New Spot Eatery in West Houston Charms With Top-Notch Burgers & Waffles
As traditional diners — those quaint, dated spots for breakfast, blue plate specials or a burger, all accompanied by middling coffee — fall out of favor, a new kind is emerging. A modern diner takes it up a notch, serving great coffee or cold craft beers — and, ideally, the burgers are among the best in town. While Houston only has a few examples of modern diners, (unlike other culinary hubs, such as San Francisco, New York City, or Seattle), some are emerging. One example is the acclaimed Nancy’s Hustle east of downtown. There’s another, though, that could also fall into the modern diner category: New Spot Eatery, located in the heart of Westchase at 12102 Westheimer.
It opened in November 2018 and is the brainchild of owner/operator Sean Shah, who said, “I wanted to make a restaurant that had things that I liked, and that I knew others would like as well. I also wanted a place that represented Houston, its diversity, and that made people feel like they belonged there.”
All over the walls and fascia are murals by Robynn Sanders, who also painted some at Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s beer garden, as well as on the brewery’s art cars. “Notice that a robot and an astronaut appear on almost every wall,” Shah pointed out. “Robots are somewhat generic, yet everyone of all backgrounds sometimes identifies with a robot, or has wanted to be an astronaut.” However, these robots have a “Where’s Waldo” quality and are as diverse as Houston. One is riding on a chopper bike, another robot is wearing a cowboy hat and riding a unicycle and in the mix is an astronaut is wielding an electric bass guitar.
The diner fare on the menu stands out because many of the dishes have an interesting, flavorful twist. Chicken and waffles is ubiquitous these days, but New Spot Eatery offers intriguing variations. The Red Velvet version of the Imperfect Pecan Chicken and Waffles adds a smooth hint of dark chocolate in the mix that goes well with their spicy, battered chicken wings and real maple syrup.
The Eggs Benedict is great, but the Spicy Eggs Benedict includes chorizo in the Hollandaise sauce, which makes it a kicked-up variation on the brunch staple.
New Spot’s billing claims “Best Burger in Houston,” which is a bold claim. There is, in fact, a big selection of these, including the basic AIG (America is Great Already) Burger, Mac N Cheese Burger and Hangover Burger, loaded with two beef patties, grilled onions and jalapeños, a fried egg, American cheese, mayo, mustard and house sauce. The Ahi Tuna Burger with wasabi aioli, avocado, tomato, and arugula is also an attention-grabber. New Spot Eatery has chicken and vegan burgers as well. The Bacon Cheeseburger is quite worthy, but also check out the Saigon Pig Burger, with Vietnamese-style thịt nướng (fried pork, in this case, the belly), fresh jalapeños and pineapple.
Diners can also get get breakfast or dinner tacos, roasted Brussels sprouts, craft beer and locally roasted coffee. Those who enjoy a serious caffeine kick should check out Jumper Cables, a coffee beverage that is made from a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans that has about three times the normal amount of caffeine as a typical latte. A gentler option is the Honeymoon Latte, a creamy espresso beverage with honey and cinnamon.
There’s a secret menu item, too: ribeye steak, made to order. Shah says its already available, because the meat is needed for the Philly Cheesesteak and as an addition to omelets or tacos. Gluten-free and vegan dishes are also available.
“The main reason why I call my restaurant an eatery is, in my mind, an eatery is an informal collection of multiple dishes from various backgrounds,” Shah said. Since Houston is an collection of multiple people from various backgrounds, New Spot Eatery fits right in.
New Spot Eatery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.