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Defunct Houston Restaurants

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I've forgotten about the Russian restuarant on Richmond and Yoakum! Unfortunately, I forgot the name along with it - though "Rasputian's" lingers in my mind.

Butera's was a great place - especially the Butera family. I am saddened that nothing remains of Mr. Johnny's legacy.

The location that Zimm's is at now isn't the one they had in the '80s. Same strip, but they had the east corner location. I don't recall the food, but it was one of the few establishments that served Belhaven Scottish Ale (resulting in more lost brain cells and GPA points).

Sorry but Rasputin's doesn't ring a bell with me.

Butera's had the best pasta salads ever and a navy bean soup that was good enough to provoke a spiritual awakening - soul-satisfyingly good. I wish I had some of their recipes. Do you know if any were ever published?

I guess I never went to Zimm's in the original location.

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Zimm's on Montrose near Richmond - wine bar now? (but still owned by Mr. Zimmerman)

I used to live across the street from one of Butera's sons - he had opened an Italian restaurant on Bellaire Blvd. called Angelina's (?) after his daughter, I believe (it's now Nick's Pasta Place). I think when he sold it he moved out of the Houston area.

I see Nick's every time I go to WF across Bellaire. I was thinking it was some other restaurant before it became Nick's but even before that it was a Volvo dealership.

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Sorry but Rasputin's doesn't ring a bell with me.

Butera's had the best pasta salads ever and a navy bean soup that was good enough to provoke a spiritual awakening - soul-satisfyingly good. I wish I had some of their recipes. Do you know if any were ever published?

I guess I never went to Zimm's in the original location.

Try going to Paulie's - the owner use to be the head chef for Butera's, as well as creating almost all of their best receipes.

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Over the years many many restaurants have come and gone in out fair city. Houston is known as "The Restaurant Capital of The World". Houston has more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city. I started this Thread to let people list their all-time favorites, of the ones they miss the most. Does anyone remember The Rail Head and Victoria Station from back in the 70's? These were Rail Road themed restaurants, that's were really popular in the 70's and 80's. As a kid it was wonderful. At the Rail Head, they actually had a stage for music acts, surrounded by open rail cars with dining booths and tables. I used to frequent it alot when The Elliot Walter Band used to play there. My mother is really good friends with them. If you never heard of The Elliot Walter band, you have probably heard a song of their's though, it's called "Slime in the Ice Machine". Marvin Zindler's theme song. :lol:

I do remember both of these, right by Windsor Plaza, at Richmond and 610. Thanks for jogging my memory.

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I've been looking at this post for a while so if I repeat any places forgive this neophyte, this is my first reply...Here goes

Hebert's Ritz,

LC Cafeterias

Foote's cafeterias

Allbritton's cafeterias

Jetton's cafeteria

Weldon's cafeteria

Mr. Hamburger (many locations)

Griff's hamburgers (in Bellaire)

PRICE'S not Doug Prince's( OST also Holcombe and Stella link)

Art Wren's

Bill bennett's

Trader Vics

Don the Beachcomber

Victoria Station

The Foundry

Velvet turtle

Red Lion

Ten Fathoms( near original Massa'S)

Captain John's

Green Parrott( in MacGregor area)

Ming Palace( next to River Oaks theatre)

Ding How (in Bellaire)

Lee's Den( OST and Main)

Kapan's ( next to Kiddie WonderLand)

Pier 21

Jamey's hamburgers( East side corner of Main and N.Breaswood)

Howard Johnson's( Near RRTracks on Bellaire, now Moeller's Bakery)

Burger Chef

Weber's Root beer Stand on Main

Sullivan's drive Inn in Bellaire

Someburger

Kelley's seafood on Main

Zorba the Greek

Molina's Old Mexico ( Main and Alabama)

Mexico City (on Grey)

Linoleum Club( upstairs at james Coney Island on Walker)

Lums

Safari( 610 and Richmond)

Harry's kenya

Christies on Main and Holcombe

Kips (especially after a hard night gigging and foolin around)

