Top 10 Restaurants in Gulfton
Two weekends ago, I called my father up to see if he wanted lunch. I was craving pupusas and was pretty certain he'd never had any. And what Mexican man wouldn't enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of tortillas, beans, cheese, many combinations thereof and as many bowls of chicken soup as you can pour down your throat?
Photo by Troy Fields Making fresh tortillas for baleadas at Honduras Maya.
"Where are we going?" he asked as I climbed into his truck.
"Pupusa Buffet, on Bellaire," I replied.
"Where on Bellaire?" he asked again.
I hesitated. Finally: "Over in Gulfton."
"The Gulfton ghetto? Great," was his somewhat grumbled reply. The Gulfton ghetto -- as it's still called, although it's less "ghetto" these days -- was his old beat when he was a young HPD officer many years ago. More recently, it was the site of the city's largest pro-immigration rally when more than 7,000 people took to the streets to protest the passage of Arizona's SB 1070 bill in May of this year.
It's not surprising that the march took place in an area like Gulfton, where immigrants from all over the world have made their home. Unlike the old days that my father remembers, when Hispanic -- predominately Mexican -- restaurants were the norm, Gulfton now possesses such a wide range of ethnic cuisines, restaurants and grocery stores, it can almost be seen as a microcosm of Houston.
Below are our 10 favorite spots to eat in the area. If we missed any of yours, sound off in the comments section below.
10. Pupusa Buffet
5920 Bellaire Boulevard
What to get: The $4.99 all-you-can-eat buffet, which includes spicy chicken soup and at least six different pupusas at any given time. Vegetarians, take heart: There are bean-and-cheese-only pupusas, as well as loroco, made with squash. Wash it down with a glass of jamaica and a sweet tamal de elote for dessert.
9. Tierras Colombianas
What to get: Empanadas (not your standard Mexican empanadas, obviously) and the bandeja paisa plate, which is big enough to share between two people and allows you both to sample a little bit of everything that the restaurant offers.
8. Sabor! Central American Cuisine
5712 Bellaire Boulevard
Cuisine: Salvadoran, although there are some Honduran items as well
What to get: Breakfast, which is enormous -- eggs, plantains, rice, beans and more -- and comes with warmly spiced Salvadoran coffee. You'll drink so much of it that you'll be wired the rest of the day, but it's worth it. Pupusas are another sure bet here.