bun with a tangy blend of tartar sauce and hot sauce, or philly chicken melts, stuffed with grilled seasoned chicken breast, sauteed onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Southern sides such as fried okra and green beans round out meals, while guests also have the option to "Texasize" their meal, which means adding extra meat, fries, and onion rings, and has nothing whatsoever to do with serving sandwiches inside a cowboy boot.