Going to Houston includes dining at all kinds of places. From chi-chi to funky.
With over 14,000 food establishments, notice I didn't say restaurants, it is a paradise of
I happen to like counter service dining. It's easy, it's usually less
expensive and the food comes out without a lot of pomp and circumstance.
So on this trip, one of the first places we dined was Local Foods near Rice University.
To be honest, I can't remember what I had but I DO remember it was good.
Their decor is delightful to my eye. Funky, recycled and it all works. The two photos above are
On another evening, with pomp and circumstance, we attended a wine
dinner at Sparrow's. A restaurant owned by Monica Pope, who to my mind, is one of the leading
chefs in the USA. Lots and lots of people agree with me. She has won more accolades and awards nationally for the last twenty years then most anyone I know.
In fact, she is the only restauranteur and chef that I have ever written a note to gushing about my dining experience when she owned The Quilted Toque.
So I was psyched to go for this dinner served with French wines. Ohh la la.
Since Monica uses fresh ingredients grown locally, I could hardly wait to see what we would be presented with. Darn, I brought the menu home but now I can't find it to share with you. Drat.
The main course was photographed. It was quail with a green bean puree and greens. It was
all delicious, to put it mildly. With four or five glasses of wine, I was concerned as to whether I would be able to get out of my seat. I did....
On to a new highly touted restaurant with my friend, Martha. The background wall is an old gymnasium floor that was adaptively reused as a wall. Love it. We were at Pass and Provisions.
Two restaurants under one roof. I don't personally know the chefs. I believe they are relatively new
Cleverly, the table covering is the menu. I was astonished at the cost of each item at lunch time.
I selected a sandwich. Martha selected pate'. As she was telling the waitress her order, the waitress asked if she wanted bread with that! Can you imagine? Who ever heard of having pate' without at least toast points provided. When the bill came not only was there the expected charge for the pate' but a $5USD charge for the bread. Not cool, not cool at all.
And, to tell you the truth, I was not impressed with the food. But, as I always say, "You have to give a restaurant three chances before deciding not to return." Well, that's what I usually say, but it is doubtful that I will return.
One morning heading out for a late breakfast, we sat out on the patio at Natachee's. It's on Main Street
in Houston with the commuter train passing right by. Food was great, waitress was a hoot and we discovered that the Austin owner, who also owns the Continental Club in Austin, also owns this place.
For those who don't know, the Continental Club is a music venue that is really a great scene in Austin.
There is a Continental Club in Houston also now.
In between all of the places I photographed, we ate at the Breakfast Klub one morning. What an amazing place. I did the numbers on the number of turns this dining room has for breakfast times the average ticket. Most restauranteurs in Houston would love to have those numbers. Every time I've gone there there has been a line clear out the door! Great food.
But the above photo is one of the entrees at Lucille's. Now judging by that name, I thought it was going to be like a funky Louisiana kinda diner. Noooooooooo, it was a sophisticated, upscale restaurant. The play on words of the menu was cool. The above photo is of "Pork and beans".
I laughed to myself when they brought it to the table. What I had envisioned was a pork chop with Bush's baked beans or something. It looked delicious.
I ordered the fried chicken. With hoppin' john and then ridiculously also ordered a side of mac and cheese too. Waaaaaaaaaay too much food. Ate half of it and the rest went home. By the way, to the right of the chicken leg is a little garnish referred to on the menu as fried pickle. I didn't get it.
The best item on this plate was the hoppin' john. That's my Southern palate talking.
And, then, it was time to head home. This photo was taken on the toll road north of Monterrey.
It's a shot of when I first see the mountains in the distance. Then I know I'm leaving the flat lands and heading back to the mountains of Mexico.