Houston area dining talk

30,276 Views | 440 Replies | Last: 12 hrs ago by WILLIS
bularry
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JusHappy2BeHere said:

Tried Veritas in Sugar Land last night. Nice place. The food was good... I have no complaints over anything we were served, and in fact the Brussel Sprouts might have been the best I've had in quite awhile...

the only downer was that it was about 25% higher than it should have been.

We will go back and maybe try out the Happy Hour menu.


About sums it up. Plus wine list is pretty poor.

You tried Brandani Burgers and Tacos? Thumbs up from me
JusHappy2BeHere
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bularry said:

JusHappy2BeHere said:

Tried Veritas in Sugar Land last night. Nice place. The food was good... I have no complaints over anything we were served, and in fact the Brussel Sprouts might have been the best I've had in quite awhile...

the only downer was that it was about 25% higher than it should have been.

We will go back and maybe try out the Happy Hour menu.


About sums it up. Plus wine list is pretty poor.

You tried Brandani Burgers and Tacos? Thumbs up from me
haven't yet but it's on our list.

and we are getting a Bernie's Burger Bus on 6 and Glenn Lakes.... people in Katy swear by them
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
bularry
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Bernie's is good. One in Bellaire.
GoBearsGo
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Few Saturdays ago cane into Houston for a BBQ crawl.
Hit Truth first. Just opened in the Heights. Got in line at 9:30, we were #3. Opened at 11 and there were at least 100 people. Holy **** that place was awesome. Beef rib and brisket. Corn pudding. And the cakes are amazing.

Next was Willows which is also in the Heights at Shady Acres Saloon. Once again outstanding. They had a brisket sandwich on a glazed jalapeo donut bun. Freaking awesome. So was the slaw and corn.

Last we hit Blood Bros. Some Asian dudes doing it right. The brisket fried rice was outstanding.

Overall Houston BBQ scene is really getting some great spots.
bularry
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Those 3 spots are very new, too
J.R.
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GoBearsGo said:

J.R. said:

I live in Dallas, but when in H town....I just must go to Hugo's. That place is spectacular! Also, Houston has strong ethnic food scene.
Try his new place Xochi.
will do
JusHappy2BeHere
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J.R. said:

GoBearsGo said:

J.R. said:

I live in Dallas, but when in H town....I just must go to Hugo's. That place is spectacular! Also, Houston has strong ethnic food scene.
Try his new place Xochi.
will do
my wife and I both went to Xochi downtown by Discovery Green, with separate work groups and she hated it but I loved it....

they also have Huitlacoche, so that is really cool
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
BaylorHistory
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We went to Hugo's a couple months back and had a solid meal, but I'll still take Mala Sichuan over anything else in town.
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JusHappy2BeHere
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BaylorHistory said:

We went to Hugo's a couple months back and had a solid meal, but I'll still take Mala Sichuan over anything else in town.
Mala on Bellaire is the best Chinese Restaurant in Houston for me....

they have a satellite in the Foodie Court downtown.... it's called Finn Hall and has about 8 different restaurant options with a common seating area....
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
bularry
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BaylorHistory said:

We went to Hugo's a couple months back and had a solid meal, but I'll still take Mala Sichuan over anything else in town.


Place is really good. But some other awesome spots
GoBearsGo
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Going to check out Maison Pucha Bistro. I'll report back after.
GoBearsGo
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Masion Pucha was really good. Not over the top fancy. Ranks #14 on Alison Cook's top 100 in Houston. Was more of a app,entree,dessert place than the trend of the small plate sharing place.

We started with a DairyMaids chees board and a tomato and mozzarella flat bread. Both were great.

We had Duck ala'orange and a Waygu beef wellington. Both were very good. Added a side of truffle mac and cheese frites. Which was just fried mac and cheese, which we all know is great.

Souffl for dessert was wonderful. Had a nice bottle of wine to go along.

Would like to try brunch.

