Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Away Too Long
I’ve been blogging about three months now and haven’t mentioned Houston’s Restaurant yet. I realized it is because I haven’t been there in three months (GASP) and I’m not quite sure how I let that happen?! It is undoubtedly one of my all time favorite dining spots. Houston’s holds nothing but great memories for me because I’m always there with people I love to be with. Sometimes just the hubs and I go for a date, but usually we are with a larger group since my brother dines there WEEKLY (yes, every week) with his buddies.
Houston’s is a chain restaurant and it has franchised, Starbucks-style....but somehow it has a reliable satisfying “non-chainy” chain restaurant feel. The food is always spot on (honestly never had a bad meal) and the environment is just so seductive. The plush leather banquettes, large modern paintings, and hardwood tables conjure a certain Pottery Barn aesthetic.
The wait staff bring dishes, refill drinks, and bus tables in what seems like record time. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that my brother is on a first name basis with everyone in the place!
Houston’s has a limited menu but I personally think that’s why it is so good. They buy into the Mickey D model - do only a few things and do them well. Everything is consistently tasty from the hickory burger and the famed spinach and artichoke dip, to the fall-off-the bone ribs, grilled chicken salad, french dip au jus and salmon.
Last visit, Michael had his standing order of salmon and I got the veggie burger in an attempt to be healthful, which was pretty good. Usually though, I’m all about the French Dip. The sandwich is made with PRIME RIB. Yep, no roast beef here. Houston’s heats a generous cut of its delectable prime rib under a salamander and then thinly-slices it and places the juicy slices inside the roll, serving it with a mug of au jus for dipping. The prime rib is moist, tender, and tasty. The bread is squishy soft and bakery fresh but is sturdy enough to hold together even dipped in the broth. Dunk those shoestring fries and you will really be in heaven.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the Prime Rib French Dip:
I should mention their side veggies are stellar if you want to skip the fries. They usually have things like green beans with olive tapenade, red cabbage with goat cheese, or fresh heirloom tomato salad to name a few.
Desserts – the five nut brownie is crazy good as is the key lime pie. I could go on and on about how delicious all of the food is because I’ve probably tasted most menu items so I’ll end this post now with one final bit of advice:
Go to Houston’s. Bring people you love.
P.S. – Get the Houston’s Salad with blue cheese dressing as an appetizer. It’s full of fresh corn, bacon, bright red tomatoes, and giant chunks of blue cheese with a cheesy toast on the side. Need I say more?