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Defunct Houston Restaurants

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Iron Tiger:  MOST of Houston's Tex-Mex restaurants are unremarkable. They're adequate for a meal out, and you probably won't come home with food poisoning, but they're nothing to write home about. There are some that are better than adequate, and a small few that are simply great, even "remarkable, but I'm keeping their names to myself.

 

Nothing ruins a great restaurant quicker than spreading the word about how great they are. As Yogi Berra once said about a certain New York City restaurant he once frequented: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too popular."

 

Just kidding. I will share the name of the single finest Mexican Restaurant I ever went to when we lived in Houston. Notice I said "Mexican." It isn't strictly Tex-Mex. It serves real Mexican food found in the southern region of Mexico's interior. On any given evening you will find most of the people eating there are Latinos.

 

The name is Romero's Las Brazas Mexican Kitchen. It's at Hwy 6 and Longenbaugh in Copperfield, about 2 miles south of 290.

 

http://romeroslasbrazas.com/

 

Check it out. It's worth the drive to Copperfield. I promise you won't be disappointed. When our son got married in 2006 we held the rehearsal dinner there. It was fantastic.

Edited by FilioScotia
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You know what Mexican restaurant I miss?  Las Alamedas on the Katy Freeway.  Going there always seemed like a special occasion.

 

We even had a special Las Alamedas song (to the tune of Guantanamera):

"Las Alamedas

We ate at Las Alamedas!

Las Alameeeeedas!

We ate at Las Alamedas.."

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Iron Tiger:  MOST of Houston's Tex-Mex restaurants are unremarkable. They're adequate for a meal out, and you probably won't come home with food poisoning, but they're nothing to write home about. There are some that are better than adequate, and a small few that are simply great, even "remarkable, but I'm keeping their names to myself.

 

Nothing ruins a great restaurant quicker than spreading the word about how great they are. As Yogi Berra once said about a certain New York City restaurant he once frequented: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too popular."

 

Just kidding. I will share the name of the single finest Mexican Restaurant I ever went to when we lived in Houston. Notice I said "Mexican." It isn't strictly Tex-Mex. It serves real Mexican food found in the southern region of Mexico's interior. On any given evening you will find most of the people eating there are Latinos.

 

The name is Romero's Las Brazas Mexican Kitchen. It's at Hwy 6 and Longenbaugh in Copperfield, about 2 miles south of 290.

 

http://romeroslasbrazas.com/

 

Check it out. It's worth the drive to Copperfield. I promise you won't be disappointed. When our son got married in 2006 we held the rehearsal dinner there. It was fantastic.

 

Great tip.  Thanks!

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Las Alamedas closed in 2008, didn't it?

 

That sounds about right.  Someone (they, or at least family members) eventually opened another Las Alamedas in Cinco Ranch.  The setting is different and they have altered the menu, but the food is good and reminds me of the original location.  They also opened a place in Addicks called Las Ventanas, which strikes me as a bit more casual, but is also good.

 

As with any place that aspires to be "interior Mexican" here, they both have to walk a fine line between authenticity and appealing to Anglo-Texan tastes.  Fortunately, they both seem to also draw a large number of affluent Spanish-speakers from Mexico, which I guess helps them avoid having to turn the menu into Tex-Mex in order to stay in business.

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Was it the recession or the widening of Katy Freeway that killed Las Alamedas?

More of a landlord issue, if I remember correctly.

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Was it the recession or the widening of Katy Freeway that killed Las Alamedas?

 

Yeah the property owner died. The surviving family then opened a property dispute. So when the lease that was valid when the owner died, finally expired. A new lease couldn't be granted due to ownership disputes.

 

Eventually the restaurant just relocated. I believe they're out in Katy now. I'm not sure if a deal was ever met on the ownership of the property. Even if it was though, that strip of land is nothing like it once was in terms of businesses. So you'd probably be hard pressed to find someone willing to take that big of a lot that they'd have to tear down anyways. (I don't think that building has been maintained since 2009).

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Does anybody around here remember Las Casuelas? The greatest Mexican food restaurant in Houston history? In a big old house at the corner of Fulton and Quitman out in the barrio on the near north side? I think it was even better than the original Ninfa's on Navigation.

 

 

I remember it well, or pretty well. :blush:   It was a great all night greasy spoon for menudo, caldo de res, etc. and as much atmosphere as I've ever experienced. 

 

BTW...there is still a Las Cazuelas on Little York in the Northside, but I have serious doubts it's affiliated in any way.

