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Happy new year from Hungry in Houston!  We have eaten at many places this past year.  Some we wrote about on this site (who’s 1 year anniversary is January 9th), and others we shared with you through our Facebook page.  It’s been a fantastic year and many restaurants really stood out.  Here are some of our favorites from the year!  Have fun and feel free to add your favorites in the comments!

-Hang tight, Best Restaurant at the end!!-

Best Sushi – Kaneyama

Oh boy, did we try our fair share of Sushi this year!  From Tokyo to Houston, we have sampled it all.  Houston has many many excellent sushi restaurants, but if you want more details on them, visit our bud’s site: The Sushi Club of Houston.  We chose Kaneyama not only because of it’s stellar quality but true authenticity.  There is standard seating, but they also have traditional Japanese seating, which makes eating that much better.  This one was hard.

kaneyama-houston-sushi

Best BBQ – Juniors Smokehouse

Not really impressed with any BBQ places in Houston yet, we stumbled upon this treasure that lies just beyond the outskirts of town.  It’s worth the trip. Bring a cooler because it also has fresh steaks and meat that Junior butchers himself.  Quality stuff, original menu items – and excellent BBQ (especially the meaty ribs).

Best Snow Balls – Mam’s House of Ice

Had to throw this in for fun, everyone knows they rule, but their fluffy shaved ice and flavors are hard to beat! Bob’s tacos also has some good ones, but not quite as soft and sweet as Mam’s.

Best Taqueria – Jarro Cafe

The tacos are really good here!  But the highlight is the sauces.  They serve an ensemble of different sauces that are each unique and very authentic.  If you sweat at the site of a jalapeno, you better go to  Chuck E Cheese – they do not fool around here – just the way we like it.

jarro-houston-sauce jarro-houston-tacos

Best Thai – Thai Bistro

This place just doesn’t make a bad dish!  And the lunch specials are really fantastic and affordable. And when asking for “Thai hot”, they usually get it right.  You can tell they put a lot of care into everything they prepare with only the freshest ingredients.  If you like Thai food, don’t miss this place. Menu items not to miss: Tom Yum and Green Curry.

Best American Grill – Cypress Station Grill

From chicken fried steaks to tall Shiner beers, this relaxing place serves quality food nestled next to the railroad tracks – the Union Pacific Eureka Sub to be exact.  The train decorations and photo’s that adorn the interior are sure to please any rail fan or your young train enthusiast.  Quality food, fresh ingredients, and great batter make this a “kid’s night” favorite. Not to mention, we have never had poor service here, the waitstaff is really attentive and friendly.

cypress-station-chicken-fried-steak cypress-station-burger-union-pacific

Best Home Cooking / Soul Food – Goodson’s Cafe

You like it fried?  You like that down-right home cooking?  Goodson’s is just plain awesome.  Don’t tell them, but I don’t think they raised their prices since the place was established in 1950!

goodsons-houston-fried-appetizer goodsons-chicken-fried-steak-houston

Best Fusion – Peli Peli (and a very close runner up the Best Restaurant overall, this place rocks!)

A new all time favorite for us.  Chef Paul Friedman brings a South African twist to our familiar cuisine.  He does so with a brilliantly crafted menu, very generous lunch specials, and peppadews.  Go here and try the filet – served on a deep fried bun topped with their magical sauce – you won’t believe your mouth – and at lunch its a measly $10!! You must get the mango slaw as a side and – trust us on this – and the sticky toffee pudding for desert.  The atmosphere here is cozy and they keep taking the award for Houston’s Most Romantic restaurant.  We are dying to try the brunch as well – maybe thats a plan for Sunday.

Biggest Let Down 2010 – Dario’s American Cuisine

We wanted to like this place, we really did.  It boasts itself as upscale fine dining, but the truth is – it is far from it….except the prices.  Any place that doesn’t allow faded jeans but will still serve you crap from a freezer (and serve it to you still frozen in the middle) is a big ZERO in our book.  The food was mediocre, at a steep price, and our carpaccio was served on potato gallets that were still frozen on the inside.  The owner is supposed to be the Executive Chef, but I think he is nothing more than the owner and hires “cooks” for the kitchen.  There is noting “Chef Owned” about this place and you would probably be happier eating at Chili’s.  At least they don’t try to hide you are getting served appetizers pulled from the freezer.

Best Restaurant 2010 – Strata

We don’t live on the north side of Houston, honestly!  We just end up there a lot.  And Vintage Park up on 249 has many gems.  There is something very special about Strata.  I find myself craving Chef John Ly’s next inventions.   Here you will find some of the most creative, rare, and (most importantly) exquisite menu items.  Try as many appetizers as you can or take advantage of their happy hours.  You will never grow tired of the always changing menu.  You can easily tell the care and pride that goes into every entrée.  Couple that with a staff that shares the same passion and you have the HiH Best Restaurant of 2010.

*Chef Ly’s take on the deconstructed BLT below w braised pork belly and blanched romaine lettuce is my ALL TIME favorite dish I’ve had* – Stef

seared scallops-strata-houston deconstructed BLT-strata-houston

Stay hungry, Houston.  We sure are after writing this one…Oh, but what place to choose…

-Adam & Stef

…and just for fun…

Best Breakfast Taquito – Whataburger

Don’t judge, we’ve all had these at 2:00 AM in the morning….I don’t know why or how, but the breakfast taquitos at Whataburger will never get old.