Alfreds ( in the Village and later on Stella Link)

Monterrey Houses

Vallains

Bill Williams

Ye Old College Inn

Youngbloods Chicken( many locations)

Panjos Pizza

Can't jog the old memory much more

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I've been looking at this post for a while so if I repeat any places forgive this neophyte, this is my first reply...Here goes

Hebert's Ritz,

LC Cafeterias

Foote's cafeterias

Allbritton's cafeterias

Jetton's cafeteria

Weldon's cafeteria

Mr. Hamburger (many locations)

Griff's hamburgers (in Bellaire)

PRICE'S not Doug Prince's( OST also Holcombe and Stella link)

Art Wren's

Bill bennett's

Trader Vics

Don the Beachcomber

Victoria Station

The Foundry

Velvet turtle

Red Lion

Ten Fathoms( near original Massa'S)

Captain John's

Green Parrott( in MacGregor area)

Ming Palace( next to River Oaks theatre)

Ding How (in Bellaire)

Lee's Den( OST and Main)

Kapan's ( next to Kiddie WonderLand)

Pier 21

Jamey's hamburgers( East side corner of Main and N.Breaswood)

Howard Johnson's( Near RRTracks on Bellaire, now Moeller's Bakery)

Burger Chef

Weber's Root beer Stand on Main

Sullivan's drive Inn in Bellaire

Someburger

Kelley's seafood on Main

Zorba the Greek

Molina's Old Mexico ( Main and Alabama)

Mexico City (on Grey)

Linoleum Club( upstairs at james Coney Island on Walker)

Lums

Safari( 610 and Richmond)

Harry's kenya

Christies on Main and Holcombe

Kips (especially after a hard night gigging and foolin around)

Alfreds ( in the Village and later on Stella Link)

Monterrey Houses

Vallains

Bill Williams

Ye Old College Inn

Youngbloods Chicken( many locations)

Panjos Pizza

Can't jog the old memory much more

Hi everybody -

It took me two days to read through all these posts, bringing back such wonderful memories. I was born at St. Joseph's in 1951, lived in Houston until 1960, came back "home" a few times, last visit was in 1977. You are only the second person who has mentioned "Mexico City" on S. Main. I remember their steamed tortillas kept warm between two hot white plates. My parents were married at South Main Baptist. Mom was a Houston native, graduated from San Jacinto High (Magna cum Laude, Captain of the Pep Squad), and she had lots of friends who were "well-off" - people like Glenn McCarthy, William O. Bartle (Brewster-Bartle Drilling), and other tycoon types.

Anyway, we ate out quite often. Bill Williams, Gaido's (didn't they have some giant sailfish mounted on the walls?), One's-A-Meal, Prince's (those poppy seed buns!), and, of course, James' Coney Island (we always took our dogs upstairs, sat on the school chairs). We also went to Spanish Village many times, my personal favorite (I have a "society page" clipping of my parents at Spanish Village, will upload it soon).

One restaurant not mentioned yet was the China Clipper, downtown (think it was near James'Coney Island). Everytime I see a picture of one of those old PanAm seaplanes, I remember that restaurant.

But I've been saving the best for last. One night my mom's best friend took us to the Green Parrott. It was a special occasion, so we were all dressed up. Since I absolutely LOVED fried chicken, my parents figured this would be a perfect evening. But evidently things didn't go as planned (I was only 4 or 5, and they told me this story many years later). It seems that when the waiter asked what I wanted for dinner, I said, "Pancakes!" When he tried to explain that they didn't have pancakes on the menu, I got upset and insisted I wanted pancakes! Then the lady who owned the Parrott (somebody mentioned her name in an earlier post - "Miss Vera") came to the table and asked what the problem was. When they told her, she said, "If the young man wants pancakes, he shall have pancakes." Then, while our orders were being prepared, she went down the street to some store, bought a box of Aunt Jemima mix and a bottle of "Bud" syrup (does anybody else remember that Anheuser-Busch used to make pancake syrup?), came back to the restaurant and fixed me those pancakes herself!

