1) Support a local business - Many of the restaurants in my area that offer international cuisines are local businesses, owned my local entrepreneurs. Supporting local business puts money back into the community where I live, thereby sustaining it's growth - all around a good thing I think!
2) Appreciate other cultures - trying foods from other cultures gives me a way to learn about other cultures.
3) Be open minded - you might even LIKE the new stuff you try! Heck, I would rather chomp down on some sushi over your run of the mill Chili's or Olive Garden any night of the week.
4) Save money - Many times a local restaurant prices dishes fairly and relatively cheaply (in comparison to like dishes at the big name places). These restaurants may also offer coupons to get customers in the door.
5) Be healthy - Local business most often use fresh ingredients and cook up the dishes to order. Again, unlike the big names where you are probably getting something that's been defrosted and thrown into an oven to heat up before arriving on your plate.
So with all those convincing reasons why one would want to eat locally and adventurously, I am eating my way through Houston by trying to dine at all the restaurants featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network (Triple D). I started this adventure a little under a year ago when my sister visited in Jan 2010. Ever since then, every time I turn around, there's a new Houston restaurant being featured on that show! How lucky am I to live in a large city with tons of unique places to eat?! Here is the list I am working from:
Kenny & Ziggy's Deli - a real life NY Delicatessen. They make their Pastrami in house. Everything served in this place (including their sandwiches, pies and cheesecakes) is HUGE.
Niko Niko's - Hands down the BEST gyro EVER.
Cafe Pita - One of (if not the only) Bosnian restaurant in the US and my most recent restaurant visited. I had to drive 45 min to get there! It was totally worth it, and I will be back. Check out my pictures below!
|The outside of Cafe Pita. On the corner of a strip mall way far away, but oh was it worth the drive.|
|Guy Fieri (host of Triple D) signed the wall! How awesome is that? I promise I'm totally not a stalker... well maybe only slightly.|
|Here's me eating a PLJESKAVICE - Ground beef patties mixed with flavorful spices served with lepinja bread and stuffed with mozz. cheese,mushrooms and crushed peppers|
Lankford Grocery - Haven't been here yet. Their mission statement says they never give you a check, but that doesn't mean it's free... hmm it's definitely got me interested.
T-Bone Tom's - This one is near my house and is a local favorite. The armadillo eggs are a tasty creation to try!
Bob's Taco Station - Haven't been here yet, and I don't know anything about it. But judging from the pictures, it looks pretty authentic.