Where to find a memorable meal in Clear Lake
When my husband and I decided to move to Clear Lake from the restaurant-dense Montrose area 18 years ago, everyone reassured us marvelous food awaited us.
What we found were lots of good restaurants and at least one representative from every restaurant chain, but not as many memorable standouts as you might think.
Think I've missed or misjudged a few? Here are my personal favorites:
Frenchies: The best of the best. When my mother or mother-in-law visit, this Italian hole-in-the-strip-mall is where they always ask to go, and not just to make me happy. We three can't bring ourselves to order anything other than the chicken crepes, but other authentic Italian dishes like prosciutto with melon come highly recommended, too. Proprietor Frankie Camera, the guy with the Italian accent who's usually calling out order numbers over the intercom at lunch time, is the essence of the place, along with a gazillion autographed photos of astronauts and celebrities tacked on the wall. Go elbow-to-elbow with the NASA lunch crowd and order at the counter if you want the crepes. Go for a sit-down dinner at night if you can't take the intercom and mid-day chaos. 1041 NASA Parkway, Houston.
Greek Deli Cafe and Imports: The decor consists of little more than photographs of Greek platters you can order and a wall of Greek groceries you can take home. More off-putting may be Internet reviews comparing the Greek owner to the Soup Nazi. But as far as I'm concerned, that's all irrelevant. It's all about the food. I get cravings for the lowly gyros and spiced potatoes, but pretty much everything here satisfies. BTW, the resident curmudgeon has always been perfectly nice to me. 16701 El Camino Real, Houston.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille: Having lived in West Texas for some years, I spent my first few in the Houston area trying to find a steak that measured up. I finally found a tender contender at Perry's. Clear Lake's Bay Area location has a little too much "casual elegance" for my tastes, but you can always zip over to the more unassuming Perry's Market & Grille in Friendswood or on Scarsdale if slabs of raw meat in a butcher case don't dent your appetite. 487 Bay Area Blvd., Houston.
Clifton By The Sea: In my ongoing search for great waterfront seafood, I ate at this diner half a dozen times before I finally hit on something to rave about. That would be the fried crawfish. The view of Galveston Bay isn't bad either, so Clifton's gets a mention even though some might say San Leon isn't quite in the Clear Lake area. And by the way, it's back in business after Hurricane Ike, despite what you might see at restaurant-review sites. 10 Grand Ave., San Leon.
Do you have a Clear Lake favorite? A closer seafood place you love? Mexican? Vietnamese? What about League City restaurants? Share your picks by commenting below.
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