Long time no see…

November 22, 2012

I have been away for a while in an attempt to slow my inner foodie down.  After many attempts to quiet my snooty taste and slow down my spending (in a economic recession), I have been revived by a Thanksgiving meal, chocolate wine, and red velvet cake.  I have often thought of you and wondered if I were missed. Your forgiveness is asked… I missed you and promise to return in the new year with a raw yet tailored perspective on my experiences with food.
Happy Thanksgiving !

Advertisements

Stuart & Smith

Ok.  I am old enough to eat my dessert before my meal! Going to Brennan’s makes you want to do just that.  I am not saying that the dessert is the only reason to go, but if you only have enough money for one course then start there.  We (the Mr. and I) decided to have a nice little Saturday brunch together and chose the historical Brennan’s of Houston. A long time establishment in H-Town, the word on the street is that it burned in a fire some years ago and was renovated to reflect the stylish wonder that was visited that morning.  The other word is that you can’t come in there with shorts and flip flops because it is not that kind of place. 

One thing for sure is that the staff makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door while the stuffiness in the ambiance makes you question your attire. Sort of like when you go to a party and realize that everyone is looking at you funny because you are underdressed. All we saw were suits, sport jackets and cardigans. I digress…Nevertheless, the homemade pralines at the door, greeting you as you enter and leave, is a great touch.  I just wish that some people would also notice the napkins strategically placed beside the praline platter. That means stop sticking your hands in the platter, Mister!  Go with me on this journey as I describe my experience.  Here we go -Brennan’s of Houston Countdown (backwards):

 4.   Dessert- Banana’s Foster flambéed tableside by a very jovial server.  Need I say more?

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

3.  Entrées- The Pecan Crusted Texas Redfish and Old Fashioned Bourbon Glazed Chicken left something to be desired.  Though they were moist and paired well with their accompaniments, they lacked flavor themselves.  The sautéed spinach had a smokey flavor, the green beans were well prepared with that little crunch, and the corn machoux was remnant of my nights in New Orleans.

Pecan Crusted Redfish

Bourbon Glazed Chicken

 2.   Appetizers- Let’s be honest, the Texas Shrimp Remoulade was the main reason that I wanted to come to this restaurant, but the Barbeque Crawfish Shortcake is just another reason to return.   The shrimp and greens are lightly tossed in a remoulade sauce slightly hinted with citrus.  It is delicate, refined, and powerfully pleasing to the palate.  The Barbeque crawfish is cooked is a tasty sauce flowing over and out of a homemade biscuit.  Paired with Prosecco Champagne Mimosas, next to the dessert, this was the best part of the meal.

Shrimp Remoulade

Bar-b-que Crawfish Shortcake

1.   Ambiance and Service- This beautiful restaurant was renovated to reflect the class and style of the menu.   However, if it wasn’t for the constant flow of the mimosas, I would have complained.  The wait for our food and the mood of our waiter got off to a very rocky start.

All and all, I would definitely eat there again.  The staff, for the most part, was very friendly and had great attitudes.  The pricing was a little steep, but we were able to have a pretty nice 3 course meal brunch included in that cost. In addition, the place is beautiful and the food was really good.  My advice is that if you stick to appetizers and dessert (points 2 and 4), then I am confident that you will leave with a huge satisfying smile on your face. Remember; don’t stick your hands in the praline patter!

Free Homemade Pralines!

Brennan’s of Houston

3300 Smith Street, Houston, TX 77006

(713) 522-9711

 www.brennanshouston.com

As I settled down to a long-awaited lunch, it is hard not to notice the style of this place even amiss my growling stomach.  Someone has some jazzy style…  Some of you may get Roots Bistro (Fourth Ward, Montrose Area) confused with Ruggles American Bistro (especially if you read the sign), but you will be quickly set straight if you make that mistake.  Yes -they serve organic food, and Yes- they use fresh local ingredients, but THEY ARE NOT RUGGLES!

Roots Bistro has set their dining experience apart by the wonderful contemporary mixture of pop culture art, beautiful variations of wood textures, and brick walls that are pleasant to the ambiance.  Most importantly, they take this experience and highlight it with limited fresh menu selections.  I appreciated this because you know that if there are only a few items on the menu, then they must do those few things well.  The chef did not disappoint me.

I started off with a local Kale Salad dressed with avocados, almonds, raisins, manchego cheese, and a cilantro tahini (sesame seed paste) dressing. Three things happened then: 1-I became excited about the ability to eat kale in a new great way, 2-I used my Google phone app to quickly learned what tahini means, and 3-my palate was very happy by the flavor profile that all of those ingredients created. Good job Roots Bistro!  You have made a kale and tahini fan out of me.

I, then moved on to order the TX Veal Burger and the Local Sorrel Ravioli.  Truthfully, the burger left something to be desired.  Maybe that is due to my Texas upbringing of wanting a burger that stands out in flavor and presence or maybe the burger needed a more palatable flavor.  The veal burger could have been my dream burger’s California cousin.  It is worth trying if you are into that, but my attention moved to something else.  I focused on the Sorrel (Google defined as an herb) Ravioli. It was savory and full of surprises like the onion cream sauce, and chickpeas, and an array of vegetables melding together to make this not so pretty, but delish dish. The waiter was even good-mannered as he grated the requested (pink rock) salt onto my plate. I hoped that the chef was not offended by my request.  Sorry, I like a little salt…

I looked around at the cool paintings of King Kong (assumed because he the only famous Gorilla that I know), Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Alfred Hitchcock and  I felt satisfied that the service was a positive experience and that I could go home happy and full.  My plate was empty, the bill was very fare (about $13 for the salad and lunch), and there was a smile on my face knowing that the meal was enjoyable, local, pesticide free, and organic.

Roots Bistro

507 Westheimer Road

Houston, TX 77006

Phone: 713.524.1000