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Jun 12, 2008 06:33 PM

[Hou] Beaver's -- disappointing

Three houndly friends and I met today for lunch at Beaver's on Durham and Washington. The company was great, the food . . . not so.

One of the other lunchers and I shared the burger and the ribs.

Great hay is made on the menu about the burger meat mix including pork. The thing was still dry and tasteless. We ordered it medium and there was nary a hint of pinkness in it. And the condiments and garnishes were meager and limp.

The ribs were really bad. They were heavily encrusted with a rub that made them taste bitter and chemical-ly. Our impression was that they cut them all apart before the lunch rush started and by the time we got served, they were rather dry. They were tough too boot. The sauce was bitter and thin. The baked beans were not really baked - more of a dry chili-bean sort of deal. The mac & cheese were OK.

We shared a bowl of the cheddar/beer hot dip and it was fairly tasteless, too.

My friends were interested in Beaver's because it is a Monica Pope restaurant. I'm newish to Houston, so that doesn't mean much to me, although I did enjoy my visit to t'afia a couple weeks ago. But Beaver's? I must in honesty recommend giving it a miss.


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  1. Cheflambo had her burger done closer to rare than the other burger and it was pretty good, but other than that it was a total bust. The cole slaw was . . . cole slaw. Nothing special at all. The NOLA beans tasted as if they had been prepared the day before and then reheated. Very mushy with slimy strips of kale{?} in them. The side salad was topped off with some of the most yellow (bitter) iceberg lettuce, a vinaigrette, and a couple of green peppers. I didn't even try it. The bread on the side was a joke. It was like a pita bread, about one quarter of one, but the consistency of a very thin burger bun, and barely toasted, cold and I wouldn't eat that either.

    I had gone before and my daughter got the ribs. They were moist, juicy, tender and very good. That is NOT what we had. Tough, salty, and too much rub. Nasty rub, as Dorothy said.

    I may try it one more time for the burger, but if I do it will be a long time from now!

    Even so, I thouroughly enjoyed the company!

    1. ironically, i think the best things on the menu are the ones that aren't barbeque or meat related. the nut burger which i had last week was terrific. the chickpea stirfry was good but taken off the menu since my first visit last november. the cocktail and beer selection are fantastic!

      brisket, ribs (especially terrible today), burger, baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad are all items that seem to disappoint over and over again.

      will i return? probably since i'll be spending a lot of time a few blocks away this summer and because bobby does a great job behind the bar. will i recommend this place to other CHs? no.

      i feel bad too b/c dorothy drove quite a distance to meet us for lunch.

      1. This may be blasphemous in Houston, but I just am not impressed by Monica Pope. Beaver's was just so ho-hum that I haven't even felt the urge to give it another go. And, the mixologist, though highly touted, only impressed me with one out of the three drinks I tried there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: coowen

          Tossing in my $0.02 here -- I was at the table with these folks yesterday and although I did not taste their ribs, they did not even look that appealing to me. Our server assured us they had been cooked that morning, but seemed to have been sliced well before our arrival, and allowed to dry out.

          I also had the Beaver burger which, despite its name, contained no perceptable beaver, only beef and pork. I ordered mine "on the rare side" and it was moist and flavorful. Its easy to see how these might become dry, as they seem to be using meat with a low fat/meat ratio. (Not a bad thing, btw) The bun was good and fresh, just the right size, and the chips tasty. Am I the only one who wishes an $8 hamburger would show up on a plate, instead of in a slightly too small basket?

          I tasted a few of the sides that the others ordered, but was not blown away by any one thing. The mac & cheese used a creative style of pasta and included stewed tomatoes (something I usually dont care for, but in this case it added an interesting layer). I was grateful that the cheese was different from the "beer & cheese dip" cheese, as the latter didnt have a trace of beer flavor, and reminded me of the queso Ive had at almost every other Mexican restaurant in town. A sprinkle of the "beaver rub" available on the table added a bit of flavor, but really, this should not be needed.

          Service was great. The hostess couldn't do enough to make me comfortable while I waited for the others, bringing ice water and a menu so that I could have a preview. Our server was knoweldgeable and friendly, and promised to take our comments (positive and negative) back to the kitchen.

          Will I be back? Quite possibly. I saw several items on the dinner menu that I would like to try, and Im always interested in creative bartending -- the foo-foo drink menu had some tempting offerings. I can see this place (with its proximity to downtown/midtown) could become a hoppin' after-work venue, with its outdoor umbrella tables and friendly staff.

          Best part of the meal was the opportunity to meet some fellow chowhounds and put faces to the names. Im willing to give this place another chance, if they are. And Im looking forward to meeting more of the local 'hounds and having more chow-worthy meals both inside AND outside the loop!

          1. re: Cheflambo

            I really do want to go for a beaver burger (that sounds a bit off color, huh?) which is what my gut told me to get, but when my daughter got the ribs before they were so very good. Maybe it is better to wait for dinner time. They have longer to cook, perhaps? And the nut burger looked pretty good, too.