Since Covid-19 is still here and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we’ll bring you each week a roundup of takeout meals recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm.
Smokin' Z's BBQ
Down by the bay in Hitchcock, just off Highway 6 before it meets up with I-45 en route to Galveston, is a barbecue spot that's getting some considerable heat. It deserves it.
Smokin' Z's BBQ is run out of a turquoise trailer. You'll find a few picnic tables onsite; otherwise, you can eat your grub to-go. Everything is smoked over post oak, though you may be questioning that method because everything has such a layered complexity of flavors.
You'll want the brisket, which was perfectly rendered with a fantastic peppery bark; the ribs that held both a potent smokiness and a kiss of something sweet; the half chicken with more pepper and juicy white meat; and the outstanding, moist pulled pork. Sides include cornbread soufflé, jalapeño cream corn, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad. The cornbread won me over with its fresh-out-of-the-oven taste, still very fluffy with the right sweetness.
The mudbugs are big right now, baby. I mean, it's only early April and these things are substantial. Consider: I ordered a scant pound of crawdads from this popular H-Town outfit with locations in Bellaire and the Heights, and I probably got a dozen total.
Were they good? Naturally. I chose Crawfish Cafe's signature blend, which mixes garlic butter and the spicy, citrusy kickin' Cajun flavors for the ultimate VietCajun explosion. The heat? I turned it up to X-Spicy, cementing that lips would be numb for the entire evening. That stuff is hot. For people who don't want tons of spice, I recommend medium.
Looking for everyday Mediterranean food on the west side of Houston? Fadi's has been around forever (since 1996, to be exact) and shouldn't be overlooked as a restaurant that quietly updates and keeps with the times while offering quality.
A large Greek salad, some thick, homemade pita, and creamy hummus is enough for me. But the chicken shawarma meal, made for families with three sides, a pound of rice, and four pitas, is a perfect weekday takeout meal. Fadi's is as reliable as it gets.