 

 

Edited by fortbendtomontrose

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I will share the name of the single finest Mexican Restaurant I ever went to when we lived in Houston. Notice I said "Mexican." It isn't strictly Tex-Mex. It serves real Mexican food found in the southern region of Mexico's interior. On any given evening you will find most of the people eating there are Latinos.

 

The name is Romero's Las Brazas Mexican Kitchen. It's at Hwy 6 and Longenbaugh in Copperfield, about 2 miles south of 290.

 

http://romeroslasbrazas.com/

 

Check it out. It's worth the drive to Copperfield. I promise you won't be disappointed. When our son got married in 2006 we held the rehearsal dinner there. It was fantastic.

Oooooh, thanks! Right around the corner from home. :)

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"SINGLEPORSALINGS"

I dare you to say that 5 times really fast. tongue.gif

Ummm, I'm putting up SQUARE PAN PIZZA here. I just talked about it in another thread, but it just popped into my mind. One of the absolute BEST pizza places ever. It was on the NW side of town in a strip mall, on 290 and 34th I think.

Square Pan Pizza in NW Mall was the best!!!!

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You know what Mexican restaurant I miss?  Las Alamedas on the Katy Freeway.  Going there always seemed like a special occasion.

 

   Amalia's.  She had 4 locations at one time; one near the Highway 6/Longenbaugh place someone else mentioned...

 

   The last one was very close to where I live now; Grant and Louetta.  Unfortunately, it's long closed, and "replaced" by a place I'll never go into.

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Not really a restaurant but rather a cafeteria but I remember a chain of cafeterias called Thornhill's. The one I went to most often was at Palm Center, but as I recall, there was also one near Gulfgate on Winkler near the corner of Woodridge.

 

The thing I most remember was their conveyor belt. It was set up in such a way that you put your tray with the dirty dishes on it and the conveyor belt took those dishes back to the dish washing area thus eliminating the need for people to pick up the dirty dishes and carry them back to the washing area. There were several openings along the length of the mostly enclosed conveyor which served the function of stations in which you could deposit your dishes.

 

Can't remember anything about the food.

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Add Roznovsky's to the list. They've been closed since Ron Roznovsky passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in February, and I don't think anyone really expected them to reopen, but the Chron is reporting that Braun Enterprises has purchased the building with an eye toward leasing it to another tenant. 

 

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2015/04/roznovskys-hamburgers-building-trades-hands/

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The Los Alamedas building with the bayou view (I-10, just outside 610 Loop) is gone now. 

 

Yeah the property owner died. The surviving family then opened a property dispute. So when the lease that was valid when the owner died, finally expired. A new lease couldn't be granted due to ownership disputes.

 

Eventually the restaurant just relocated. I believe they're out in Katy now. I'm not sure if a deal was ever met on the ownership of the property. Even if it was though, that strip of land is nothing like it once was in terms of businesses. So you'd probably be hard pressed to find someone willing to take that big of a lot that they'd have to tear down anyways. (I don't think that building has been maintained since 2009).

 

The Los Alamedas building with the bayou view is gone now. 

 

And that Thornhills near Woodridge and Gulfgate, what was near it? I can't recall ever seeing it. I know that area well.

Edited by NenaE

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I really miss the Las Alamedas on Voss.  I remember it as being one of several nice, relatively authentic, Mexican restaurants opened (or invested in) in Houston during the oil boom of the early 80s by wealthy folks from Mexico City.

 

It wasn't actually on the bayou (Buffalo), but was on a tributary of it, which was rather deep and picturesque.   Before it was built, there was a "Putt-putt" miniature golf course in about the same spot, which was a lot of fun.  It was situated on a steep gradient, very unusual for Houston.  Unfortunately, like many other such rare places, it got filled in to make it more suitable for building on.

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The Thornhill's was in a little center on the south side of Winkler, just before it runs into Woodridge, the address was 320 Winkler.

 

 

 

 

 

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post-9739-0-23242800-1430751846.jpg

Edited by msteele6

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Kahn's Deli is no more - although the *real* Kahn's Deli died when Mike Kahn sold the business and then left shortly thereafter several years ago. I remember when it first opened, and quickly became a haven for hungry Rice students and West U residents. 

 

Quite a bit of misinformation here:

 

http://swamplot.com/kahns-deli-quietly-calls-it-quits-after-67-years-in-the-rice-village/2015-05-15/

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Rong Sing in Town and Country. Panjo's too. Mom never let me get an airplane shaped pizza, lol. Monterey House on Gessner. God help us all if a stray onion bit arrived with my Saltillo Plate back then.

