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Comfort Food Takeout Guide: Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

In this neighborhood: BBQ, fried chicken, and vegetarian Indian buffet.

By Timothy Malcolm Published in the Fall issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Marco Torres

Gatlin’s BBQ 

In 2015 Greg Gatlin moved his über-popular barbecue joint from a tiny Heights cottage to a 130-seat space on Ella Boulevard befitting his scrumptious ’cue. The tender beef spareribs are heavenly, as is the hickory-smoked brisket (get moist and lean together). For sides, you can’t go wrong with the dirty rice or the creamy creamy mac ‘n’ cheese.

Barbecue Inn 

For almost 75 years the question has been posed here: “What’ll ya have, shug?” And the answer has always been the same: While their barbecue is incredible, the Southern fried chicken has to be experienced to be believed. Why? The crispy topography of batter covering the most succulent chicken, for starters. And since a plate here includes heavily mashed red-skin potatoes, spicy rough-chopped green beans, and an honest-to-goodness slice of white bread, it’s a meal that’s stood the test of time. Add a slice of pecan or lemon-meringue pie to top it off, if you can find the room.


Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are vegan-only days at this fully vegetarian Indian buffet that’s gone carry-out-only because of Covid. The dishes on offer change daily, but the takeout plates tend to cover a lot of ground—basmati rice, curry with vegetables, scrambled tofu (which really does taste like eggs) or barbecue tofu, chana masala, roti, and a small dessert (delicious chocolate cake, mango and strawberry rice pudding). You can add samosas, vegan brownies, and more à la carte items to your order, too.

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