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  • Writer's pictureElliot F.

A Phenomenal Dinner in Houston: Nancy's Hustle

Consistently attracting crowds to downtown Houston, Nancy's Hustle is a vibrant local bistro earned recognition as one of Esquire’s top new restaurants in 2018. Adding to its accolades, Jason Vaughan was honored as a “Best Chef: Texas” by the James Beard Foundation this year. The menu encourages sharing, offering inventive dishes at reasonable prices. Must-try items for takeout include the remarkable crispy rice porridge sourdough bread with shio koji butter, the “Pickle Party” featuring Spanish chorizo and Los Cameros cheese, the Little Gem lettuce salad with crispy pancetta and anchovies, and the roasted cauliflower with pepitas and salsa macha. However, it's best to skip the tough sirloin tip. For dessert, indulge in the dreamy chocolate mousse with brown butter mochi and candied peanuts, reminiscent of an interstellar Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. A pro tip: dishes that aren't suitable for travel are marked with an asterisk on the menu.

My husband and I eagerly awaited our turn near the hostess desk. Though I can't recall her exact words, it felt like a triumphant moment when she signaled, “Congratulations, it’s your turn.” Thus began our culinary adventure through Nancy’s Hustle, hailed as the premier new dining destination in Houston. Its reputation preceded it, with glowing recommendations from everyone we encountered. As we sipped pre-dinner drinks by the windows, I could sense that this place would captivate us.

With the first bite of the incredibly buttery and airy Nancy Cake, I was hooked. As I savored each mouthful, spreading cultured butter and trout roe between its layers (as recommended by Chef Jason Vaughan), I couldn't help but marvel at the perfection of it all. “We might need more of these,” I exclaimed to my wife, though she wisely cautioned patience. The lamb dumplings arrived next, tender and reminiscent of childhood comforts. Then came the gem lettuce, its crunchiness complemented by the savory pancetta and anchovies. Our attention turned to the sweet potato adorned with salsa macha and lime yogurt, a deceptive delight of sweetness and spice. It was a culinary masterpiece, leaving an indelible impression.

Nancy’s Hustle exudes effortless elegance, much like that friend who casually throws together a stunning ensemble. From its relaxed yet stylish ambiance to its impeccable service and delectable dishes, every aspect contributes to a memorable dining experience. Whether seated at a cozy table or perched at the wooden bar, indulging in lamb tartare and cocktails, each moment is infused with warmth and charm. Begin your Nancy’s journey with the pillowy-soft Nancy Cakes, served with decadent butter. Their juicy cheeseburger, served on a toasted English muffin, offers a delightful twist on a classic. The menu invites exploration, with each dish thoughtfully crafted to complement the next. Whether sampling spicy pork dumplings or indulging in a crepe cake reminiscent of upscale childhood favorites, every bite is a revelation.

The dining experience at Nancy’s is seamlessly smooth, allowing guests to immerse themselves in intimate conversations or simply savor the moment. It’s the epitome of a perfect date night spot, where worries dissipate, and culinary delights abound. With its superb cuisine and inviting ambiance, Nancy’s Hustle continues to set the standard for excellence in dining.

Four things to know about Nancy's Hustle:

  1. They accept reservations via Resy or over the phone after 2pm from TUESDAY through Sunday.

  2. The largest party they can accommodate is 6 guests. Parties of 6 will be subject to a 20% gratuity.

  3. if booking multiple reservations to try and make larger parties, Nancy's Hustle cannot guarantee they will be seated near each other or at the same time.

  4. Small amount of parking in the rear of the restaurant. It's ideal that you Uber to Nancy's Hustle to eliminate the concern for long walks and potential towing.

2704 Polk St A, Houston, TX 77003

(346) 571-7931



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