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Spinning off from my other Texas threads....


I’m open to any other food suggestions. All of us will eat anything (with 1 or 2 exceptions, like.... I can’t think of anything right now), and no food restrictions except almonds. I’ve already booked our expensive Christmas dinner, so looking for inexpensive but tasty!

Houston to Corpus Christi:

-Buc-ees
-Prasek’s Hillije Smokehouse**

Corpus Christi 

-Whataburger***
-Pier 99

Corpus Christi to San Antonio 

-

San Antonio 

Boudro’s Dinner Cruise
-Nicha’s
-CIA
-Bakery Lorraine
-Torchy’s Tacos
-Bigz Burgers
-Gino’s Deli
-Pete’s Tacos
 

San Antonio to Houston

-Eastside Kitchenette
-Hinze’s*

Houston - zoo area

-El Tiempo
-Ninfa’s
-Gloria’s

Houston - Johnson Space Centre area

-Frenchie’s
-Tookie’s**
-Viola and Agnes
-El Tiempo


Thank you!

Edited by arctic_bunny
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In the general JSC area, there is a very casual restaurant named Frenchie's that is dynamite. It's stand in line and order and the extremely crusty heavily-accented Italian owner usually takes it. He will call you Bella and then when they call your number you go get your food. Everything there is fantasic. My Mother thinks their crepes are the best thing ever. I am a big fan of the sandwiches. There is also a ton of NASA memorbilia plastered to every surface- it's usually full of people with JSC badges on. 

They have a sister restaurant that is on the water called Villa Capri- the views are great. I think the food is a little overpriced. 

Tookies has great burgers in the Kemah area. My parents say the Tookie's Seafood is equally good- I haven't been so can't personally attest. 

The restaurants right across from JSC are all chains, but if you venture a bit down Nasa Rd 1, there is also a hidden gem "neo-soul" food place called Viola and Agnes that is really good. Warning- the food is spicy. These are definitely more casual places- not big fancy chains, but they have better food than any of the big chains. 

I'll try to think of some more. For your road trip, Bucee's is a pretty safe bet. Stop somewhere and get some kolaches too. Yelp it from wherever you are. They reheat well if you have leftovers. 🙂

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San Antonio: 

Nicha's--the Southside location is close to Mission San Jose

if exploring the Riverwalk, up by the Pearl district there is the Culinary Institute of America,  a good french bakery (Bakery Lorraine), Lick ice cream, etc.

Torchy's Tacos is about 10 minutes from the airport or downtown

if you're craving a burger, I like Big'z Burgers...https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60956-d1785770-Reviews-Big_Z_Burger_Joint-San_Antonio_Texas.html  The burgers are TX sized; totally splittable. You definitely want to try some of the fry sauces (which are offered when you order fries).  

 

Are you going to Corpus Christi proper or are you headed out to Mustang Island/Port Aransas? I'd totally choose to eat in Port A > Corpus Christi.  Moby Dick's is kind of iconic in Port A. 

If you ever need fast food, Whataburger is totally a decent fast food place, and very Texan.

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Amen to Whataburger. 

If you want Mexican food while around JSC- El Tiempo is amazing. Pappasito's is fair. Pappasito's tends to be loud and they overcrowd the tables, but I cannot argue wiht the food- the ambience deters me for the price. I prefer El Tiempo. It's owned by the Ninfa family which is Houston legend. Someone get the fajita- beef and chicken. 

There is another El Tiempo not horribly far from the Zoo. Tbh, there isn't a ton I can recommend in the general Zoo vicinity. If you go Med Center or more west of, there are some other options, but not sure how close you are wanting to be to the Zoo. One of the PITA is parking in that general area. 

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14 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

If you ever need fast food, Whataburger is totally a decent fast food place, and very Texan.

