Image: Marco Torres

Houston This Is It Soul Food

Yes, the homestyle grub at this 61-year-old family-run business on the edge of the Third Ward is the perfect picture of nostalgia—the juicy oxtails resting in a buttery braising liquid, the rib-coating mac ‘n’ cheese, the sweet brown-sugary yams. The food is, to be frank, perfect: never oversalted, and, like the service itself, it seems to be all about love and care. But more, This Is It’s contactless, hot box pickup process may be the safest and most efficient way of conveying takeout we’ve seen in this pandemic to date. 

Lucille’s

The menu at Lucille’s is hands-down a greatest hits of soul food: the smothered steak, catfish and grits, a bone-in pork chop, and the ultra-crispy yardbird with a side of mashed potatoes that calls for who knows how much butter (the more the merrier, right?). But our must-order? The plump, golden biscuits filled with chile and jalapeños, just like chef Chris Williams’s grandmother Lucille Bishop Smith, a pioneering Texas cooking teacher and writer, made them.

Spanish Village Restaurant 

Is this Tex-Mex stalwart, serving fried-egg-topped cheese and onion enchiladas and other specialties since 1953, the ultimate in Houston comfort food? Whether you’re getting those inimitable enchiladas, beef fajitas al carbon, or even crispy Southern fried chicken (seriously), you’ll be going home with tried-and-true feel-good grub. Just be sure to pair your meal with a house margarita or two.

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