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A bowl of pho might not cure you, but it'll help make you feel better.

The holidays mean close contact with strangers, whether it be at the store, on an airplane, during a party or any other number of social situations. So many people interacting so many times in relatively small locations means germs are being spread left and right. Add to that the dreary weather, the type of coastal chill that seeps into your clothes and lingers in your feet for minutes after you make your way back indoors, and the result is that you or someone you know is likely sick right now, and if not, then you've probably had someone tell you that "there's something going around."  

In a perfect world, everyone would be able to take the medicine they need and get all the rest they want, but alas, the only world we have is this one. That means for a lot of us there is no time to slow down once the sickness sinks in, leading to us living stuffy-headed lives while daydreaming of warm beds and clear noses. When our bodies betray us and the medicine only goes so far, we turn to that one thing we can count on, provided our stomachs aren't in on the mutiny: food. 

A good dish might not result in a clean bill of health, but it can go a long way to making you feel at least a little more human. Although I know that it's not going to fix the core problem, when I'm not feeling well I turn to my comfort food favorites: mac 'n' cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. A trip to Jus' Mac or any number of spots that serve up a solid grilled cheese option—no lie, Golden Coral has a shockingly good grilled cheese—helps keep the misery at bay for a few hours. 

Talking to some of my fellow Houstonians, I had multiple people mention that they turn to pho when sickness strikes, which means it's probably a good time to revisit some of our favorite pho spots in town. If Mexican food is more your speed, a good chicken tortilla soup or caldo de pollo might be just what you're abuela ordered, after she rubs an egg on you, naturally. If your throat can handle something spicy, finding the spiciest dish you can to clear out your sinuses in a big way. 

Here's a short list of ideas from friends I trust, should your head be too stuffy to make any dining decisions. If you have a suggestion you want to share with the rest of us, please let me know. 

  • Infernal Chicken Curry from Jenni's Noodle House. "Hot, medium spice, simple, delicious." 
  • Tacos Tierra Caliente. "Something very spicy to clear out the sinuses." 
  • Chicken tortilla soup from El Rey. "It works every time." 
  • Mish mosh soup from Kenny & Ziggy’s. This suggestion was followed by multiple exclamation points. 
  • Bun Bo Hue from Mai's 
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In this Article

Mai's Restaurant

$$ Vietnamese 3403 Milam St.

Mai’s is the grande dame of late-night dining in the Bayou City, the place where many Houstonians tried their first bowl of pho, the spot where Midtown clubg...

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Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant

$$ Deli, Sandwiches Multiple Locations

Ziggy Gruber says that his Galleria deli on Post Oak, Kenny & Ziggy’s, is “the best New York deli in America,” and he isn’t kidding. The once-proud fixtu...

El Rey Taqueria

$ Cuban, Mexican/Tex-Mex Multiple Locations

Can't decide between a Cuban lunch and a Mexican one? The four locations of this small Houston chain allow you to feast on a Cubano and ropa vieja or tortill...

Jenni’s Noodle House

$$ Pan-Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian Multiple Locations

This local chain turns out Americanized renditions of pan-Asian classics, from pho to ramen. Stick-on tattoos and a picture menu call out to the kids, while ...

Jus’ Mac

$$ American/New American Multiple Locations

Yes, there is a local restaurant chain that specializes in macaroni and cheese—if you’re an aficionado and you haven’t been there, correct course immediately...

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