An alimentary guide to Houston

Since I last posted, we have found a home, we bough it, we moved in and we also had the first two rounds of renovation… how annoying, not being rich enough to do all the reno before moving in!
Meanwhile, I also had to say goodbye to my old laptop (very old… I had it since 2008) and I got myself a job that takes me to Panama for a couple of weeks each month.
That is to say, that I had lots of things to do instead of blogging.
Also, it is rather difficult to have a food blog when you’re not really cooking. The kitchen renovation is lagging behind schedule, and it is my fault as I am doing the refinishing of the existing cabinets… did I already complain about how inconvenient it is not to be rich?
So no cooking and no baking, a lot of pizza and Japanese takeout. And lots of salad mixing too.
But we’re not really salad guys, my husband and I.
So we took this opportunity to dine out more frequently, to explore the food scene in Houston.
And the food scene in Houston is AMAZING.
I already told you that Houston has been ranked 5th among the food cities in the US (ahead of New York, 8th!).
The reason lies in its history.

Houston is the largest city in Texas, and the 4th of all the United States. Established in 1837, back in 1910 the population was 80 thousands, 77% whites. Historically, its fortune lied in the port on the Gulf of Mexico, until the 1950s when air conditioning became affordable and Houston became a renowned medical centre and the world capital of the energy sector.
Houston has always been an immigrant city: today nearly 6.5 millions people live in the so-called “greater Houston”, 25% whites, 25% ispanics, 25% afro-americans, 6% asians and another 19% of people from every other ethnic group that you can think of.
Diversity lives here, and I love that.

So, what do you eat in Houston? The answer is: whatever you fancy. As in New York City, but better! because, unlike New York (or Paris, or Rome…) this is no tourist city, and therefore it is unlikely to step into a restaurant that lives preying on the daily share of tourists: here restaurants thrive if the locals are convinced.
Texas is famous for land and cattle, so steakhouses and burger joints are easy to find. Texas specialty tough is BBQ, the art of slowly cooking meat on indirect heat to allow the food to be flavoured by the the smoking process.
Mexican cuisine is the most obvious alternative, as Mexico is just on the other side of the border and as the vast majority of the ispanics in Houston are Mexicans.
California aside, Houston has the largest Vietnamese community of the United States, and also Chinese and Japanese are important. That is to say that here it is very easy to eat a veritable pad-thai or some authentic pakoras without boarding a flight…
I can only complain that I have not found a restaurant for fish… that is, not yet!
So, as you may have to come to Houston for job reasons, I’m happy to help you with Houston guide: a series of posts on what you need to eat and where you want to eat it in my city. Enjoy!


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