Best Houston spots for Comfort Food

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HOUSTON, TX-- Here in Houston, we love to eat! And this time of the year, nothing tastes better than comfort food. Whether it's chicken and dumplings, chili or homemade macaroni and cheese, the best comfort food takes you back to your childhood. But where can you go in town to find that flashback feeling in food that lives up to what mom used to make? Houstonia magazine has compiled a list of their favorite spots in this month's issue.

"The great thing about comfort food is that it almost defies description other than to say it's the food that you love, that you grew up with, that you are nostalgic for," says Houstonia's dining and features editor Katharine Shilcutt. "It's the food that someone who loved you made for you."

Among the magazine's picks for best chicken fried steak spots is Goodson's Cafe in Tomball. Goodson's is the self-proclaimed "Home of the Best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas." And we can tell you firsthand, they're not just bragging. With well-deserved media coverage, they have become a destination spot for chicken fried steak lovers all over the world.

"The batter that they fry it in is just excellent," says Charlie Patterson, a regular at Goodson's Cafe with wife Diane.

For chili, Houstonia picks JCI Grill's version with beans as a favorite, tied with the beanless, mega-meaty recipe at Goode's Armadillo Palace. Levi Goode, owner of the Armadillo Palace, prides himself on his grandmother's "bean-free" recipe. "As far as I'm concerned, beans are filler," he says, though he does admit to indulging in JCI Grill's chili dogs on occasion.

In a poll, Houstonia asked its readers what their favorite comfort food is. The clear winner was mac 'n' cheese. Good news for Kimberly Alvarez, owner of 'Jus' Mac,' the only restaurant in town dedicated solely to the tasty treat. In the five years since Jus' Mac opened in the Heights, Alvarez has added a second popular location in Montrose and says she hopes to expand to the Memorial and Katy areas soon.

For a full guide to Houston's best spots for comfort food, pick up a copy of this month's Houstonia.