Montrose: One Street, a World of Flavors
Boulevard offers abundance of international restaurants
The vibrant Montrose neighborhood is a mecca for those looking to shop, stroll, have a drink, visit an art gallery and much more. But there is one street that shows off the community's culinary diversity like no other: Montrose Boulevard.
The district's namesake thoroughfare offers an array of restaurants uniting flavors from around the globe. European fine dining can be found right next to hearty American fare. Just across the street, you'll find Asian classics neighbored by a Mexican cantina. No matter the flavor you seek, you'll find it on this 1 ½-mile strip. Welcome to Montrose, your round-the-world gastronomic journey in the heart of Houston.
Thai - Khun Kay Thai Cafe
This charming little Thai cottage offers great food without a lot of fuss. Start with the cold chicken-and-vegetable spring rolls or the fried pork-and-egg-noodle spring rolls served with sweet-and-sour sauce. Entrees are served with jasmine rice portions shaped like the state of Texas.
Mexican - El Tiempo 1308 Cantina
Elegant earth tones and a refined menu define this grill and margarita bar. Mexican classics like tacos, tamales, chalupas, and enchiladas are offered, as well as house specialties like savory fajitas, quail, baby back ribs and jalapeno sausage off the oak grill. The full bar serves premium tequilas, fresh made margaritas, and pitchers of brandy-laden sangria.
Italian - Pronto Cucinino
At this convenient counter-service eatery you'll enjoy a great mix of Italian fare in a relaxed, homey atmosphere. A favorite is Pronto's lemon garlic rotisserie chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. Other items on the menu are classics like chicken marsala, cannelloni, and a pizza bite appetizer.
Greek - Niko Niko's
Gyros don't get much better than this: moist, aromatic lamb slices are blanketed by a warm, plushy pita with sweet onions and creamy cucumber-garlic tzatziki sauce. Don't forget to take the addictive honey-drizzled baklava home with you, too. To-go orders are popular, as is the spacious patio.
American - Little Bigs
The superstar at Little Bigs is Chef/Owner Bryan Caswell's signature slider: a 3oz., juicy, hand-formed, all-beef patty (they grind the meat fresh on-site every day--this burger won't ever see the inside of a deep-freeze!) topped with caramelized onions on a soft, fresh-baked yeast roll. Unlike other burger joints, Little Bigs has wine at near-retail prices and a great choice of beer.
Cajun - BB's Café
BB's offers up Gulf Coast cuisine and New Orleans-inspired fare with a Texas twist. There's a great selection of frozen daiquiris--you can even take some "2 geaux." Dig into one of 15 different po'boy varieties, as well as wallet-friendly Cajun favorites like Bubba Lump salad, boudin balls, and gumbo.
Lebanese - Aladdin Mediterranean Café
Beef shawarma and leg of lamb, hummus two ways, and falafel--Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine brings it all together. Have your pick of any entree, from fresh gyros to chicken kebabs, plus several different types of salads and sides including pomegranate eggplant, stuffed grape leaves, and kibbie, just to name a few. The atmosphere is sparse but cozy, with Mediterranean touches and artwork depicting Greek Isles on the walls.
Japanese - Uchi
In winter 2012, James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole's signature restaurant opened in a historic restaurant spot on Lower Westheimer. Intimate and sophisticated, the entire space revolves around the open kitchen and sushi bar. A couple must-tries on the appetizer menu: the bacon tataki with pork belly, coriander, and citrus as well as the jar-jar duck with kumquat and endive. Try the chef's ten-course daily tasting menu if you really want to "live large."
English - Black Labrador Pub
The Black Lab is an English pub where one can enjoy a pint of ale, a game of darts and a bite to eat. The kitchen isn't strictly English--burgers and Tex-Mex dishes turn up among the shepherd's pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. As the evening winds down, try the Scotch apple pie and a Samuel Smith Taddy porter.
French - Brasserie Max & Julie
Homey touches augment this classic French brasserie. Classics include cassoulet, crisp sweetbreads, foie gras, house-made pate, trademark French shellfish platters served over ice and steak tartare with pommes frites. Save room for a cheese plate or profiterole. The wine list is varied and well-priced; or choose from a selection of imported beers on tap.
Brazilian - Nelore Churrascaria
Fifteen cuts of meat are served in this churrascaria that offers pleasant views of Montrose from an enclosed patio. The Brazilian staff rotates a choice of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken past the tables that display the green service card. Be careful not to fill up on the addicting house specialty, warm cheese bread, and have a caipirinha, the Brazilian national drink. A salad bar is also available.
Japanese - Nippon
Owned and operated by a Japanese family, Nippon Japanese Restaurant is as close to authentic Japanese food and atmosphere as you'll get in Houston. Try their renowned pork ramen, mixed with bamboo, seaweed, egg, bean sprouts, miso broth, perfectly cooked al dente noodles, and melt-in-your-mouth pork. Also, order the red bean ice cream for dessert.
Chinese - Kam's Fine Chinese
Originally opened by Kam Cheung in 1988, Kam's Fine Chinese Cuisine was sold to his head chef who has led the family business ever since. The restaurant is known for successfully balancing American and Chinese flavors that will satisfy taste buds looking for an authentically unauthentic Asian food experience. Especially popular are the Wonton soup and the homemade dumplings which are served with a spicy ginger soy sauce.
By GHCVB Staff