What We're Ordering Out This Week: Po' Boys and Malaysian Street Food
Since Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we’ll bring you each week a roundup of takeout dinners recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm.
One of Katy's best restaurants, Phat Eatery, is now more accessible to inner loopers, thanks to its arrival at the South Central Houston ghost kitchen enterprise Blodgett Food Hall. The satellite location has a few Phat Eatery favorites, like the irresistible roti canai with curry sauce and the spicy beef rendang in coconut curry. But don't overlook the Vietnamese street foods from Yelo, the newest concept from Phat Eatery's Alex Au-Yeung, in collaboration with chef Cuc Lam, opening soon in Katy.
Yelo's banh mi sandwiches are packed with protein and fresh veggies. Try the pho-rench dip, a brisket banh mi accompanied by a thin, salty, and lightly sweet bone broth. Here's hoping Lam makes pho at Yelo some day.
Somewhere between your neighborhood pizza place's pasta offerings and a night out at Da Marco is a place like Cavatore, where entrées are generally around $20, if not less expensive, and you can be assured of a pretty decent meal. To go along with a dinner of cannelloni della casa and pollo rollatini (with a far too salty demi-glace, unfortunately), the kids got a small pizza. It worked like a charm. A little something for everyone, and sometimes that's what I need out of my Italian restaurant.
My favorite single food is the East Coast oyster, best enjoyed raw, by the dozen, and in warm weather with a martini. Maybe that's a consequence of my East Coast upbringing (like many things are).
Speaking of: I wasn't raised with the po' boy, but the Louisiana seafood version reminds me of the fried clam shacks I'd seek out up in New England and coastal New York. That feels right to me. Connections can be made, and I can be very happy seeing oysters battered and fried, fitting in cozily with a bunch of salad stuff in between two gum-slicing halves of bread.
I'll take my fried oyster po' boy from Calliope's, known for some of Houston's best sandwiches of the Louisiana seafood-style variety. It's fried oysters, pickles, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and mayonnaise. If I'm not getting 'em raw with a martini, this'll do just fine.
Iwa Ya Teppanyaki & Sushi
Sushi in Houston is a lot like Italian food in Houston—we have a few top draws and then a whole bunch of neighborhood spots that make good weekday haunts. Iwa Ya is somewhere in between, offering inventive maki where flavors seem to be dialed up a notch. Take, for instance, the Crazy Lion with salmon two ways (spicy and cooked with a blowtorch) and hot mayo, or just the fact that the "spicy (insert protein here)" roll has more heat than your at standard neighborhood sushi bar. If in the mood for sushi and you're thinking Chinatown/Asiatown, this place is my recommendation.