Two Houston restaurants make NYT best list (2023)

Two Houston joints were named in New York Times’ definitive list (

I believe I first heard of El Hidalguense on the old houston.eats usenet group! If not, very early on Chowhound. NYT=right on top of it! (don’t go political on this).

Anybody been to Fin and Feathers, such as @Lambowner, aka The Gumbo Lady?


Well done, El Hidalguense! 29 years in business, it’s about time they caught national recognition!

I haven’t been to Fin and Feathers… yet!.. but I’m looking forward to seeing what y’all think of it. Looking at their menu I’m seeing some old standards (oysters, gumbo, po’boys) but also things like “crispy chicken or fish tossed in a Viet-Cajun hot sauce topped with basil coleslaw and pickles”… and one brunch item is tres leche french toast - yes, please!

Proud of them both!


I need to get to F&F for sure! I haven’t been to El H either. Slacking off, today I went to Kim Son Cafe which has become a regular to the exclusion of trying new places.


As Bruce notes, el H was a popular topic on the houston.eats newsgroup “back in the day”. They were know as a reliable source of cabrito. It was good but I haven’t been in over twenty years.

As for Gatlin’s F & F, I note that it’s located on Crosstimbers almost exactly halfway between Barbecue Inn and Flying Saucer Pies - That’s my sweet spot!!

Lambsy, what do you order at Kim Son Cafe? I haven’t been there in probably ten years. Kingsride, right? I’ve spent a good bit of time in that immediate area lately.


[Lambsy, what do you order at Kim Son Cafe?

Actually, I’ve had most of the items on the menu. One interesting choice is the Cornish hen with one Cornish hen and some crispy hardpacked rice that you dip in a syrup. It really is a dessert, intensely sweet, but amazingly delicious. I also love their garlic and butter softshell crab that comes with a little greenery on the side. I order all the usual favorites like the Vietnamese egg roll And pad Thai.

Do you know what, I do not think the Kim son Café is any longer affiliated with the Kim son empire that began on Jefferson Street. And just to confirm, I went to the big Kim son on Jefferson recently and the food is exactly the same so they are authorized in some way. When they closed the Stafford Fountains location last week, in the interviews I read, they stated that there are only two remaining locations, Jefferson Street and the Buffet in Asia town on Bellaire, which has a vast array of choices.

Kim son has released its own version of Sriracha in light of the Sriracha shortage and it is really really good. Much better than the Trader Joe’s I’ve had to rely on.

Vietnamese chicken fajitas. Rolling it in wet rice paper proved impossible for me but it is tasty


Curry shrimp linguine, not so much


Jefferson Street