Glad we went but there are so many spots I want to try I am not sure how quick we will be back
bularry
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Duck l'orange and beef Wellington, you went old school
Bear8084
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https://www.google.com/amp/s/houston.eater.com/platform/amp/maps/houston-best-new-restaurants-heatmap

This blog has always been cool and updates frequently with H-Town restaurant news and Best of lists. I've picked a few places (like FM Kitchen and Bar) from their restaurant coverage and reviews. This is their Best Restaurants of March list.
GoBearsGo
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Try the What's Eric Eating podcast for weekly Houston food news.
bularry
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Did my 2nd trip to UB Preserv last week. Fantastic meal
Dado2
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Do you can recommended me something in NYC? I am going there first time (my first time in US too) and i am looking for a amazing places with delicious food. I will invite houston too so i waiting for yours recomendation.



http://www.kinvestments.eu/offer/coke
bularry
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nothing new, but wife and I spent a couple of nights downtown this past weekend.

Ate at TRex one night - fantastic
Brunch at Brennan's - pretty meh, but an experience
Conservatory - bbq place was good

drinks at Pastry War one happy hour - excellent
cocktails at Tongue Cut Sparrow - superb
Public Services - really great wine list and snacks

Boomtown coffee both mornings - I like this place

first time I ever saw the beer place way on north side, up near Public Services, can't recall name, but had retail and a bar. lots of interesting selections.
GoBearsGo
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Next weekend we are hitting up Houston with my brother and his family and my parents for their 50th. We have dinner Saturday night at Georgia James. Not sure where we will go Friday since we have 3 teens and a 2 year old with us.
bularry
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GoBearsGo said:

Next weekend we are hitting up Houston with my brother and his family and my parents for their 50th. We have dinner Saturday night at Georgia James. Not sure where we will go Friday since we have 3 teens and a 2 year old with us.


You seem to be fine with $, but a party that large is going to be some serious bucks at Georgia James!
GoBearsGo
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bularry said:

GoBearsGo said:

Next weekend we are hitting up Houston with my brother and his family and my parents for their 50th. We have dinner Saturday night at Georgia James. Not sure where we will go Friday since we have 3 teens and a 2 year old with us.


You seem to be fine with $, but a party that large is going to be some serious bucks at Georgia James!
My brother and I are splitting the check. My parents aren't big drinkers so that helps. I'm going to try and keep my wine drinking to one good but not great bottle and then some champagne for dessert. And probably a mixed drink to start off. I'm hoping we can walk out under $2k total for 11 with tip. I'll update it Sunday.

We decided on Beavers West for Friday night.
bularry
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GoBearsGo said:

bularry said:

GoBearsGo said:

Next weekend we are hitting up Houston with my brother and his family and my parents for their 50th. We have dinner Saturday night at Georgia James. Not sure where we will go Friday since we have 3 teens and a 2 year old with us.


You seem to be fine with $, but a party that large is going to be some serious bucks at Georgia James!
My brother and I are splitting the check. My parents aren't big drinkers so that helps. I'm going to try and keep my wine drinking to one good but not great bottle and then some champagne for dessert. And probably a mixed drink to start off. I'm hoping we can walk out under $2k total for 11 with tip. I'll update it Sunday.

We decided on Beavers West for Friday night.


That should be doable if wine selections are reasonable. Wife and I dropped $300 all in at TRex, it can add up quick!
bularry
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Btw, I think we are done with Coltivaire.


Food is usually excellent, but the haphazard nature of the service is off putting to us. Always feels like some frantic event occurring.

We don't live in Heights, so the hassle isn't worth the product. We just like other places better.
GoBearsGo
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bularry said:

Btw, I think we are done with Coltivaire.


Food is usually excellent, but the haphazard nature of the service is off putting to us. Always feels like some frantic event occurring.

We don't live in Heights, so the hassle isn't worth the product. We just like other places better.