I'll second the Whataburger rec and suggest this particular Whataburger in Corpus. It's right on the bay and has two stories. It is the nicest Whataburger I've ever been to:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60927-d1823235-r133114982-Whataburger-Corpus_Christi_Texas.html

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Avoid Bill Miller. It's terrible!

Gino's Deli in San Antonio is inexpensive, very casual (it's in an old convenience store), with excellent burgers and Philly stead sandwiches. It's rated as one of the best Philly steak sandwiches in the nation according to Yelp. It's not located near the Riverwalk, though, so you'd need to drive to it.

Pete's Taco House is near downtown San Antonio and has good, inexpensive food. Given the time of year you'll be here, they may have tamales. Tamales are traditional Mexican Christmas food and usually only available at Christmas time.

I'll be following along for recs. I like to try new places!

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

 

Are you going to Corpus Christi proper or are you headed out to Mustang Island/Port Aransas? I'd totally choose to eat in Port A > Corpus Christi.  Moby Dick's is kind of iconic in Port A. 

If you ever need fast food, Whataburger is totally a decent fast food place, and very Texan.

We are seeing the USS Lexington and the Aquarium in CC, if that helps!

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Aelthryn already suggested Tookies, which is what I was coming to suggest. Best.burgers.anywhere.ever. Definitely go there. (although, shockingly, I've not been to Frenchie's so if you pick that instead......okay.)

Off the highway in San Antonio, but not sure if it's the right highway for you (we went when going to a concert at their big arena), we stopped at a fantastic little place.....okay, Eastside Kitchenette (http://theeastsidekitchenette.com/)  Very good. 

DH is mad at Whataburger for selling to an investment firm, so if you prefer instead, there is Chick-Fil-A (closed on Sundays). 

On your San Antonio to Houston route,  Hinze's, on 36S, off I-10, along your route from San Antonio to JSC area. Fantastic BBQ, family owned, very good. It's right off the highway so an easy little detour (it's at Sealy), perfect for a "stop for lunch" -- Google shows it being about 2 hrs into the drive, with then an hour-fifteen-ish left after that. I don't know if the timing will work for y'all or not, but.....just a suggestion. 

I agree also with Aelthryn about her Tex Mex suggestions. Alternately, I am sure there's something good in San Antonio. Or goodness, find a Ninfa's, which is really pretty much the best. The original one is downtown Houston somewhere, maybe not *too* far from the zoo, but I'm honestly fuzzy on that, and Texas "not too far" isn't always other people's "not too far" so....

Torchy's Tacos someone suggested is very good, and is a local chain, and you can find it either of the cities you're going to. 

In IAH, are you going to be in the international terminal (Terminal E)? If so, eat at the little place that looks like a diner, on your way from security to the gate, right before the hallway turns (there's a bank of screens on the walls, the ones showing arrivals/departures, and bathrooms just down the corridor); it's the best food for your money, if you have to be there at a meal time. (on your departure, I mean). (On arrival, if you're coming in from international, there's a Starbucks right there once you get outside of the security doors after customs, and bathrooms if you didn't already stop somewhere; the line will be long for starbucks, but just in case)(there's also one of those airport news stands where you can buy water, etc.)

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16 minutes ago, TheReader said:

Or goodness, find a Ninfa's, which is really pretty much the best. The original one is downtown Houston somewhere, maybe not *too* far from the zoo, but I'm honestly fuzzy on that, and Texas "not too far" isn't always other people's "not too far" so....

The original Ninfas is on Navigation, but there is one Downtown I think on Louisiana........I will ask dh when he gets home since he works right in that area. Their website seems to be compromised so I can't look! 

And yes, OP, definitely agreeing with TheReader-  be ware of people locally telling you something isn't too far. We're all sorts of bad at it and it's relative because Houston is so spread out. That's why I haven't given Scarlett any suggestions yet. To me Rosharon isn't too far from Sugarland where there are lots of great places to eat! But some one else might think OMG, this is taking ages! 

