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.
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.
Another Time Soda Fountain transports patrons to a simpler time, with old-timey appliances and diner fare and shakes made the same way they were in the 1950s. Plant pincers in a patty melt ($7) or two chili-cheese dogs ($6.50), both garnished with fries, before washing them down with a slew of sweet elixirs. Phosphates, a fountain drink that hearkens back to the Depression era, are available in an array of flavors ($2), and milkshakes are crafted from traditional ice-cream flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and the nontraditional coconut, butterscotch, peach, and pineapple ($4).
The Fish Place's chefs use a simple recipe for all their dishes: fresh seafood and Cajun spices. Of course, there's a lot of variety to be found within those parameters. They boil shellfish in the hearty broths of gumbos and etouffes, and fry up catfish and oysters with hot Cajun flavors. Fish and shrimp are stuffed full of cheese and other delicious tidbits. Most courses are served with Southern-style sides, ranging from the iconic red beans and white rice to hush puppies.
Cuisine Type: Fresh Cajun
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Fried/grilled/blackened fish, shrimp
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Fish Place cooks everything fresh daily and its specialty is crawfish. The New Orleans?inspired eatery preps the crustacean in several classic ways, from cooking up just the tails to brewing an ?touff?e. Of course, the menu would be remiss to exclude specialties such as shrimp ?touff?e, crawfish ?touff?e, seafood jambalaya, stuffed jalapenos, and boudin balls. Other Southern staples include blackened catfish, shrimp jambalaya, and chicken and sausage gumbo. The sides ring authentic as well, complementing entrees with helpings of red beans with rice and hush puppies, so named because their deliciousness causes diners to speak in an awed whisper for several days.