One of our favorite wait staff at TRex was at Coltivare. She told us about how turn and burn it was. The next time it went I really noticed how frantic and hectic it was. Rushed is not how I want to spend a meal.
bularry
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Agree. And going to TRex, an equally busy small space, where you never sense anything like that really brings home that feeling. TRex service is exceptional

We had great service our last UB preserve meal, too.
GoBearsGo
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Had a great meal at Georgia James. We split a few steaks and shared a bunch of sides. Came in under a grand before tip for 10 people which was not too bad.
bularry
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GoBearsGo said:

Had a great meal at Georgia James. We split a few steaks and shared a bunch of sides. Came in under a grand before tip for 10 people which was not too bad.
no, $100 per person is quite reasonable.

Need to try this place
TechDawgMc
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Been in Houston for a few days (don't know how you guys stand the humidity) but I did get to try Mala Sichuan. Thanks to all for that recommendation. Very good food. I did only get a "one pepper" hot dish, though. I think I'd be terrified of the "three pepper" setting -- mine left my mouth on fire. And I'm a Louisiana guy.
bularry
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The humidity here is certainly bad but no worse than southern Louisiana

Hopefully you went to Bellaire location
FranchiseBear
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Are both Mala locations byob?
Do you have recs for folks that have never been there before? I'm open to hot/spicy and trying new things but not too crazy out there dishes. I'm dying to try this place and kids at camp for few weeks...

Not relevant to the Houston thread but passing along that wife and I were in Austin TH/Fri night. Ate dinner at Botticelli on S Congress. Was a rec from fellow Bear. Was an incredible experience - very small restaurant - felt almost like NYC. Wife had a pasta dish with arrabbiata sauce and meatballs. I was deciding between scallops dish or carbonara - waiter suggested add scallops to carbonara. Was great! Also get the grandmas bread app its like a pizza wrapped in home made bread.
JusHappy2BeHere
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I really liked the spicy crispy chicken.

Don't be surprised when your tongue and lips tingle and go a little numb.
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
bularry
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FranchiseBear said:

Are both Mala locations byob?
Do you have recs for folks that have never been there before? I'm open to hot/spicy and trying new things but not too crazy out there dishes. I'm dying to try this place and kids at camp for few weeks...

Not relevant to the Houston thread but passing along that wife and I were in Austin TH/Fri night. Ate dinner at Botticelli on S Congress. Was a rec from fellow Bear. Was an incredible experience - very small restaurant - felt almost like NYC. Wife had a pasta dish with arrabbiata sauce and meatballs. I was deciding between scallops dish or carbonara - waiter suggested add scallops to carbonara. Was great! Also get the grandmas bread app its like a pizza wrapped in home made bread.
the Bellaire Mala is not byob, they have beer and wine for sale.

the spicy crispy chicken is outstanding. i have been told dan dan noodles are great, but I haven't had them.
JusHappy2BeHere
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bularry said:

JusHappy2BeHere said:

Tried Veritas in Sugar Land last night. Nice place. The food was good... I have no complaints over anything we were served, and in fact the Brussel Sprouts might have been the best I've had in quite awhile...

the only downer was that it was about 25% higher than it should have been.

We will go back and maybe try out the Happy Hour menu.


About sums it up. Plus wine list is pretty poor.

You tried Brandani Burgers and Tacos? Thumbs up from me
Tried Brandani's Burgers and Tacos and it was outstanding. I had the Fish Tacos, Mrs. JH2BH had the Shrimp Tacos, and the Man Child had a Burger... we also got Red Beans and Rice, and Mexican Street Corn....

all of it was awesome and lower priced than Bernie's Burger Bus.
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
FranchiseBear
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Ended up going to Bellaire Mala Saturday night. It is byob - $10 cork fee. Really liked the dumplings and wonton apps. Got the spicy crispy chicken, crispy beef, and pork noodles. Would not get the crispy beef again. It definitely was not what I expected - rolled in at 8p and place was lit up bright as day. Not much ambiance.

Want to try Mein and Banana Leaf next.
JusHappy2BeHere
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This is quite a story about the 2 year road back for Bryan Caswell and REEF... Can't wait to try it out this weekend!