My parents were mortified, but grateful.

Thanks so much for all of these great postings!

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Dinner Theaters-I remember The Dean Goss Dinner Theater(and all the drama surrounding his back-to-back wives that were murdered in his house), and The Windmill Dinner Theater. Any more?

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Monterey House (many family meals there)

Boston Sea Party (on Westheimer)

U-R-Cooks (cook your own thick steak while sipping a brew)

Uno's Pizza (may still be one left, but not near me)

When I was very young kid (born 1953) there was an old house on a couple of acres not too far away from our home off Southpark (now MLK Blvd.) that was operated as a Italian resturant by what seem to me to be a Italian family. Absolutly great food and homey faimly atmosphere. The house was, what I can only describe as a country mansion and they had turned all the downstairs room in to mini-dinning rooms much like Steak and Ale does. I remember as kid it seemed to me like a country inn stached up from Europe and dropped down here in Texas, bu then again I was a kid, so it may have been nowhere as impressive if I had been an adult.

Most of the resturants that have come and gone in Houston were far better than most resturants out of state that I have been to.

TEX

Edited by TEX

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OK Folks I went through a matchbook collection and found these eating places in the Houston area. If there are duplicates , as I wrote before, excuse me. Here goes:

Bill William's branches on OST and in Richmond, Tx right before the Brazos River Bridge

Vittorio's in the Village ( Rice and Kirby) there is a wings joint there I think

Gallagher's Old Irish Steak House ( many locations)

Daddy$ Money

T.J. Crump's ( Sak's Fifth Avenue Center on South Post Oak)

Houlihan's Old Place ( same as above)

Liliane's Maison des Crepes ( 80 Woodlake)

Alexander's (212 Westheimer)

Houston Oil Company ( Meyerland Plaza)

Lennox Barbecue

Swiss Chalet (511 S. Post Oak)

Strawberry Patch (5839 Westheimer now the Pappas Steak House)

Restaurant El Michoacano (7041 Harrisburg)

Greenway Terrace Restaurant

Stouffer's (Top floor of the hotel near the Summit/Church)

The Magic Pan ( in the Galleria)

The Mariner ( 5919 Westheimer also 1960@Champions)

The Big Mouth Frog ( 2727 Crossview)

Dunfey's Family Royal Coach ( SW FWY at Sharpstown)

Bavarian Gardens ( 3926 Feagan)

Hacienda de los Morales ( near the Villages area in and around Memorial)

Look's Depot (downtown)

Thanks for puttin' up with me...although I can't remember some of these palces too distinctly

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I really enjoyed the memory walk. I got to Houston in 76'. Do you remember the Woodhollow Apts. I ran the Woodhollow club inside the project. The 8 alarm fire that destoyed most of it? Those damn wood shingles! I loved these places:

BARS

Papa Blakelys -FM 359

Lizards - Fountainview

Codys- Montrose (Kirk Whalum)

Steak and Ale (Boyce & Kramer)

Theodores - Galleria (Shake Russell/Dana Cooper)

Nickels - Hillcroft/Voss

Fitzgeralds, Rockefellers and the Summit for shows

Disco to Urban Cowboy

Mirage - San Antonio Rose

Foxhunter - Cowboy

Xanadu - Deperados

Cooters & Elan

Do you remember:

The Nighthawk Restuarant - Westheimer

Strawberry patch - Westhiemer - (chicken Fried staek bigger than the plate)

The best burgers were at a place called Rovnovskis (sp) Does anyone remember this place. An icehouse type of joint. I can't remeber where it was?

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I have not looked thru every post here, but I recall these w/fondness:

Whatsaburger-- home of the 10 cent burgers on Monday nights.

Weinershnitzel drive thrus. Good dogs! i used to go to the one on Hillcroft btwn Beechnut and Bellaire Blvd.

Christies, the old one on Bellaire Blvd.

Broiler Burger in Bellaire.

