If you haven't been to Pittsburgh, San Diego or Houston, you're seriously missing out. We asked three native sons to dish on their home turf. Here, Ford Fry gives his best Houston travel tips: “Growing up here I always thought the city was a combination of country club, Tex-Mex and barbecue,” Fry says. “Now every time I come back, there’s something new and exciting.” He is doing his part to add to that excitement with his ode to the Texas steakhouse, State of Grace, which he opened recently in the posh River Oaks neighborhood.
“At Triniti restaurant, chef Ryan Hildebrand is known for his great burgers, and now he has a spot dedicated to them. I’m excited to try the Frito Pie burger, with all the same ingredients as the notorious bagged snack piled high on the patty.” 1112 Shepherd Dr.; fmburger.com.
“The general manager at State of Grace is really into Greek wines and recommended Helen. It has a great list, with bottles that are hard to find anywhere else. And the orange-and-fennel salad and warm flatbreads are amazing.” 2429 Rice Blvd.; helengreekfoodandwine.com.
“A late-night spot in the Sixth Ward where you can go with friends and chill with masterful cocktails from bartender Alba Huerta. My drink of choice: the mint julep blended with two bourbons.” 1919 Washington Ave.; julephouston.com.
“I’m so glad Killen’s is now in Pearland. Everyone has a favorite spot for barbecue, and this is mine. It’s all about the brisket, short ribs and sausage, but my favorite is the short rib, perfectly cooked and practically falling off the bone.” 3613 E. Broadway, Pearland; killensbarbecue.com.
“Houston has such a rich and exciting Vietnamese culinary influence, but it’s not commonly seen in fine dining. So I’m excited about what chef Nicole Routhier is doing, elevating traditional dishes like vit quay—half a lacquered Maple Leaf Farms duck, roasted and deboned, with sticky rice cakes and house pickles.” 4444 Westheimer Rd.; lecolonialhouston.com.
“I went with David Bueher from Blacksmith coffee and Justin Yu of Oxheart, and we blew it out. Of all the things we ordered, I especially loved the tea-smoked duck and red-oil pork dumplings.” 1201 Westheimer Rd.; 832-767-0911.
“It’s nice to have more places in Houston that feel super welcoming, where you can get not only a great cup of coffee but also a full brunch, then stay the entire day with a good book or friends.” 4721 N. Main St.; 832-806-1115.
“Ryan Lachaine is a great chef, so I’m really looking forward to what he has planned for Riel. Dishes will certainly have interesting global spins from his extensive travels, which I love to follow on Instagram.” 1927 Fairview St.; rielhouston.com.