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Also OP, traffic is weird right now because it's Christmas traffic. It's not normal traffic, and maybe slightly more aggresive traffic? 😳 So rush hours are lightened, but daytime traffic is a lot more extreme. I would suggest a blend of comparing Google Maps to Waze. My main issue with Waze is that it needs a "no dodgy areas" selection, and I am saying that as someone who grew up in Houston. Waze will wind you through a crazy, scary neighborhood to shave 2 minutes or a mile off a trip. I'd rather stay on the main thoroughfare and not get carjacked, thankyouverymuchWaze, so Google is a little better imo, especially when you don't know your surroundings. 

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Texas is about the same size as our province, in terms of square miles, and so highway distances/times are spot on for what we’re used to. A two hour, 200km drive is a trip to grandma’s, usually just for lunch or supper, then home. City times are a whole ‘nother ball of wax, lol. 

Edited by arctic_bunny
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5 hours ago, TheReader said:

 

On your San Antonio to Houston route,  Hinze's, on 36S, off I-10, along your route from San Antonio to JSC area. Fantastic BBQ, family owned, very good. It's right off the highway so an easy little detour (it's at Sealy), perfect for a "stop for lunch" -- Google shows it being about 2 hrs into the drive, with then an hour-fifteen-ish left after that. I don't know if the timing will work for y'all or not, but.....just a suggestion. 

 

I second the Hinzes BBQ at Sealy suggestion. The original is in our town. It's really good BBQ. I recommend the brisket and ribs with sides of pinto beans, mac and cheese and fried okra. The chicken is really good too. Ask for a piece of cornbread instead of the slice of white bread that comes with the meal. 

Their pies are really good too.

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5 hours ago, arctic_bunny said:

We are seeing the USS Lexington and the Aquarium in CC, if that helps!

 

We went to a fantastic little seafood place right down the road from the Lexington this past summer.   Pier 99? I thinkThe Lexington is AMAZING -- but a lot of walking. There's a parking lot right across from it that we missed at first :( So we ended up walking farther.

(My son's going to be back there, spending the night, January 11!)

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11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

The Squealer is where its at imho. 🙂

YES. I've literally been going to Tookie's since before I could eat, and once I graduated past their Rookie Tookie (kid's plain burger), this is what I always get. I've tried everything else, but I always go back to the Squealer. So.Yum. 

Also be sure and get half onion rings/half fries. (or one order of each)

 

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17 hours ago, Scarlett said:

What is good close to Rosharon? Or is that out in the country?  LOL....I haven't been there yet.

I asked dh for you, since he and his co-workers will drive ridiculous lengths to try good places at lunch and he had an office in Sugarland- I figured Rosharon wasn't too far for them, but nope. He had nothing to suggest tried and true in Rosharon, so sorry. 

He did request you try this place and report back, LOL- https://jeeswiz.com/

He'll drive forever to try a new-to-him great BBQ place. If we didn't have so much to get done this weekend he would totally drive out there tomorrow once he saw the reviews! 

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Our trip to Houston was fast and furious.  We at at Sams boat on Saturday.  It was really good food with a nice view of the water.  Lots of tvs...we went to watch the game.  
 

My Dh and his baby sister, both born and raised in CA, were craving In and  Out.....it didn’t work out for us until about 10 p.m. Sunday night as we passed through Dallas.  None of us needed to be eating burgers and shakes at that hour,  but I gotta say it was delicious.  

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5 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Our trip to Houston was fast and furious.  We at at Sams boat on Saturday.  It was really good food with a nice view of the water.  Lots of tvs...we went to watch the game.  
 

My Dh and his baby sister, both born and raised in CA, were craving In and  Out.....it didn’t work out for us until about 10 p.m. Sunday night as we passed through Dallas.  None of us needed to be eating burgers and shakes at that hour,  but I gotta say it was delicious.  

That was a fast trip! I still haven't ever tried In and Out. I would like to compare it to Whataburger! 

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