Felix Mexican in Bellaire.

Ousie's in the Village.

One's a Meal

Oh, and what was that "trendy" cafe on Westheimer near the Galleria- Strawberry Patch?

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Monterey House (many family meals there)

Boston Sea Party (on Westheimer)

U-R-Cooks (cook your own thick steak while sipping a brew)

Uno's Pizza (may still be one left, but not near me)

When I was very young kid (born 1953) there was an old house on a couple of acres not too far away from our home off Southpark (now MLK Blvd.) that was operated as a Italian resturant by what seem to me to be a Italian family. Absolutly great food and homey faimly atmosphere. The house was, what I can only describe as a country mansion and they had turned all the downstairs room in to mini-dinning rooms much like Steak and Ale does. I remember as kid it seemed to me like a country inn stached up from Europe and dropped down here in Texas, bu then again I was a kid, so it may have been nowhere as impressive if I had been an adult.

Most of the resturants that have come and gone in Houston were far better than most resturants out of state that I have been to.

TEX

I know the exact place your talking about. It was on Telephone Road with the entrance right across the street from the old Hickory Stick bar-b-que place. You had to look to find it becasue all you could see from Telephone was a sign next to a gravel road that led to the resturaunt. I remember it well because when I was 4 or 5 for whatever reason we went out to eat on Christmas Eve ( this would have been around 1963-64) and no one was open on Christmas Eve. We drove all over looking for a place to eat and I said what about that place and pointed at the sign, and sure enough they were open and thats where we ate. The house is long since gone and the forest that protected it from the rest of the world mowed down.

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Finally. someone else who remembers Capri! I've asked other places, but it seems to have had a limited reputation.

I hope someone comes up with the exact location and/or knows of anything in a similar style.

It was at 3810 Farnham St.

The Curve.

Edited by fortbendtomontrose

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Europa Cafe. Was a nice little Argentine restaurant near rice village in a neat old house. They changed owners a few years ago and the food immediately went downhill. Way downhill.

The place reopened last year as Seco's, which is pretty good, albeit completely different compared the original menu at Europa.

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Europa Cafe. Was a nice little Argentine restaurant near rice village in a neat old house. They changed owners a few years ago and the food immediately went downhill. Way downhill.

The place reopened last year as Seco's, which is pretty good, albeit completely different compared the original menu at Europa.

I'm glad you brought that up. That was a great little place! It wasn't Argentine like Churassco, it was more like a little continental bistro.

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Dutch Kettle, anyone? :)

I'll bite on this one. I had a Houston Post paper route back in '74-'75. My next door neighbor (the Mom) was a manager at the Dutch Kettle on Gulf Freeway (near Howard/Bellfort). My friend (the son) would help me do my route and afterwards we wnet over to DK and his mom would treat us to breakfast. My "usual" was a pecan waffle with blueberries..........mmmmmmmmmmm!!! Later on, I worked the graveyard shift on weekends at the DK on 59 (near Chimney Rosk/Gulfton). I bussed tables, and got my first glimpse of things yet to come............getting something to eat after clubbing. There were some characters to say the least, and years later, I became one of them!

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There was a fine Italian restaurant a block from Rice University that we frequented when our daughter was in school there in the 1980s. I can't remember the name but was so sad when it closed.

Also, the old One's a Meal on Main Street near the theaters.....or is it still there?

Foley's Azalea Terrace and Sakowitz's Sky Terrace...........where Mother and I could lunch when shopping.

Hebert's Restaurant downtown.

And most of all, I think: Alfred's in the Village for best hamburgers in the world!

Edited by ThirdGen

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When I was very young kid (born 1953) there was an old house on a couple of acres not too far away from our home off Southpark (now MLK Blvd.) that was operated as a Italian resturant by what seem to me to be a Italian family. Absolutly great food and homey faimly atmosphere. The house was, what I can only describe as a country mansion and they had turned all the downstairs room in to mini-dinning rooms much like Steak and Ale does. I remember as kid it seemed to me like a country inn stached up from Europe and dropped down here in Texas, bu then again I was a kid, so it may have been nowhere as impressive if I had been an adult.

