Baseball fans are superstitious. Like, the most superstitious. So, this morning, with my Houston Astros just hours away from competing in their second-ever World Series (it’s weird to even type that sentence), I thought that I needed some food from Houston to sustain me and stoke the baseball karma. Sadly, some of my first choices have left town. The Austin franchise of Houston’s La Crawfish (a Vietnamese crawfish restaurant) was short-lived at Northcross Mall, and my beloved James Coney Island, Ninfa’s and Antone’s Po’Boys shuttered long ago (though I think they could survive in Austin now if they found spots with reasonable rents). But there are still quite a few restaurants in Austin that have Houston ties. Some are owned by the restaurant group in Houston, while others are franchises, but they all got their start in Space City, the home of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel and the rest.
If you’re a die-hard Astros fan and are crazy enough to believe that eating food from a restaurant that got its start in the home of the Houston 9 will bring the team good luck, or if maybe you just need to stress-eat, then head on out to one of these places in the coming days for lunch or dinner.
Cyclone Anaya’s Tex-Mex Cantina. 3120 Palm Way Suite 170. 512-339-6277, catexmexcantina.com. A Mexican wrestling legend and a former Miss Houston married and started not only a family but a famous chain of Tex-Mex restaurants. Now there’s one in Austin.
Lupe Tortilla. 701 Loop 360, 512-582-2205; 10515 N. MoPac. 512-582-2201, lupetortilla.com. This family-friendly Tex-Mex spot that opened in 1983 in Houston has outposts near West Lake and in far North Austin near the Domain.
McCormick & Schmick’s. 11600 Century Oaks Terrace, 512-836-0500, mccormickandschmicks.com; and Saltgrass Steak House, 10614 Research Blvd. 512-340-0040, saltgrass.com. Steaks and seafood from Landy’s Inc., which is owned by newly minted Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertita. That’s gotta count for something in the karma department, right?
Pappasito’s. 6513 N. I-35. 512-459-9214, pappasitos.com. They marinate their beef fajitas in a mixture of pineapple juice and soy sauce (or at least they used to), and the results are wonderful. This restaurant holds a special place in my heart, and not just because I worked at the Richmond Avenue location in 1998.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. 114 W. Seventh St. 512-474-6300, perryssteakhouse.com. The downtown Austin location is grand and Houstontatious, so are the steaks and the massive pork chop. You may even be able to get the piano player to play “Go Go Astros,” if you tip him enough.
Tiny Boxwoods. 1503 W. 35th St. 512-220-0698, tinyboxwoods.com. Wanna feel like a River Oaks socialite? This posh little spot in Bryker Woods has you covered.
Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House. 400 Colorado St. 512-482-9000; 10225 Research Blvd. Suite 4000. 512-794-8300, trulucks.com. Truluck’s originated in Houston in 1992, with the first Austin location opening in 2000. And, if I’m not mistaken, they used to advertise in and around Houston sporting events. Just eat a filet and some stone crab claws and you won’t really care.