#67 - Houston Texans Grill, Houston TX

Most of our Cowboy Caravans are in Oklahoma, but we also do Tyler, Houston, and Dallas TX.  We haven't done Dallas in a couple years, but Houston is an annual event.  Mary and I made the drive down last week.  We used to drive halfway, stay the night in Dallas, and then drive the rest on the day of the event.  But this year we decided to just drive all the way to Houston the day before.  In hindsight that was a really good idea, because had we encountered any issues we would have had another day to fix them.  And, we had all day Wednesday, which worked out to be a great thing this year because I was able to take care of a lot of things to get ready for the Kickoff Classic at the end of August.

Tuesday evening we did a walk-through of the venue for the caravan, which was at Houston Texans Grille.  It's located in CITYCENTRE, an upscale shopping and dining area in downtown Houston near the Galleria area.  One thing to keep in mind if you're going there...make sure you park in one of the garages or in a surface lot.  If you park illegally, they'll tow you in a heartbeat.  We found a garage right across the street from the restaurant, which was perfect. They do offer valet, but it takes quite a while to get your car back. 

The restaurant is on the 2nd floor, and there's an escalator right behind the valet stand.  The whole place is decorated, no surprise, in Houston Texans from head to toe.  It's not owned by the Texans, but they do have an interest in it.  Just past the hostess stand is a large bar area with some pub seating to the left and a few couches to the right.  The main dining room is behind the bar, and it's set up in several different sections with air walls in between.  At first I thought that was kind of weird, but they do a lot of events and the air walls allow them to accommodate different-sized events while still remaining open for the public if the whole place isn't reserved.  There's also a really cool covered patio with a mix of pub tables and lounge seating.  Our event took up about 85% of the main dining room, as well as the patio. 

Mary and I were absolutely starving by the time we were done with the meeting, and decided to eat there.  We sat in the bar area and checked out the menu.  Our server greeted us immediately, and we both decided to have a drink.  We tried out a couple of the "specialty" drinks.  There was no price listed on the menu, which should have been a sign that they were going to be expensive...yep, $10 each.  I think they should have to list the prices on the menu.  I guess we could have asked, but to me that's still not right.  And it's not just this restaurant.  Many other restaurants do the same thing.

As usual, I had a hard time deciding what to eat.  I finally went with the Bangkok burger
Ground pork, sweet and spicy Asian sauce, fried potato straws,
avocado, wasabi mayo
This burger was HUGE!  I had to smoosh the bread down to take a bite.  But it was fantastic.  The Asian sauce had wonderful sweet/spicy flavor, without being overpowering.  The pork was cooked perfectly and still moist.  The fries were good, just your basic restaurant fries.  The only down side is that the bottom patty got really soggy and was falling apart, which I guess is a good thing cause that's all flavor.  And the patty did fall apart a little, so I just ditched the top bun and ate it with my fork & knife.

We were very disappointed with the service though.  Our server started out well, taking our drink order quickly. He took a little longer to take our food order.  And we never saw him again.  We finally flagged down another server and asked for our check.  She said she would find our original guy.  A few minutes later a different guy brought out the check.  We liked the last guy the best, because he was very friendly, fast and efficient.  I realize it was late in the evening and there were only about 2 other tables in the bar area.  But that's no excuse for the lack of attention to service. 

At the caravan the next night we had sliders, wings, and quesadillas.  They were all good, but the wings were definitely my favorite.  The were really big and meaty.  The first couple batches were spicy, but towards the end the new batches of wings were just regular.  I'm guessing they probably ran out of the spicy.  The service at the caravan was really good.  We had tons of servers, they took and served drink orders quickly, and never let the buffet pans run out. 

Will I go back?  Definitely!  The food was good, it has a great atmosphere, and I really like their event manager Matt.  We got along really well and he did a great job of running the event.

We'll be back in Houston at the end of the month for the Kickoff Classic, and Houston Texans Grille will be one of our "official party headquarters".  So I'll definitely make sure to go there.