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Though we were never allowed to eat there I want the big bull from El Toro d'Oro on Long Point. It's even cooler than the big boy in front of Kip's in Highland Village.

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Several from long ago in my childhood when we used to come to Houston to see my grandparents:

-Kapan's on South Main at Kirby (where the Eckerd's is now), our usual Sunday after church lunch place - good steaks and seafood, and those excellent crab ball appetizers that the guy in the white suit used to bring around to all the tables

-Angelo's, another long gone seafood restuarant

-The Strawberry Patch on Westheimer, the Pappas family's country/home cooking concept (Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is there now)

-Tokyo Gardens, the first place I ever had Japanese ssullivan, I know you penned this 11 years ago but my heart skipped a beat when I saw you not only loved the BEST& classiest seafood restaurant in Houston, Kaphans, but you also appreciated the magnificent dining experience my sister & I loved at Tokyo Gardens!  So long ago, but my palette learned to appreciate the best and it's literally gone from Houston!   No lumb crab meat au gratin, oysters with sherry sauce, which Peter also took to tables as toothpick appetizers, and then there was the traditional and almost sacred ritual of dining at Tokyo Gardens with our shoes off, seated on the floor and a regal & graceful Japanese lady in Kumono serving us 4 course meals with the delicacy of a butterfly!   Thank you.  I just moved back home after living out of state for 30 years.  I miss the Appalachian foothills of Cincinnati, my horse and my home.....I sure wish these 2 stellar restaurants were around to soothe my soul.  

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I know you penned this 11 years ago but my heart skipped a beat when I saw you not only loved the BEST& classiest seafood restaurant in Houston, Kaphans, but you also appreciated the magnificent dining experience my sister & I loved at Tokyo Gardens!  So long ago, but my palette learned to appreciate the best and it's literally gone from Houston!   No lumb crab meat au gratin, oysters with sherry sauce, which Peter also took to tables as toothpick appetizers, and then there was the traditional and almost sacred ritual of dining at Tokyo Gardens with our shoes off, seated on the floor and a regal & graceful Japanese lady in Kumono serving us 4 course meals with the delicacy of a butterfly!   Thank you.  I just moved back home after living out of state for 30 years.  I miss the Appalachian foothills of Cincinnati, my horse and my home.....I sure wish these 2 stellar restaurants were around to soothe my soul!   No one will probably ever read this but I feel better having communicated with someone of like memories....thank you!  

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Crescent City Beignets has closed it's last location on Westheimer near River Oaks.  For a few years they had another location on Westheimer near Kirkwood plus some others.  They closed that one and the others and shrank down to the River Oaks store until a month or two ago.

 

Anyone got suggestions for alternate places to get a beignet fix?

 

It looks like Crescent City might be making a comeback.  We saw what looks like a new one going into a shopping center on Westheimer east of the Hillcroft/Voss intersection.

 

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It looks like Crescent City might be making a comeback.  We saw what looks like a new one going into a shopping center on Westheimer east of the Hillcroft/Voss intersection.

 

 

It's open!  Now if we could just kick Krispy Kreme in the pants...

 

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It's open! Now if we could just kick Krispy Kreme in the pants...

Their website had said "June TBD", but since another month passed, maybe it's June 2016 at this rate...

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Pino's

Safari, a steak house I think in the Galleria area.

Also  a place called Fishermen s Wharf, I think it was near the astrodome,  had a 7 or so course meal  and it was fantastic, at least when I was a kid. I remember the big biscuits and strawberry jelly 

Dermeris BBQ too 

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Also  a place called Fishermen s Wharf, I think it was near the astrodome,  had a 7 or so course meal  and it was fantastic, at least when I was a kid. I remember the big biscuits and strawberry jelly 

Dermeris BBQ too 

 

Demeris isn't defunct, they just moved from the old location on Hempstead to a new outpost in the strip center on the corner of 18th & 610. And of course the W. Alabama location is still where it's always been. 

Edited by mkultra25

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Angelo's Fisherman's Wharf, now a self-storage facility according to an earlier post here on HAIF.  In the 40s/50s there was an Angelo's on Westheimer across from the Tower Theater with an oyster bar, I presume the same people.  I only went to Angelo's once or twice, I think.  I preferred Gaido's, Kaphan's, George Dentler's Pier 21 for seafood.