TEX

The Restaurant you are referring to was Galli's Spaghetti house. The owner, Mary Galli, passed in 1999 at the age of 103. Great place that I wish I could go back to.

Edited by isuredid

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Marini's Empanada House on Westheimer.

Udder Delight Creamery next to Marini's - we always said one could walk back and forth between the two, eating a little at each, until "bloated to critical mass."

I had my first musical gigs at The Bull And Anchor in Westbury Square, but earlier in life was inspired by the live bands at Village Inn.

Cheese Man at Westbury Square.

Marini's Empanada House on Richmond.

Yan Sushi on Holcombe in an old JIB box - they moved to Elgin and are now in Sugar Land, but no drive-thru sushi boxes!

Marini's Empanada House on Hillcroft.

Walkabout Cafe on Hillcroft, later Richmond around the corner.

Original Luke's Hamburgers (Luke Mizell gave it to Annie in the divorce), heck, *any* Luke's.

Marini's Empanada House on Westheimer again, next to Ninfa's by the House Of Pies. *sigh*

GladThey'reStillHere list: Hot Bagels (aka Original New York Bagels), Bellaire Broiler Burger, and I need to get over to Christie's!

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GREEN PARROTT! Great food served in a beautiful large Macgregor/Riverside residence. Anyone remember it's exact location....somewhere in vacinity of what is now Hwy 288 & Macgregor. Timeframe: late 50s/early60s.

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GREEN PARROTT! Great food served in a beautiful large Macgregor/Riverside residence. Anyone remember it's exact location....somewhere in vacinity of what is now Hwy 288 & Macgregor. Timeframe: late 50s/early60s.

it's under 288 now

EDIT: the address was 2314 mac gregor

Edited by gnu

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Oh My God! and we have Marini's Empanada House (one Westheimer on 8mm film) at night! That was a great eatery.

There once was a delicious Mexican Restaurant called Los Pinos at corner of Telephone Road and Dumble rigjht next door to Leonard's Dept store. The lunch plate was only about $3.50 thats right! It was a simple walk in and sit down and order place that easy. Man it was delicious!

Just next door or rather across the street was the Heap O Cream ice cream shoppe. Another Near East End teeny bopper hang out. :D Pineapple Freeze! Yummy!

There was a Luke's Hamburgers just around the corner from here too. They had just simple cheap burgers.

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Hiya...did someone mention "One's a Meal" here? I was just reading my bank statement that came out today, and I saw an entry for a "One's a Meal" restaurant (!) from last month. Since I didn't remember eating at a resturant of that name, I checked in my checkbook, and guess what? It's the Biba's restaurant, the 24-hour Greek place on West Gray street. Not sure if that is the same restaurant someone was talking about, but the coincidence is certainly interesting.

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Oh My God! and we have Marini's Empanada House (one Westheimer on 8mm film) at night! That was a great eatery.

There once was a delicious Mexican Restaurant called Los Pinos at corner of Telephone Road and Dumble rigjht next door to Leonard's Dept store. The lunch plate was only about $3.50 thats right! It was a simple walk in and sit down and order place that easy. Man it was delicious!

Just next door or rather across the street was the Heap O Cream ice cream shoppe. Another Near East End teeny bopper hang out. :D Pineapple Freeze! Yummy!

There was a Luke's Hamburgers just around the corner from here too. They had just simple cheap burgers.

I remember Luke's on Shepherd - yummy burgers!

Hiya...did someone mention "One's a Meal" here? I was just reading my bank statement that came out today, and I saw an entry for a "One's a Meal" restaurant (!) from last month. Since I didn't remember eating at a resturant of that name, I checked in my checkbook, and guess what? It's the Biba's restaurant, the 24-hour Greek place on West Gray street. Not sure if that is the same restaurant someone was talking about, but the coincidence is certainly interesting.

