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–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review of the day
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.8
6.5
$10
You’re here for one reason: otherworldly banh cuon

Read enough restaurant websites and you’ll see the phrase “…will transport you to a different place” tossed around like a vermicelli noodle in a bowl. Many claim such dramatic otherworldly experiences, but few deliver; those that do, like Thien Thanh, seem to do it effortlessly and humbly. This dilapidated shop is convincing despite (or perhaps due to) being bereft of bells and whistles: its fading green tables are barely lit, and lingering scents of its house-blended nuoc cham (fish sauce)… [More]


From the Super ’Stache The underpriced underdogs
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
9.0
7.5
$10
A tiny lunchtime grill serving up the best basic burger in town—and a few novelties

Some of Houston’s best burgers are grilled up at lunchtime in this downtown nutshell decorated with—naturally—hubcaps. Inside the peacock-blue cinderblock, there’s only room for a couple of tables, a long counter against one wall, and an ATM (Hubcap is cash-only). A covered patio runs alongside the building to the garbage containers in the back, which can get downright fetid in the summer. Humble plastic tables out front make for better ventilation.

Hand-cut fries (sweet potato and regular) are fried and salted… [More]