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Historic Houston Restaurants


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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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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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Chili's was across Fountainview from the Magnolia. Chili's was a wooden green building with white trim. That's were I got hooked on chips and salsa after moving here in '79 (oh, and Margarita's too).

We used to go to that Chili's specifically for the milkshakes. :wub:

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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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No sir, Toddle Houses were all over South Texas. The one in Stafford was the last one i can remember visiting. There were other locations on South Main, Gessner (North of Bellfort), also visited them in Victoria, and Corpus.

Also had a brainlock yesterday trying to remember Yamins (good pizza, AWESOME Po Boy's). Locations were Hillcroft, Buffalo Speedway, and Westheimer (just inside the loop). I'd literally kill for a PoBoy served warm with melting cheese like that again! <jk>

What this town needs is a good Beer Garden serving up Po Boys and the like..... :wub:

Good Lord! I had not heard of Toddle House in years! They seemed to be everywhere. I heard they had a mean breakfast. Getting hungry just thinking about it. (Stomache grumble) :P

Thanks for jogging the old memory banks.

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Also had a brainlock yesterday trying to remember Yamins (good pizza, AWESOME Po Boy's). Locations were Hillcroft, Buffalo Speedway, and Westheimer (just inside the loop). I'd literally kill for a PoBoy served warm with melting cheese like that again! <jk>

There was one on I-45 at Edgebrook. I miss those po-boys, too.

Edited by memebag
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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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Lockwood Inn and Cozy Kitchen barbecue on Lockwood and 1-10 East Frwy. Only Cozy Kitchen remains but has changed names. (Close to McReynold's Jr High School and that very old cemetary).

Lockwood Inn was the place to go after dancing, etc according to relatives as far back as the early 1940's. They had some of the best links and barbq sauce in the world. Served simple on a paper tray if to go or on a plain white plate with plain sliced bread. The sliced beef was killer. You could smell the aroma for miles it seemed. It was very hard to keep driving past since the aroma would put (me) into a trance. The sandwiches were as little as $2.00 up until about mid 1980's, then a terrible fire took the whole place down. The place had been handed down from one generation to the next.

All that remains is the broken out plastic sign above on the pole. Lockwood Inn was a true icon of that area. This is real old Houston. Nothing has ever matched this great place since. :mellow:

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"Lockwood Inn and Cozy Kitchen barbecue on Lockwood and 1-10 East Frwy"

The old BBQ Inn on Crosstimbers and Yale is still there ... and I remember Price's 19 cent hamburgers ... they had a hamburger stand on Bingle Road, I believe. And what was the name of that all you can eat Mexican food place on Longpoint? Also, I had several dates at the Copper Goblet on Hempstead Highway near I-610; it was my favorite restaurant in the 1970s. Wienerschnitzel on Longpoint is now Otilia's Mexican Restaurant.

Edited by Glitterik Eastend
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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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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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I realize this is a 2 year old post, but I have to wax nostalgic about these two places.

These were the best empanadas I've ever had. The menu was huge. I think there were over 100 different kinds of empanadas. The original joint was tiny, with bull fighting posters on the walls and tables and chairs made from old barrels. I remember a few other locations later on, including one in Good Time Charlies at Sharpstown Mall. There was a location on Hillcroft that changed its name to Marines in the 90s when Marini opened up a new place on Westheimer. None of them are as good as the original, when grandma was making them in the back.

This place was incredible. They had a huge White Mountain ice cream freezer in the store, just like the one we had when I was a kid, except much larger. The ice cream they made tasted exactly like home made ice cream, because it was. There was a location on Guadalupe in Austin during the mid 80s.

It makes me sad to think of how great these places were.

Another place I miss was Phil's (where 59 Diner on Shepherd is now). I remember going there in the late 70s or early 80s and it wasn't a retro 50s restaurant, it was like someone had preserved a 50s restaurant, including the waitresses. Best chicken fried steak I ever had.

There was also a Phil's on Mandell just north of Richmond until the late fifties or very early sixties. I don't know if it co-existed with the Phil's that became the 59 Diner or if it relocated there, but my mother discovered the 59 Diner in the late 80's and began eating there often. One day when she was 80 she had her caregiver drive her there for lunch and discovered she had forgotten her money. Phil (the original Phil, from when 59 Diner was Phil's) was there, working as a host. He lent her the money to pay for her lunch. Of course, she remembered him from when he owned the Phile's on Mandell.

Also in the 50's, there was a little restaurant on Richmond at Mandell, just behind where Lucky Burger is, owned by an elderly couple named Golberg or some similar name. Mr. Goldberg was regularly mightily offended when my father would ask for Worcestershire sauce to put on his roast beef; he (the owner/chef) would say indignantly, as he dutifully brought the sauce, "How can you cover up the flavor of my delicious roast beef with that hot sauce?! And besides, it's bad for you! Worcester sauce draws the water out of your system!"

In the same little shopping center in the 1600 block of Richmond, there were also a variety store and a little drug store with a soda fountain where I remember getting 3 scoops of ice cream for 15 cents.

Does anybody remember the Whataburger or der Wienerschnitzel on Westheimer at the curve, west of Yoakum? It was one of the old A-Frame structures and it was orange.

I remember it. In the late sixties a red-haired high school classmate of mine named Ronnie worked there.

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Does anybody remember the Whataburger or der Wienerschnitzel on Westheimer at the curve, west of Yoakum? It was one of the old A-Frame structures and it was orange.