Biba's and One's a Meal are the same entity. I'm not sure if it's still there, but One's a Meal is/was in the old IHOP building on Memorial, near Westcott.

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Marini's Empanada House on Westheimer.

Marini's Empanada House on Richmond.

Marini's Empanada House on Hillcroft.

Marini's Empanada House on Westheimer again, next to Ninfa's by the House Of Pies. *sigh*

You know Marini's is back in business, right? There's one at 10001 Westheimer and another at 3522 S Mason Rd # 100, Katy, TX.

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Christies, the old one on Bellaire Blvd.

We went to this place all the time when I was a kid. Great fried shrimp. Oddly, I heard recently that this wasn't associated with the "real" Christie's.

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Biba's and One's a Meal are the same entity. I'm not sure if it's still there, but One's a Meal is/was in the old IHOP building on Memorial, near Westcott.

Heard that before, somewhere. Biba's was good :P , when I used to go. It was in a googie type building, or a "used to be" carhop type of bldg. I also remember the One's a Meal across the street. Rainbow Lodge was around there too. And that barbeque place behind Bibas.

Edited by NenaE

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You know Marini's is back in business, right? There's one at 10001 Westheimer and another at 3522 S Mason Rd # 100, Katy, TX.

In fact Marini's at Westheimer location is having a BIG party tonight folks!

I was supposed to help with the crowd but have to attend another deal. Try to go as it's a rare event. That place has a very loyal following. They have hundreds of phtos framed on the walls of old customers. The lady told me that one customer found an original menu from around 1979? They framed it. Mr Marini is very active in local non-profit orgs. A good man.

I had not ate there since around 1985 (old location lower Westheimer) never knew they had a fire? They have a huge variety of empenada's. Bon appetit! :D

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In fact Marini's at Westheimer location is having a BIG party tonight folks!

What's the party celebrating?

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Heard that before, somewhere. Biba's was good :P , when I used to go. It was in a googie type building, or a "used to be" carhop type of bldg.

You're talking about the location on Memorial near the park, right? Still there.

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Heights, you are right on! I remember them as Elliot, Walter, and Bennett, if we are talking the same group here. They played at the Steak and Ale on the SW Fwy not far from Sharpstown Mall in the mid-70's. My daughter and some her pubescent friends adored them. My wife took them to see E, W, & B in person and they got to (gulp) talk to them. I forget which was her favorite. I bet that 41 year-old "girl" still has a record or two of theirs.

Saw EWB at Steak & Ale at Gulf Freeway, with my dad. Still have his albums. He loved them. I also remember "Popcorn" local group. I loved "Don the Beachcomber" (Polynesian?) restaurant on Gessner & Westheimer. Gas station-Quick mart now. :angry:

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Saw EWB at Steak & Ale at Gulf Freeway, with my dad. Still have his albums. He loved them. I also remember "Popcorn" local group. I loved "Don the Beachcomber" (Polynesian?) restaurant on Gessner & Westheimer. Gas station-Quick mart now. :angry:

There are some discussions here on HAIF about Don the Beachcomber and other local tiki joints.

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What's the party celebrating?

Millenium Press is having a reunion of writers so they celebrate the culture of Argentina, etc. I apologize I am in a rush. See below! :D ie;el d

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Wow....I've been skimming through this and it really makes me homesick for things that will never be again.

When I was in middle school, the manager of the San Francisco Steak House lived in my neighborhood. His daughter was my age and she had a bunck of their T-Shirts and bragged about being on the trapeze. I think it was a tall tale since she was so young at the time but you never know - life was a bit more relaxed back then.

I was also a mall rat at Sharpstown since I had gone to Sharpstown Middle and a few of my friends lived in that area. I vividly remember the food court and blowing a lot of quarters on air hockey. Remember the days of Tiffany? Kind of scary....

My first job after freshman year of high school was at a movie theatre just north of what was Trader Vic's at Westheimer and Gessner. The last time I looked, the movie theatre is long gone and is now a dance hall.