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/article/Bryan-Caswell-reef-reopen-seafood-14096191.php

Bryan Caswell's long, rocky road to reopening Reef

The reopening of Bryan Caswell's Reef could be described as a triumphant return to the dining scene by one of Houston's most celebrated chefs after his restaurant was damaged from Hurricane Harvey. If only it were that simple.

Why it took so long for Reef to get back in business is a question that doesn't have an easy answer, Caswell said. "A man with a good sense of humor would have called it a comedy of errors," he said.
It has been nearly two years "a year and three quarters," Caswell is quick to clarify since he has cooked at Reef. The Gulf-seafood restaurant he opened in June 2007 and that brought national acclaim to Houston shuttered in the aftermath of Harvey when water entered the Midtown restaurant through the roof.
Although Caswell's long absence from the dining arena was broken by a brief and rocky stint at downtown's Le Meridien hotel, among his setbacks while Reef languished, he was counting the days until he could get back into his own kitchen.

For one who was an early champion of Gulf bycatch and a poster boy for the golden new age of Houston dining, the wait was agonizing, he said.

Now the restaurant at 2600 Travis has been open for more than a month, first serving lunch out of its adjacent 3rd Bar lounge. The dining room a handsome reimagining of the original, light-filled space with its minimal but chic design is now open for lunch and dinner. Reef is back in play.

And there's a sense of immediacy in the Reef kitchen these days. The oysters, both from Galveston Bay as well as Canada and New York's Long Island Sound, are iced and ready. A new menu boasts creative dishes such as snapper carpaccio with grilled watermelon; grilled octopus with house-made chorizo and sour orange relish; and soft-shell blue crab tempura with a raw slaw of butternut squash dressed in "Viet-Tex" flavors. One of Caswell's new signatures a dish called Crab Fat & Dough, inspired by a fishing trip off Andros Island in the Bahamas is already a social-media star.

One could say the "old Bryan" is back. For Reef fans, it's that direct. For those in the Houston restaurant community who have followed the chef's career, it's more complicated.

Early days
Caswell's story is one of a Houston boy who made good. His road to chefdom was circuitous, but once he got into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. (he's a 1999 graduate), there was no stopping him.
He landed an internship at a Michelin-rated restaurant in Barcelona, Spain, followed by apprenticeships with New York greats: Charlie Palmer at Aureole, Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar and Grill, Wayne Nish at March. And then a long association with superchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten who, after grooming Caswell at his flagship restaurant in New York, sent him to open Jean-Georges outposts in Bangkok, Hong Kong and the Bahamas.

He also tapped Caswell for Bank in the Hotel Icon, which opened just before the Super Bowl in 2004. It was the hometown son's introduction to the Houston dining scene and the place where he met Bank manager and hospitality veteran Bill Floyd. After a few years at Bank, they left to open their own restaurant focused on Gulf Coast catch flavored with Houston's multicultural sensibilities.
Reef was a hit from the start, resonating with foodies canvasing Houston's newly hip restaurant scene. National attention came quickly. Bon Appetit named Reef Best Seafood Restaurant in 2009, the same year that Food & Wine included Caswell in the class of America's Best New Chefs. The next year Caswell was a featured contestant on Season 3 of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef." In 2010, Caswell was nominated as Best Chef Southwest for the James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars of the food world. He repeated a nomination again in 2011.

The Caswell-Floyd partnership eventually yielded additional fruit: Little Bigs, El Real Tex-Mex Caf and Jackson Street BBQ.

The duo also was set to co-star in one of 2017's big openings: two side-by-side restaurants owned by Astros owner Jim Crane in the 500 Crawford apartment building across the street from Minute Maid Park. But before the restaurants opened, Caswell was out of the picture: He parted ways with Crane and Floyd by mutual agreement. Then Floyd opened the high-profile Potente and Osso & Kristalla in early 2017, where he remains partner/general manager.

Only months later, Hurricane Harvey struck. The next month, Caswell made the decision to close Little Bigs.

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Mahatma Gandhi
 
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