The Annie Café & Bar 

In 2019 Berg Hospitality Group (of B&B Butchers fame) reopened the cozy Café Annie in partnership with the restaurant’s legendary chef Robert Del Grande, who’s now back in the kitchen and producing Texas cuisine that’s as thrilling as ever. There’s heritage chicken with fricassee of mushrooms, cipollini onions, and grilled bacon; Gulf crab tostadas; and bacon-wrapped quail. Even as takeout (in durable and well-marked containers), these decadent dishes taste like the perfect night out.  

Aria Suya 

Do mind the menu at this trendy, refined Nigerian eatery: a dish called asun, or roasted goat meat with jollof rice and plantains, is marked by a chile pepper icon for good reason. It’s an explosive plate that’ll make even the proudest fire-eater sweat. For something mellower, try jollof beans cooked in tomato sauce and served with fried tilapia and sweet plantains. As for the namesake dish, suya—skewered meat, usually chicken or beef—it has lingering heat thanks to a chile-flecked rub..

House of Pies 

If tucking into a chicken-fried steak topped with thick, white gravy and a couple of fried eggs at any time of the day sounds like nirvana, enlightenment is always on offer—literally 24/7—at this Houston institution. If that sounds too heavy, opt for their veggie omelet loaded with mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions, but nobody ever dares leave without a slice of pie. You can’t go wrong on this front, because all their pies are incredible, but if you’re feeling super-indulgent nab a piece of the infamous Bayou Goo, featuring stacks on stacks of cream cheese, vanilla custard, and chocolate chunks and shavings in a pecan crust.

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