Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Houston >
Mar 2, 2009 11:10 AM

[HOU] Our experience at Capital Grille

We went to Capital Grille on 2/15. Reservations for 5:30. I had asked around for recommendations, and we decided on this place mainly because my husband had always wanted to try it and I was particularly interested in the dry aged porterhouse. We were seated promptly, and the restaurant is very nice inside. Our server was Jill and she was very good. I wanted a glass of wine, but the list was overwhelming, so she helped me make a choice, and even brought 2 samples to make a decision. He had a margarita.

Started off with a variety of delicious bread. Then I got a wedge salad, which was enormous. It is really something that 2 people should share, but my DH doesn't eat that, so I took it home, which was a waste. Big chunks of bacon, more like pork belly, and a great blue cheese dressing. He ordered the delmonico, which is a prime cut of meat (the only one they serve, and I got the PH. Both of us wanted them cooked medium rare, closer to rare, but she said the chef recommends that the delmonico be cooked a bit more, so whatever. We also wanted the au jus on the side, because we want to taste the meat. As sides he got the Sam's potatoes, and I got the parmesan truffle fries.

When the steak came out mine was over cooked to medium, and I sent it back. His was fine, but did not have any flavor. When mine came out I had the same reaction - no flavor at all. It didn't taste like beef, no melt in your mouth, no seasoning, salt, nothing. Both of us tried the au jus on our steaks and it tasted watery, not beefy. I even tasted a spoonful of it and it was diluted. We were both so desperate for some flavor that we even put some butter on them. They were just something to chew on. The sam's potatoes were good, the fries were so-so, not much parmesan, and hardly any truffle flavor.

We were very disappointed. As I said, the service could not have been any better, and we brought the steaks home and doctored them up the next night, and they were passable, but not worth what we paid for them. And yes we did complain the next morning. I got a phone call within hours of sending the email to the website, and he was very apologetic, and said he would make it up to us and guaranteed we would have a great steak next time. After waiting 2 weeks, I sent another email and finally got 2 $50 voucher to come back, but make the reservation through this person. I guess we will go back and get the same thing, because he said it was highly unusual and we must have gotten a bad batch (WTF?) Really sad because today I read a review of the same place by a person who went the day before we did and talked about how the PH literally melted in his mouth like butter! Don't know when we will do it again. At least it wasn't all bad. And mind you, we do not ofter splurge like this!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That sucks. I hate it when you spend a lot of money and are not wowed. And it';s not like you ordered wussy filets which often don't have flavor. I have been there a lot in the past (work) and they have these pour bottle on the warming area where servers go to pick up the meals and the pour bottles have that jus in it that they pour on every plate. That makes me sad.

    1. Sorry to hear about your experience. I used to go there back in the day for business lunches/dinners. I guess it's not the same.

      I love parmesan truffle fries. Had them last Christmas at Voice (Hotel Icon) -- they were divine, I couldn't stop!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: tx_radar

        I had heard nothing but great things about CG, but we were the exception to the rule, I guess. We will try it one more time, eventually, and then see. And we really aren't that picky! Honestly!

        1. re: danhole

          Dan - I am a carnivore as well. They are running some good surf & turf specials till 31 March at Morton's & the Palm. I know both are chains (so is CG) but I have always had a good steak experiences at both places. Check out their websites -- I think Palm's special is $89 for two & Morton's is $99. It is a lot of food for a good price! Let me know what you think!!

          1. re: tx_radar

            Thanks. I had seen those. Now, after saying we aren't that picky (well I'm not!), I will say that my DH will not eat seafood. Meat only. If I could get the meal just for me that would be great. Both look really tempting!


      2. The Capital Grille used to be my favorite steak restaurant in Dallas. We stopped going about a year ago after being disappointed too often in the quality of steaks being served.
        No complaints however, in the ambience and service.

        1. UPDATE:
          We went back to Capital Grill on Memorial Day. We had the $100 worth of credit, so what's to lose? Well I am happy to say that it was 150% better than the first time we went. Of course they did know that we had complained so I think they took special care of us, but regardless it was great. Our waiter, Jason, made suggestions here and there. I didn't want the big wedge salad, even though it was good but too big, so he steered me to a salad of field greens with grape tomatoes and added the bacon and blue cheese to that. We were tempted to try some different steaks and I was looking at the Kona steak with shallot butter. In the end we decided to get the same as before, but Jason added maitre 'd butter on top of it, which made a big difference, and the steaks were cooked perfectly. Totally different for first time. He also brought me some of the shallot butter to try - so tasty! I could have eaten it like soup. I got a half portion of au gratin potatoes, which were delicious, and my DH got the Sam's potatoes again. At the end of the meal, since it had been my birthday a couple days before, Jason brought us a complimentary dessert of creme brulee, with a lit candle on the side of the plate. It was very good, too. Now we will go back and I am going to get that Kona steak and ask for Jason top be our waiter!

          1 Reply
          1. re: danhole

            Still haven't been back since the last few (disappointing) visits. But, certainly can't complain about the excellent service.

          2. They should make sure to live up to the company name. Consumer Reports just named Capital Grille #1 steakhouse (chain). I have never had a bad experience at the Dallas location (average once or twice a year).