Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s Best Secret Menu Items — the Restaurant Dishes That Only Those in the Know Can Get

Are you Ready for a $120 Sandwich?

BY // 08.31.18

Some of the hottest restaurants in Houston are having a little hush-hush fun, serving up delicious dishes that don’t ever make it onto the menu, but will land at your table if you know what to ask for — discretely. From an uber-luxe $120 sandwich — yes a $120 sandwich — to an over-the-top burger named for a Texas ghost town, here are seven secret off-menu Houston dishes that will have you ordering like an insider.

A5 Wagyu Katsu Sando at B&B Butchers & Restaurant

1814 Washington

Houston-born Beyonce can’t get enough of B&B Butchers and Restaurant. The superstar regularly hits up the swank steakhouse when she’s in Houston. Join the VIP ranks with a meal here, and order the off-menu A5 Wagyu Katsu Sando.

This show-stopping sandwich, cut into thirds, features a deep-fried panko-crusted A5 Japanese Wagyu sirloin, plus a schmear of Japanese barbecue sauce, served on buttery toasted Japanese white bread with a side of zucchini fries. It will set you back a cool $120, but that’s the price you pay for dining like a rock star.

Note: The Katsu Sando only has to be asked for through Labor Day. After that, it’s getting a permanent spot on B&B’s menu.

Sweet Shrimp Sushi at Kata Robata

3600 Kirby


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Regulars at Upper Kirby sushi spot Kata Robata know to order the sweet shrimp sushi/sashimi ($6) and aji sashimi (Japanese horse mackerel; market price) with a tempura twist. And now, so do you.

Request your shrimp heads and the fish tails fried. Trust us, it’s a deliciously-crispy bite you don’t want to miss.

Crab Mac and Cheese at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

1200 McKinney

5839 Westheimer

Pure decadence, the crab mac and cheese ($16.95) at the elegant Pappas Bros. Steakhouse comes with Havarti and white cheddar cheeses, orecchiette pasta and lump crabmeat. This dish may not be in print, but all you have to do is ask and it’s yours.

Terlingua at Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Multiple locations

Inventive burgers, frothy milkshakes, and ice-cold brews are the hallmarks of Hopdoddy. The best burger may be the off-the-radar Terlingua ($8.50), a nod to both Terlingua, Texas, and to The Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert – Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cook-Off held annually in the ghost town near the Rio Grande.

That’s a mouthful, and so is a bite of this stacked burger. It’s served with an angus beef patty, chili, cheddar and “sassy” sauce — a mix of horseradish, mustard, and mayonnaise. But it’s the chile con carne and Fritos Corn Chips that really put it over the mouthwatering edge.

Beignet Tree at Steak 48

4444 Westheimer

Is it a table decoration or is it dessert? That’s the question you’ll be asking when you confront the beignet tree ($14 for five beignets; $29 for 11 beignets) at socialite heaven Steak 48 in River Oaks District.

The answer? From the time it hits your table, this outrageously impressive creation is both.

The branches of the metal “tree” serve as skewers for fried dough that’s been dusted with powdered sugar. Once you’ve blinked a few times, you’ll want to dive right in, dipping your beignets in sides of rich vanilla crème anglaise and Nutella.

Because really, how often in life do you get to eat a tree?

Steak 48 Beignet Tree
Is it a tree or a dessert? Steak 48 pushes the envelope with its secret menu stunner.

Pasta Rambo at Carrabba’s Original

3115 Kirby

1399 South Voss

Neighborhood Italian hotspot Carrabba’s turns out some exceptional bowls of pasta, but if you’re looking for something beyond what’s listed on the menu, go for the Pasta Rambo ($27). It’s linguine pasta with white wine lemon butter sauce, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and jumbo lump crabmeat.

And while you’re at it, double down by ordering fellow secret menu item, the Involtini di Pollo ($27). A chicken breast is rolled and stuffed with Italian fennel sausage, spinach and Pecorino Romano Italian cheese. Marsala wine sauce adds the finishing touch.

Pompano at Huynh

912 Saint Emanuel

Huynh, a family-owned and -operated East downtown Vietnamese restaurant, will dish up a whole Pompano fish ($20 to $30 depending on weight and market price) if you dare to ask for it. We recommend ordering it pan-fried in a fresh chunky tomato sauce.

You’re welcome. Now, what are your favorite secret Houston menu items?

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