There was a Der Weinerschnitzel on far end of Telephone Road near Bellfort intersection. Must have closed in early 80's? The only time I have seen that place still in operation was in SoCal or rather LA area. The design was so unique and modern was much steeper than any Whataburger pitched roof.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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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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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I have been trying to remember the names of las conseulas and tin tin cafe for years. I remember the family hand and I worked at hobbit hole, but I also remembe the family child, and there was a kundalini (sic) restaraunt behind "a movable feast" which was on westheimer, that had the most excellent enchiladas and salads.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Does anybody remember the Tiki Room ( I think that was the name) on S. Main just down from Sonny Looks?

Trader Vics or the Poly-Asian. There are threads here about those two restaurants with pics.

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Trader Vics or the Poly-Asian. There are threads here about those two restaurants with pics.

Those threads about the Polynesian restaurants are some of my favorites. When I was small, my great-grandmother would occasionally treat the whole family to a Sunday afternoon meal at Jimmie Walkers in Kemah. For everyday, though, it was always a treat just to go the "Jack in the Box" on Friday evening, drive thru to see the clown, and get a "balloon" w/ hamburger w/secret sauce. No happy meals then, & no toy. :o:D I liked that clown, heard they got rid of it because kids were scared of it. :rolleyes: It talked, you know.

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I liked that clown, heard they got rid of it because kids were scared of it. :rolleyes: It talked, you know.

I loved that clown too, not to mention the old building design which was actualy a box.

Not sure thats the reason they got rid of it though. I think it was just a part of some goggle faced executives' plan to spruce up the company's image, and make it more upscale. :lol: This was the same time that they introduced the "steak sandwich" which actualy was a steak on a hoggie roll. It wasn't too bad either.

The biggest goof they made though, was blowing up the drive thru clown in the TV comercials. Do you remember the lawsuit that resulted from that. One family sued the company saying that their child would no longer go to Jack in the Box because she was having nightmares about the clown exploding, and was even scared to pass by one on the street! If memory serves....they won!

It was years before anyone saw "Jack" again.

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Del Taco is long gone from Texas, but alive and well in California. I saw several in San Diego last weekend.

Weren't Showbiz and Chuck E. Cheese two different companies that merged at some point? Neither was very good; the only real attraction there was the games.

Chuck E. Cheese sued Showbiz and they merged as a result. I remember Showbiz as a kid.

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There was a Der Weinerschnitzel on far end of Telephone Road near Bellfort intersection. Must have closed in early 80's? The only time I have seen that place still in operation was in SoCal or rather LA area. The design was so unique and modern was much steeper than any Whataburger pitched roof.

I forgot about that place, went to the one in Pasadena.

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The Pleasant Peasant on N. Post Oak on the curve - great breakfasts, lunches, a very gracious owner and friendly staff, famous for its Peasant Pecan Pie.

The Courtyard on the Katy Fwy, now a Salt Grass Steakhouse - prime rib, king crab legs, margaritas, .... drool

The Stables on S. Main - same company as the Courtyard

The Sunday Lunch/Brunch Buffet at the Warwick, as famous for its ice sculpture and panoramic view of Rice, Hermann Park and S. Main as for the food.

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Here's a few more that I remember going to as a kid:

John's BBQ-just off Houston Ave. -lots of politicos used to go here for lunch(dad was one of them of course!)

Majorca's-a Mediterranean restaurant in Clear Lake-I believe it was on the (what is now) the South Shore Harbor side.

Chesterfield-was under the First City bank Building-Leo Kalinsakis owned it-first time I ever had lamb shank.

Bayou Inn-on Heights, just south of I-10-fried quail on Tuesdays.

Oggerro's -family owned Italian on Bellfort near Mykawa.

The Warwick-back in the day, best Mother's Day/Easter buffet

Joe Lee's-near Jimmy Walker's in Kemah. Had excellent turtle soup.

Bars:

Joe Star's Omni-in Montrose-lots of punk.

Damians/Carnaby's-owned by the same folks. Both were houses that had music/beer. One was behind the River oaks theater, and one was in the Montrose. Mainly jazz, but I saw Eric Johnson there when he was about 17 years old.

Corky's-still miss Jimmy Don Smith & The Cold Cuts!

Rockers-I think it was on Gessner. Saw the Talking Heads there.

Texas Opry House-legendary live music bar. Saw Devo, T. Heads, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and many more.

The Nesadel Club-Pasadena-owned by S. Cryer & Micky Gilly back then-before the 'feud'

FM

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Jenny's Hideaway on Alabama near the Menil parking lot. Probably the first and most successful conversion of that old house into a restaurant.

Harlow's Hollywood Cafe on Hillcroft. Late hours and chocolate cheesecake for dessert!

Great thread. Being new here I'm glad someone ressurected it or I might never have found it. Jenny's and Harlow's were two of my favorite places back in the 80s. I was very sorry to see Jenny's close. Harlow's had the best split pea soup on the planet!

Another place my friends and I used to frequent was Stax at Richmond and Montrose. Used to love to drop in there for an early breakfast after an all night gaming marathon (on an Apple IIe no less :D )

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Would this have been the same as the Courtyard on Fondren? If so, then I do agree! ;)

I think there was more than one location of the Courtyard but I don't remember where - on Fondren at ???

Steak House Associates was the name of the company and they owned the 2 Stables restaurants, Bordman's, a seafood place on Westheimer where Chuy's is now, and Bud Bigelow's, another steakhouse on Westheimer in the Galleria area.

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Another place my friends and I used to frequent was Stax at Richmond and Montrose. Used to love to drop in there for an early breakfast after an all night gaming marathon (on an Apple IIe no less :D )

We used to drop in there for a late dinner/early breakfast after the bars closed. :D

I dimly recall that it used to be a Steak 'n Egg Kitchen before it was Stacks.

steaknegg.jpg

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  • The title was changed to Historic Houston Restaurants

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