Take Out


River Oaks

Vibrant mosaics, lively murals, bold colors, and a bustling social scene make La Griglia a top destination for dining out. Happily, the food is just as bright and confident as the interior. The shrimp-and-crab cheesecake gets lots of attention, and seared diver scallops are delicious as well. Main-course offerings run the gamut from rotisserie duck with raspberry sauce to honey-glazed pork loin and veal scaloppine. Consider, too, seared baby snapper, the roasted wild boar chop, and romano-crusted trout. The bar offers an animated scene too.

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Becks Prime

The original location of this local chain promises an imaginative array of mesquite-grilled hamburgers and a spacious patio for outdoor dining. Choices are practically endless, whether you choose one of the specialty burgers or opt for a salad, baked potato, bowl of chili, hot dog, or chicken filet sandwich. Wash your lunch down with a wonderful milkshake, or choose from a variety of beers and wines. Other locations in the Houston area.

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Amy's Ice Creams

Youngsters adore this fun, funky place as much for its eclectic interior and can't-miss rooftop cows as for its superb ice creams. Of course, adults also find much to appreciate, whether it's a serving of addictive Mexican vanilla or a swirl of white and Belgian chocolate. Seasonal offerings include amaretto peach and watermelon ice, and fruit ices accommodate folks watching calories. Seven flavors are typically available at any one time from their slate of dozens, and mix-ins and coffee drinks can be had as well.

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Upper Kirby District
Dessert Gallery

Since it premiered in 1995, Dessert Gallery has found abundant favor with Houston folks, both for its tasty sandwiches (grilled mozzarella, turkey reuben, roast beef and cheddar) and its sumptuous desserts. Homemade treats are as beautiful as they are delicious, and you can either sample them by the slice in the cafe or take them home in a variety of sizes. Sinful selections include fudge pecan pie, key lime cheesecake, French vanilla cake, lemon squares, peanut butter truffles, and white chocolate-macadamia nut chunk cookies. Coffee drinks are a fantastic accompaniment.

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Café Express

Café Express provides fresh, handmade food in a sophisticated, urban setting. A stylish interior features natural stone and recessed lighting; al fresco dining is also an option. Made-to-order dishes can be kicked up with special olive oils, Dijon mustard, fine vinegars, olives, capers, cornichons, and sun-dried tomatoes. For a sweet ending, consider cookies, brownies and other made-fresh desserts. Beverages include beers, wines, and coffee drinks like cappuccinos and espressos. Great for quick, delicious meals or lingering with friends.

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River Oaks

Since 1951, this local treasure has been catering to Houston appetites with what may just be "Texas's best BBQ." Outside, Otto's sports the sort of rusticity you'd expect from an eatery that specializes in barbecued beef, ribs, links, pork, and ham – an aluminum roof, weathered wood siding, and plenty of picnic tables on the "front porch." People who don't care for barbecue can opt for a special double-meat burger and an order of crisp French fries. Keep your eyes peeled too – Otto's bills itself as the place where "the President eats beef."

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A Moveable Feast

Originally a health food and vitamin store, this restaurant developed from the owners' desire to share the belief that healthy eating tastes great. All dishes are made fresh in-house and never have anything artificial added to them. Special diet? No problem – they "specialize in special requests." The menu offers soups, sandwiches, desserts, breakfast items, and tasty entrées that will surely have you coming back to try what you didn't get to order the first time. A limited selection of beer and wine is available, or you can bring your own.

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Tony Mandolas's Gulf Coast Kitchen

Locals heap high praise on Tony Mandola's awesome fare, including Gulf Coast seafood dishes that reflect the owner's Italian and Cajun roots. The long, narrow dining area has a Mediterranean feel and offers a sleek, casual backdrop ideal for partaking of a unique menu. Kick off your meal with a famous appetizer – perhaps Oysters Buccaneer with spinach or Calamari a la Mama, lightly battered and served with lemon butter sauce. More serious affairs include Louisiana-style fried catfish with seasonal veggies, blackened snapper topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro, and fabulous seafood pasta dishes.

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Egg Cetera

All organic and all amazingly tasty, the breakfast specialties are praised far and wide. People go well out of their way to eat here, sometimes trekking up from the city several times a week to get their fill of lemon ricotta pancakes, crab cake benedict, and the most creative omelettes and skillets, EVER. Great soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers too!

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Set in a lovely historic building, Hugo's serves regional Mexican cuisine that's a far cry from typical chips-and-salsa fare. Instead, you'll discover complex flavors and textures that'll definitely shake up your expectations of south-of-the-border cookery. Gorditas come stuffed with chicken, pork, and rabbit, while quesadillas feature everything from achiote-marinated pork to Swiss chard and potatoes. Other options: roasted goat, slow-cooked baby pig, grilled beef tenderloin, and bacon-wrapped shrimp. Incredible sauces and marinades really kick up the flavor. On Sundays, the brunch buffet lets you feast to the accompaniment of live music.

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