Sometimes there are days when only a stick-to-your-ribs meal will do. Forget the salads, drop the tofu and walk away from the steamed vegetable platter. We're talking get-down-and-dirty plates of fried chicken, giant omelets stuffed with cheese and meat and then wrapped in a pancake, pounds of slow-smoked ribs and bowls of gumbo made with a roux so dark it defies the laws of physics. Should that day of comfort food come calling - and you know it will - here are 10 Houston dishes to seek out.
Fish 'n' Chips at Red Lion Pub
Serving proper pub food, it's a given that fish 'n' chips would be a popular choice on Red Lion's menu. And that they are, found on many an expat's table as well as fellow Houstonians who enjoy a pint of beer and a hearty British comfort meal to accompany.
2316 S. Shepherd Dr.; 713-782-3030
Matzo Ball Soup at Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessan
Anything at Galleria-area Kenny & Ziggy's is rib-sticking, because it all comes in outrageously large portions. That includes the warming bowl of matzo ball soup that rivals a Jewish grandmother's version.
2327 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-871-8883
Gumbo at Brennan's Houston
Visiting Brennan's is like taking a mini-trip to New Orleans, but minus the five-hour drive. Their gumbo is rich, thick and made with a dark roux a true Cajun would be proud to call their own.
3300 Smith St.; 713-522-9711
Enchiladas at Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen
If a certain type of food is mentioned in the name of the restaurant, we don't need to tell you which dish to try. Any enchilada plate here will be more than filling and some of the best in Houston.
Pork Chops at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille
While this chain of steakhouses offers plenty of cuts of beef, they're known for a massive roasted pork chop that's carved tableside and served with homemade applesauce.
Fried Chicken at Liberty Kitchen
This Heights restaurant's menu reads like a comfort food novel with deviled eggs, Parker House rolls, giant burgers, tuna melts and gumbo. However, if you find yourself there on a Wednesday, we highly recommend the weekly plate of fried chicken.
1050 Studewood St.; 713-802-0533
A little name change will never stop us from craving the foot-long chili cheese coney at this old school American chain. It's surprisingly good for a hangover (though it seems counter-intuitive) and definitely worthy of a weekend calorie splurge.
Slow-Smoked Ribs at Pierson & Company Bar-B-Que
Maybe this is too literal, but the slow-smoked ribs from newly opened Pierson & Company are also rib-sticking. It's nice to see this Houston institution back up and smoking after a few years of dormancy.
5110 T C Jester Blvd.; 713-683-6997
Pancake Omelet at Harry's Restaurant
Can't decide between an omelet and a giant pancake? At Harry's there's something called a pancake omelet and it's exactly what it sounds like: two eggs, American cheese and one choice of meat all wrapped up in a giant pancake. YOLO!
318 Tuam St.; 713-528-0198
Python Chili Cheese Fries at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
Just because exotic game is the feature at this Washington Corridor hamburger-and-hot-dog joint doesn't mean the dishes aren't comforting. Python chili cheese fries are some of the best in their class, despite the fact it's made with snake meat. (Tastes like chicken.)
3715 Washington Ave.; 713-868-1345