1. The Cookhouse
702 E. Mistletoe Ave.
Though some may miss the allure of fresh sangria at the old Carmens De La Calle location, it's hard to argue with The Cookhouse's appeal. As a lunch time joint, the eatery is often filled to the brim with eaters in the mood for comforting Creole and Cajun bites, like spicy boudin balls, blackened catfish and sinful debris fries (a poutine-esque dish of house fries topped with roast beef gravy and cheese). One can't overlook the hefty po'boys, filled with freshly fried shrimp, catfish, chicken livers (no, really!) and hot sausage; the messy roast beef debris (whose juice will run down your arm if eaten correctly); and the peacemaker, a harmonious union of fried oysters and crispy bacon. Though lunch at The Cookhouse is a must-have, dinner is equally recommended. The open kitchen comes alive as chef and staff serve up modern takes on New Orleans flavors. Our most recent visit was filled with honest flavors and jazzy notes from the incomparable Jim Cullum. Laissez les bon temps rouler, indeed! As the only eatery to receive a Bon Appétit nod this year, Hot Joy earns a spot on our list for an insane first year of playful pan-Asian cuisine, while the folks at Folc are raising the bar on simply delicious American fare.
1014 S. Alamo St.
226 E. Olmos Dr.
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