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6601 Fondren, the former location of Sharpstown Chinese Buffet. The food there was so bad that i felt like it was my duty to dine and dash the only time i ever went there is 1989..

 

it was razed last week for a gas station

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Ari's Grenouille on memorial, Achille's-next to the Kroger on Memorial, Mississippi Mining Co., Panjo's Pizza on the old West Belt & Memorial, Prince's Hamburgers in the old Town & Country,York Steak House, Alfred's in the old T&C,. Dale's Celebrity Café, in Memorial City mall.  

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Yes. After about 10 years on Westheimer @ Mandell, the restaurant moved out on Memorial just east of Dairy Ashford, as I recall. Ca. late 70s-early 80s. I went only once. It lacked the charm of the original for me. I don't think it lasted but 4 or 5 years there.

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Yes. After about 10 years on Westheimer @ Mandell, the restaurant moved out on Memorial just east of Dairy Ashford, as I recall. Ca. late 70s-early 80s. I went only once. It lacked the charm of the original for me. I don't think it lasted but 4 or 5 years there.

 

I worked there in the summer of '77. Kitchen prep work, and desserts. Ari was a great man to work for. My parents ate there every Friday, until I told them Ari's stepson was spitting in the food.

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Anyone remember Spoons on Gessner by the Katy Freeway. Closed down in the late 80's or 90's.

Dream

 

There was a Luther's next to it.

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Ari's G. was on Westheimer....did it move to Memorial??

 

I worked at Ari's from May '77 to Aug. '77. I was the dessert "chef", and made the French onion soup, and the garlic bread. Ari had a direct phone line installed from the kitchen to the bar, and we could order whatever we wanted. My favorite waitress was GiGi. Ari would let us have steaks after work, and we would go out to his house on some weekends to work on his property.

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If you like seafood AND are old enough, you might remember:

1. Jimmy Walkers (now Landry's in Kemah)

2. The San Jacinto Inn (near Battleship Texas)

3. Tomek's (we'll make the location a trivia question).

 

IIRC Tomek's was on Old Galveston somewhere south of where 610 now sits. My mom loved the steaks there (in the early 60's) but drove the chef to distraction. She wanted a moist, juicy steak but freaked if there was even a hint of pink.

 

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On 2/12/2016 at 8:40 PM, ArchMemoH said:

remember toddle house, i got former locations to list

Hey does anyone remember the name of that cafe' kinda like House of Pies I think that is now a sex toy shop at the corner of Westheimer and 610 right next to the Galleria?

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26 minutes ago, west7t4 said:

Hey does anyone remember the name of that cafe' kinda like House of Pies I think that is now a sex toy shop at the corner of Westheimer and 610 right next to the Galleria?

It was Luke's Hamburgers prior to its current incarnation as Zone D'Erotica, but before Luke's it was originally a Roy Rogers restaurant. 

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44 minutes ago, mkultra25 said:

It was Luke's Hamburgers prior to its current incarnation as Zone D'Erotica, but before Luke's it was originally a Roy Rogers restaurant. 

Sorry, mkultra, but you have forgotten an incarnation of the building. Before Zone d'Erotica it was a head shop named the Houston 420. The 420 is what replaced Luke's, after sitting dormant for several years.

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 Tomek's was on Old Galveston somewhere south of where 610 now sits. 

Tomek's Steak House was on the old La Porte Rd just outside the Pasadena city limits next door to the oil refinery.  I went to Pasadena High School in the 50s with the owners' son Marcus Tomek. 

Edited by FilioScotia
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23 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

Sorry, mkultra, but you have forgotten an incarnation of the building. Before Zone d'Erotica it was a head shop named the Houston 420. The 420 is what replaced Luke's, after sitting dormant for several years.

Quite right. Can't believe I forgot that place. 

interstate1.jpg

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Does anyone remember El Yucatan on Hwy 6, about a block or two south of I-10? It was just south of Grisby on the west side of 6. It closed around 2002-2004.

They had hundreds of photos of Pancho Villa on the walls. Tucked away on one of these walls was a small print of what looked like somebody in a panda suit "wrestling" with a nun in a sort of nature scene. It was quite magnificent!

I really wish I had a camera phone back then, because I have yet to find this image anywhere on the internet.

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Does anyone remember the name and have pics of the Polynesian restaurant that was off of South Main, down from Sonny Look's? It had tiki torches all the way up the drive to the restaurant. It was a stand alone restaurant, so I'm pretty sure it was not Trader Vic's. But I could be wrong.

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