I grew up in the Gessner/Westheimer area and practically lived at the Galleria with several years of skating lessons and following my dad (an artist) up to the mall to work on weekends. I even later spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school working as a waitress at Farrell's Family Restaurant. I only had one odd experience that year when the father of a birthday boy (about 12/13) wanted to know if his son could pull off my leg garter for a hefty tip. My manager turned all sorts of interesting colors at that request!

Farrell's also owned The Coquery which was next door and kind of a cafeteria style restaurant. My dad was good friends with the manager for years and would set up his rig and do caricatures at the entry way to help him get more of a crowd. He also taught a basic art class there for awhile through HCC.

I can't tell you how many weekends I spent skating, haunting the Farrell's candy shop, and the Joke shop. Does anyone remember the theatre that was just down the way on that level? I remember that was where I saw the first Star Wars and how they made a huge deal about the new speaker system that they installed specifically for that movie. I also saw Legend there (remember all the hayfever fluff?)

There was also a wonderful book store on the same end as the Coquery that had a children's nook. It was great for grabbing the latest thriller/sci-fi and ducking into to read a few chapters first to see if it was worth my babysitting money.

I also miss a great little steakhouse that was just off of Richmond and Hillcroft? named Dirty's. It was part of a small chain and had the biggest chicken fried steaks I have ever seen.

Now I'm stuck in the frozen north and missing a Houston that is completely gone.

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I have been trying to think of the name and location of this one for years. Seemed to be the center of Mexican culture in houston, especially late at night.

Another one I cant remember the name of was a place on Canal that served the best black bean refritos with huevos rancheros.

El Rancho on Canal?

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Someone mentioned Foote's cafeteria. We moved to Westbury in 1963 and went to Foote's after church on Sunday. All you can eat (but only one meat dish) for $1.

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El Rancho on Canal?

I wonder if that was the one near intersection of Milby or near Olshan Lumber Yard? or close to Morales Funeral home? The name seems so familiar. That place was there for many years, I barley remember going as a kid once or twice.

There was another place called the Greenleaf Cafe about a block from the original Ninfa's on Navigation. It was very popular in mid to late 60's. Been gone for years.

There was a great high school hangout burger place directly across the street from Stephen F Austin High School called The Mustang Malt Shop, (Mustang for the school mascot Stevie) Ja! on Dumble street.

Thay had school desks all lined up under a simple overhang so kids could eat and hang out after school. It was owned and run by the couple that lived in the house adjacent to it. Nice old folks.

All now gone just an empty field. Depressing I know. Blah.

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Hello everyone,

First post here and can I just say thanks for making me feel so old! LOL

My list

Numero Uno - The Rail Head (some of the best memories I have of going out to eat)

Others

Pipe Organ Pizza

Beef & Bun

Alfie's fish and chips

York steak house at Memorial City mall

Farrell's ice cream in the Galleria

That Itallian place at Westbury square (Don't remember the name)

Pizza Junction

Goodtime Charlie's at Sharpstown mall back in the day. (What or where we ate didn't matter) If I had those quaters back from Funway freeway now, I'd be a rich man!

And don't laugh....Steak and Egg

Thanks for a great fourm guys, I've had a great trip reading these post.

Regards,

Rhino

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There are some discussions here on HAIF about Don the Beachcomber and other local tiki joints.

Subdude, checked those posts out, those are truly my favorite places...wish I could have seen them in their heyday, especially the one on S. Main with the gas line running to the pond, to light a flame in the middle of it, how cool! to see that at night!

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El Rancho on Canal?

Was it La Merida? It was on canal, but I dont remember where but the most remarkable thing about them was their refried black beans.

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Butera's was a great place - especially the Butera family. I am saddened that nothing remains of Mr. Johnny's legacy.

I was looking at Damian's website and see the place is run by Frankie Mandola and Joseph Butera.

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Out of curiosity I did a Google search on Los Troncos Restaurant and was quite surprised to end up at this site! I was pleased to see that several of the people on this site remembered it. The actual name of the restaurant was Los Troncos de los Arboles - the trunks of the trees. That was a mouthful, however, and the restaurant became known as "The Treehouse Restaurant".

