Any bad day can instantly turn around with a glimpse of a queso-washed enchilada platter from Tony’s, the ever-popular Timbergrove Tex-Mex outpost that’s also home to thoughtfully mixed margaritas to go. The gravy-powered beef enchiladas with silky smooth refried beans and golden rice will transport you to cloud nine. As if it couldn’t get better, an order of chips—with queso blanco, naturally, when this seasonal appetizer is on offer—comes in a brown paper bag so you can see the fresh grease coming through. Such happy sights.
Hughie’s is what every longstanding neighborhood hang should aspire to be: familiar, relaxing, and offering enough twists and turns on the menu to have you seeking out their soothingly nourishing Vietnamese dishes time and again. From authentic banh mi to vermicelli noodles and fried rice, it’s hard to go wrong with takeout, but any order should include two things: the crispy egg rolls, cha gio, with fish sauce, pickled carrots, and lettuce (for wrapping), and the steamed dumplings with chile lime soy sauce, which hold up surprisingly well on the go. (And Hughie's has some incredible chicken-fried steak game, as well!)
If you can’t be home on the range, bring the range home with you, courtesy of Donnette Hansen’s four-decade-old institution of fine Texas cuisine. She sells quarts of the beloved duck gumbo, while chicken-fried venison and big game—elk, quail, buffalo—are classic orders, as are the butter-happy mashed potatoes slathered in thick, pepper gravy. For a lighter side, the smoked gouda and black pepper orzo with wild mushrooms is perfectly rustic. Save room for the blueberry-topped, ultra-tart lemon icebox pie, which has caused many a plate to be licked clean.
Tecate’s has been serving up a staunchly reassuring form of Tex-Mex for years that those in the know adore. There’s always a morning rush to snag their beloved breakfast tacos, but for our money the verde chicken enchiladas—coming out of the kitchen steaming hot, and served up with the perfect allotment of rice and refried beans—are even better. Add a homemade tamale to your order if you’re feeling extra hungry.