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Old 07-05-2010, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
922 posts, read 3,539,826 times
Reputation: 663

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We went to Goodson's Cafe in Tomball this weekend for the chicken fried steak. Although I've just found out that the locals prefer Mel's now, ever since Goodson's became famous on the Travel Channel, we enjoyed it nonetheless.

As relative newcomers to Houston, we'd like to know about (and visit) more local "institutions": well-loved, locally-owned restaurants that have been a part of the community for many years.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:17 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,033 posts, read 14,977,545 times
Reputation: 15105
The sad part is often those places are bought out by corporations that then screw with the formula, until it's no longer the same.

One of the favorites was James Coney Island, with the original one downtown (still might be there) since the first part of last century. Then Big Business bought it and have been busy screwing ever since with the chili, spending less and less on it until it is just junk. All the while wondering why sales were slipping and raising advertising to try and cover it. Basically the money that used to go into the chili now goes into the ads.

The Pappas family was that way once - with Pappadeaux, Pappasitos, Pappas Steakhouse, Pappas BarbeQ, Dot's, etc. - but they have gotten big and it changed somewhat.

The Red Onion is still one of my favorites - it started out in a strip mall off 290 - and now there are 3 locations that do a lot of business. Still very good.

You might like Michelangelos in the Montrose area. Cozy Italian with a good wine list. In fact, there are several good restaurants in that area that have been there for a long time.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:50 PM
 
1,301 posts, read 3,848,885 times
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Ninfa's on Navigation, Spanish Flower on Airline...both Tex Mex institutions.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:53 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,033 posts, read 14,977,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelguy_73 View Post
Ninfa's on Navigation, Spanish Flower on Airline...both Tex Mex institutions.
Ninfa's is another one ruined by Big Business - the Ninfa family no longer owns it. Now, Spanish Flower, I forgot about it - and it's open 24 hrs a day. Wonderful.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:06 PM
 
1,211 posts, read 3,073,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryjohns View Post
Ninfa's is another one ruined by Big Business - the Ninfa family no longer owns it. Now, Spanish Flower, I forgot about it - and it's open 24 hrs a day. Wonderful.
Right. Ninfas was so great they went bankrupt.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Charleston Sc and Western NC
9,274 posts, read 23,750,548 times
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Only a few left I can remember.

Christy's
Carabbas on Kirby- Now Rosie Carabbas.
Sams Deli Diner
Rajin Cajun on Richmond- has another location on Gessner that's good
El Patio
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen On Westhiemer-another location on Woodway, too sterile.
Post Oak Grill on Post Oak- Has one other location-not good.

Those ruined by chaining out:
Lupe' Tortilla ( the original one on HWY 6 was awesome)
Carabbas
Ninfas, but I never liked it any way
Goode & Company everything
Nit Noi




Lot's of High Dollar "Institutions," but I don't think they apply here.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:47 PM
 
Location: #
9,600 posts, read 14,876,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCH99 View Post
Right. Ninfas was so great they went bankrupt.
Well, it's a lot easier to refry the beans than count 'em.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:53 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,033 posts, read 14,977,545 times
Reputation: 15105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCH99 View Post
Right. Ninfas was so great they went bankrupt.
Actually, they went bankrupt as often as it was legal. It was a great way to screw their vendors. Mama Ninfa was not as nice as she was portrayed to be.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:58 PM
 
613 posts, read 1,985,891 times
Reputation: 2016
Antones is not exactly "dining", but damn it is good food!
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Spring, TX
847 posts, read 1,536,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelguy_73 View Post
Spanish Flower on Airline...
Spanish Flower is on N. Main
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