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How Houston's Best Restaurants Fare Among Yelp, TripAdvisor and the others

By: Mike Riccetti, Houston Cheap Eats Examiner

June 20, 2015 2:51 p.m.

A tempting chicken dish at Caracol

A tempting chicken dish at Caracol

It can be interesting to see how the various dining sites rate restaurants. Each site draws a different demographic which has different expectations, experiences, judgement and temperament (“This is absolutely the worst place I have ever been in the world!” to cite one example from Yelp). Some are more useful than others; some draw more attention from restaurant owners than others.

Below is list of twenty, well, twenty-one, of Houston’s most notable restaurants and their normalized grades – letter grades A+ down to F – from several of the most popular online dining sites that provide rating. Some of the sites are harsher than others. A table is the certainly the best way to present this information, but Examiner.com’s content management system does not provide for that, so below is a somewhat jumbled list with the grades restaurant name is followed by its average grade in parentheses then the grade for each site, which are shown alphabetically: Gayot (1), Google (2), OpenTable (3), Tripadvisor (4), Yelp (5), Zagat (6), Zomato / UrbanSpoon (7). A double dash (‘--‘) after the initial dash indicates that no rating is given, like OpenTable for restaurants that don’t use its reservation system or Zagat and Pax Americana, which opened too late to garner enough votes for a food score.

In order: Gayot, Google OpenTable, Tripadvisor, Yelp, Zagat, Zomato

Brennan's (A-) – B+, A, A, A, B, A-, A
Caracol (B+) – B+, A, --, B, B, A-, A
Da Marco (A-) – A-, A, A-, B, B, A, B+
Coltivare (B+) – A-, B+, A-, B, B, A-, B-
Damian's (B+) – B+, B+, A, A, C+, A-, B+
Hugo's (B+) – A-, B+, --, A, B, A-, B+
Indika (B+) – B+, B+, --, A, B, B+, B+
Kata Robata (B+) – B+, C+, --, A, B, A, B
Kiran's (B+) – B+, C, A, B, B, A-, B-
Le Mistral (B+) – --, B+, --, A, B, A-, A-
Mark's (A-) – A-, A-, A, A, B, A-, B
Mockingbird (A-) – A-, B+, A-. A, B, A-, B+
Oxheart (B+) – A-, B+, A-, B, B, A-, C
Pass & Provisions (B+) – A-, B+, A-, B, B, A-, B
Pax Americana (B) – B+, C+, A-, A, B, --, B-
Quattro (B+) – B+, B, A-, A, C+, A-, B
RDG + Bar Annie (B) – A-, C, A, B, C+, A-, C
Reef (B+) – A-, B, A-, A, B, A, B
Tony's (B) – A-, C+, --, B, C+, A, C
Triniti (B+) – B+, B, A, B, C+, A-, B
Uchi (A) – A-, A-, A+, A, A, A, A-
Underbelly (B) – A-, B+, A-, B, C+, A-, C+

Interesting to note, Le Mistral, a French restaurant run by actual Frenchmen is ignored by Gayot, whose origins are in France. I wonder what the brothers Denis did to deserve that.