I had arrived in Houston on 12/31/68 after getting out of the navy and worked there for four and a half years while attending the U of H from 1971 to 1975.

It was owned by a wonderful couple named Victor and Sally Sears. Victor was a Jack Kerouac type character who was born in Alabama and after completing his military service in Korea moved to Mexico City where he owned a bar called La Aquaria for about 10 years. In the mid-sixties the Mexican government decided they didn't like his politics so they picked him up one day and drove him to Laredo and said go north and don't come back!

He and his brother cut down the oak trees used in the restaurant from a piece of property they owned up in Conroe and hauled them into town themselves to renovate the old circa 1910 house at Westheimer and California streets in the Montrose.

It was a most unusual restaurant and great for a college student because of the limited operating hours - 6 pm to 10:30 pm Mon.-Thur. and 6 pm - 12 pm Fri & Sat.

It was also the most interesting and fun place I ever worked! One reason was the layout. Almost all of the tables were very private and it was immensly popular with people who did not want to be seen in public with their dinner partners. There was also a bit of hanky-panky that went on in those booths that kept us servers entertained.

In addition, Los Troncos attracted a number of celebrities who visited Houston in those days. I had the pleasure of serving the Edgar Winter Group on one occasion and, on another occasion, I served the winning couple from The Dating Game, which I'm sure many of you recall. It was rather humourous because the two contestants couldn't stand each other :P

I lived in Houston until moving to Austin in 1977 but loved (almost) every minute of living there. It's a great city and I always enjoy visiting there.

Edited by dadyer

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On another note about defunct restaurants...as I mentioned in a previous post, I worked at Los Troncos and lived in the Montrose, so I spent a lot of time in the various bars and restaurants in the area. Ari's was almost next door, the Empanada House across the street. I remember when The Hobbit Hole opened. And Las Casuelas, in the Heights, was definitely the best Mexican restaurant in those days, while Tin Tin Cafe was a regular stop for chinese.

But...how many of you old hippies can remember KFMK, the underground radio station, or the Family Hand Restaurant over on Bagby (I think). Definitely the first "hippie" restaurant in Houston to the best of my recollection. Those folks then moved on and opened Liberty Hall down on Chenervert (I think) where the best music acts were booked on their way to stardom! It was an old American Legion Hall converted to a fairly intimate concert hall/bar/restaurant. I remember seeing Steely Dan, Jimmy Buffet, Asleep at the Wheel, Cold Blood, Sha Na Na, Johnny D and the Rocket 88's, Shiva's Head Band, and the list went on and on.

How about La Carafe down on Market Square? Or Esther's down on the banks of Buffalo Bayou as you crossed over from the Montrose to the Heights? Ted's Bar on Richmond? Richwood Market? And, that Greek restaurant over on the ship channel with the belly dancers and the Greek sailors from the ships dancing with the handkerchifs?

Remember about '72 or '73 when it snowed about 4 or 5 inches one night?

Ahhh...those were great times to be young and alive and in Houston!

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And, that Greek restaurant over on the ship channel with the belly dancers and the Greek sailors from the ships dancing with the handkerchifs?

This place:

athensrest515.jpg

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Back in the 70s, my mom and dad would leave us with a babysitter (rare!) and go out with their pinochle-party friends on date-night to the Athens Bar and Grill. I guess Steak and Ale was just too dull. It must have made an impression, because my mom went through the belly-dancing phase. She took classes, made her own outfits out of chiffon and those jingly things, had the little finger bells, everything.

No wonder my dad stuck with her. Now I'm going to try and not think about it what happened post-belly-dancing performance.

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There was a fine Italian restaurant a block from Rice University that we frequented when our daughter was in school there in the 1980s. I can't remember the name but was so sad when it closed.

Trattoria Pasquale? They moved to Montrose Blvd, I think where Nelore is now.

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