HOUSTON — A few Houston restaurants are getting some love from Yelp. The restaurant rating app has released its "Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S." list.
Five are in the Houston area, but the one ranked the highest is in Katy, and it just might surprise you.
“He was like, 'It has really good reviews. Let’s try it,' and that’s how we ended up here," said first-time customer Alyssa Nix.
It’s not the fanciest of food joints. The exterior isn’t exciting.
“The gyro meat that we use, it’s our own blend of spices," said Christos Batsios, Pappa Gyros owner.
But there’s something there, in the way it’s prepared, that makes it so customers keep coming back.
“Giving great food, service with a smile, it’s just basic hospitality, and we do it right here," Batsios said.
Christos Batsios is the Greek behind the grill. He's the game changer next to the gas station.
Only four tables and a few stools, this little hole in the wall somehow found its way to becoming the 12th-highest-rated restaurant in the country, and No. 1 in the Houston area.
“Everybody who comes through the door, I tell the kids our philosophy is they’re family. They’re here in our home, and we’re going to take great care of them," Batsios said.
And they notice, with five-star ratings on Yelp, one after another. It’s got the Greek flavor, but the menu is a little more Illinois.
“I strictly stick to the Chicago stuff: Italian sausage, Italian beef, hot dogs and the gyros," said Chicago native Joe Murphy.
For Murphy, it’s a taste of home.
“To be this close here, it’s perfect," Murphy said.
Restaurants run in the Batsios family. It's a passion Christos inherited from his father.
“Grew up in the business with him and working with him every day, impacted me a lot," Batsios said.
Named to honor that family, Pappa Gyros is proving the best eats aren’t always where you’d think.
“There’s just so much support. We feel it, and we’re going to keep at it. I’m hoping to do this for a long, long time," Batsios said.
With all the success they’re having, a second location is in the works. They hope to open it by this summer.
Four other Houston-area restaurants made the list, including Kat's Barbecue in Santa Fe, Pho Dien 1960 in Humble, Tony's Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery and Diced Poke in Houston. To view the full list on Yelp, tap/click here.