Earlier this week over on Wanderlust, we unveiled the ongoing Texas Music Map, in which we are attempting to pinpoint the locales that inspired hundreds of Texas songs.

Of course, we've focused most keenly on the Houston area, and in doing so, we found about 20 songs that at least name-checked Houston restaurants.

Here are eleven of them.

11. "La Tapatia" by Houston often-hilarious psych rockers Linus Pauling Quartet. Just your everyday, run-of-the-mill Satanic death metal tribute to a beloved, once-gritty Montrose taqueria. 

10. "Poppa Burger," by indie-pop rockers Junior Varsity. A sassy and catchy commercial for the venerable 24-hour Near Northside burger shack.

9. "Showdown at the 59 Diner" by Sprawl. Frenetic funk-rap-rock by one of Houston's most popular '90s bands about a memorable night at the landmark Shepherd Plaza burgers and shakes joint.

8. In "The Almighty Dollar," Devin the Dude is too cash-strapped to do anything more than smell the chicken at Frenchy's, which also figures in Beyonce's "Bow Down" and many, many other songs. Here's Devin:

7. "Goin' to Da Clinic" is an extremely NSFW (language) cautionary tale on suicidally unsafe sex by K-Rino, an underground legend and the most gifted pure lyricist in Houston rap history. Here he says one woman "is hotter than the barbecue sauce at Timmy Chan's."  The local chicken and Chinese chain is by far the most-mentioned restaurant in Houston music, especially rap.

6.  Pappadeaux is up there in rap circles with Timmy Chan's and Frenchy's. Back when hip-hop was fascinated with all things pimp, it helped that Pappadeux was famous for peddling shrimp. Ten years ago Mississippi rapper David Banner teamed up with southside Houston rapper Lil' Flip, who opined that the ladies liked "the way me and Banner pimp /  You can catch us at Pappadeaux / Eating steak and shrimp." On "I'm a Pimp," Mike Jones added a third line to the pimp-shrimp rhyme scheme with his laughably terrible "I'm a pimp, I walk with a limp, stepping into Pappadeaux eating on some shrimp."  Not Houston hip-hop's finest moment. Here's Banner and Fliperace:

5. Along with Lil' Keke, Paul Wall was a guest rapper on Jones's "I'm A Pimp," and "the People's Champ" sent out a rare tribute to a Houston Mexican restaurant when he declared that all drinks were on him at the now-shuttered Cabo. Since it shouts out two restaurants, we'll go ahead and embed this tune, even though it's mediocre and has the worst line of Mike Jones's career. (He had some highlights too -- I still like "Still Tippin'" and "Back Then.")

4. Talk about foresight -- back in 1995, on "Caffeine," Houston's ska kings the Suspects shouted-out two restaurants that are still here 18 years later: Mai's (famous for iced coffee) and Cafe Brasil: "I'd like to kill all the people at Brasil but the house blend really rocks my world."  "Caffeine" was 1995's song of the year at the Houston Press Music Awards.

3. Speaking of caffeine, Diedrich Coffee garnered a mention in Craig Kinsey's "Montrose Boulevard Blues." 

2. Though known more as a bar, Under the Volcano is classed by the City of Houston as a restaurant. On "Neon River," country-rocker Jubal Lee Young exults that after miles on the road, he's almost at his home away from home "Under the Volcano."

1. Though the others are not ranked in any particular order, we've saved the absolute best for last: "Last Concert Cafe" by country-rockers Horseshoe, whose chorus goes like this: "I've got my backpack and rollin' papers, wrinkled old suit and a pack of Lifesavers, another day, another test of my faith: sittin' in a booth watchin' the rain at the Last Concert Cafe."

 

 Know of some we left off? Please add them in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Filed under
Show Comments