Restaurants

Community Restaurants

Rita’s Cantina

Image Source: http://ritascantinamxkitchen.com/

I love Tex Mex and Rita’s Cantina on Hwy 249 is my favorite in the area. It’s barely in the area. It is only a 15 minute drive from the back of the Woodlands, but it seems like it is in another place altogether. Its address is Pinehurst and is on Hwy 249 just south of Hardin Simmons Rd. It is better than all the others in The Woodlands and worth the short drive every time. This is an old school family owned restaurant and the owner is likely to wait on you. The food is amazing. You have to order the dirty queso. It’s not on the menu, so remember this tip. The dirty queso is white queso filled with ground beef and topped with guacamole. Chopped tomatoes and jalapeños are served on the side. The other thing that is amazing on the menu is the beef fajitas. Always cooked to perfection, they are tender and beautiful. You can get homemade flour or cornmeal tortillas with them. They are the best around. I also like the seafood enchiladas. They are a weight watchers nightmare, but so worth it! For dessert, they are famous for their quattro leches cake. Trust me. Order it. They serve three meals a day and the last time I had lunch there, the table next to us was ordering breakfast and it looked amazing. So you know where I will be the next time I go out for breakfast. My mouth is already watering!

Community Restaurants

105 Cafe

Image Source: http://105cafe.com/

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to eat out. I do it often and I know all the breakfast places in The Woodlands and just outside. 105 Cafe is in Conroe, but is part of my regular rotation because of the amazing bacon. It is really a very short trip just north of the Woodlands. Did I mention bacon? You can order it three ways and I always go with crispy. It is perfect every time. 105 Cafe has a ton of breakfast options as well as some great lunch salads, sandwiches, and soups. The buttermilk pancakes are huge and wonderful. I love them. The omelets and skillets have some excellent healthy options like the Mediterranean omelet and the organic spinach and feta omelet. One of my favorites is the smoked chicken with avocado and salsa and the Philly Cheesesteak omelet. I also love the Rancher skillet with smoked chicken, broccoli, tomatoes and hollandaise sauce. Heaven on a plate. This is a place that your healthy organic eating friend can eat while you have some biscuits and gravy! At lunch, the Reuben and the fish tacos are excellent choices as are the huge Angus beef burgers. The service is always very friendly and makes me want to go back the next day. It is totally worth the drive to Conroe.

Community Restaurants

Landry’s Seafood

Image Source: http://www.landrysseafood.com/location-the-woodlands.asp

While Landry’s is a chain, our local one in The Woodlands is exceptionally good. I’m always surprised by how great it is.  The service and food have both improved in the last few years and is now on my regular rotation. One of my pet peeves is when fish is over cooked.  At Landry’s, they get it right every time.  It is always moist and perfectly cooked.  There are many many kinds of fish to choose from. On a recent visit, there were nine different kinds of fish to choose from. And there are many different ways to prepare them, from fried, broiled, blackened, pan-seared, or grilled.  Once you decide what kind of fish and how prepared, you can select from many delicious sauces.  My favorite is the crawfish etoufee. It is rich and decadent and pairs well with a moist broiled fish.  I also love the firecracker shrimp with its spicy sweet bite. The Melissa topping has shrimp, scallops, crab, and mushrooms.  Entrees are served with a generous helping of salad that is fresh and plentiful. There are many other items besides fish to order.  They have cold water and gulf oysters. Their gumbo is excellent.  They have shrimp and grits, po-boys, all manner of shellfish, salads, and pastas.  The crawfish bread appetizer is totally addictive and a must order.  Landry’s also has an excellent bar and Happy Hour.  I love the happy hour drink and food specials.  The firecracker shrimp and the fried zucchini are always my favorite.  The fish tacos are a close second.  For any seafood you desire, Landry’s is a great place to get your fix.

Community Restaurants

The Chipper

Image Source: Facebook

Several months ago, the lady who works at the British Depot store near the Tamina Farmers Market just west of the Woodlands, told me about a new fish and chips shop opening in the area. I have been anticipating this opening ever since. And boy, The Chipper lives up to all my waiting and wondering and anticipating. I had high expectations. This is authentic, outstanding fish and chips. They sell haddock and cod and the haddock is crazy good. The chips (or fries to us Yanks) are the best I’ve ever had. They are historic, and I can’t stop eating them. My favorite thing they sell is the mushy peas. I love mushy peas. If you’ve never had them, you have to try them. They have a nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the fish and chips. They also sell a dill flavored tartar sauce and a curry sauce. Their traditional English pies (different meat pies) are excellent too. If you are adventurous, they sell haggis. This is a small shop with about four tables, typical of fish and chip shops in England. Because of the small size, I usually get mine to go. Currently, they are open Wednesday through Saturday noon to 8pm. Go enjoy our little spot of England in Texas.

Community Restaurants

Huti’s 5 Free-Fire Grill

Image Source: http://www.hutis5.com/

If you want to eat excellent HEALTHY food in a fast casual atmosphere, look no further than Huti’s 5.  While it is ‘order at the counter’ and you have to clear your dishes like at home, this healthy eatery has an urban trendy atmosphere.  Maybe it is the industrial decor or the beers on tap or the craft sodas, but it feels like a cool funky place in an urban area.  The 5 in the name comes from the five steps to ordering.  First you pick your main.  The selection includes beef, chicken, salmon, pork, and even Feijoada (Portuguese stew).  I like that you can see everything as you are ordering. Then you choose your base from white rice, brown rice, or fresh crispy organic greens (salad).  Next you pick a side dish.  My favorite is the fire grilled squash.  Other options include roasted root vegetables, street corn, black beans, super greens, and plantains.  Next you sauce it up from some amazing options.  I love to mix them.  My favorite is peri peri and creamy avocado.  The creamy avocado balances the heat in the peri peri to perfection.  The chimichuri is also a favorite.  Step five is to top it off with something like white queso fresco, oranges, vinaigrette or sour cream drizzle.  The combinations are endless!  I was really pleased at how healthy and fresh the food is.  I have a couple of favorites.  My number one is chicken with salad greens topped with fire grilled squash and zucchini and finished with creamy avocado and peri peri sauce.  I add whatever tempts me at step 5.  Another favorite is the Feijoada with brown rice, street corn, and chimichuri.  This food is so delicious and it is healthy too.  The nutritional information is on the back of the menu so you can feel very proud of the meal you put together.  Because of the combinations, healthy eating has never been more fun and creative.