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Jul 26, 2009 12:40 PM

Houston's - Grilled Artichokes

Has anybody else tried these appetizers at Houston's Restaurant? They're incredible! Three artichoke halves, mesquite-grilled to smokey perfection, and served with a side of remoulade....I can't really express sufficently how they blew us away Saturday afternoon. We paired them with glasses of Martin Codax Albarino and MacMurray Pinot Noir (both were excellent matches), and then finished our small mid-afternoon meal by sharing one of their amazing burgers.

JJ and I have dined at Houston's dozens and dozens of times over the years, but yesterday's experience hit us just right......

We've gotta go get those grilled 'chokes again soon!

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  1. Marfaboy, thanks for posting. I know it's a chain, BUT I am a huge fan of Houston's too. Every time I go there (which is not often enough) I am blown away. AND They use fresh squeezed juice in their cocktails, fabulous!

    2 Replies
    1. re: fabulousdrinksaustin

      Yes, that's another plus for Houston's - competent bartending. My wife, JJ, says that their mojitos are among the best ever. I personally wish that Houston's would change up their wine list a bit to include a few more non-domestic offerings, but it's adequate....

      1. re: marfaboy

        Yes, that's another plus for Houston's - competent bartending.

        This one area where the Hackensack location is very poor, where it seems they actually ignore your thirst. The restaurant is located in The Riverside Square Mall, an upscale mega mall including a Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany's as high rent tenants. Considering the volume of business this Houston's is not done with liquor sales. The bar it self may have about 15 seats at the actual bar, and an additional 10 seats on a rail where people wait for tables. It's not unusual for the wait to be up to two hours. If you sit at the bar and eat your meal, you would be hard pressed to receive more than three drinks regardless of how much time you spend eating or drinking. In the dining room, they try to limit you to two drinks. This of course is for alcoholic drinks only.....They will refill your soft beverages upon request as many times as you want without attitude.

        My comments stem from many actual experiences and the fact I was told this directly from staff there is not debate on this policy.

    2. marfaboy,

      There's Houston's Restaurant here in my area of Northern New Jersey, Hackensack to be specific. The two must have appetizers for me are:

      The Grilled Artichokes and the Smoked Salmon . Both are truly incredibly good. A couple of years back, Houston's took the salmon off the menu....their explanation being not enough people ordered it......funny, because when it was on the menu..the store was always sold out., Go figure.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        Hi, Fourunder .....glad to see you're still interested in Austin dining following your Barton Creek visit earlier this year. I had no idea that the Houston's chain was in the Northeast - I was under the impression that it was only in the West and Southwest. But your gain, because as you know, it's a very, very good chain restaurant.

        To tell you the truth, I am uncertain whether the smoked salmon is offered at the Austin location - I've never noticed it on the menu. However, upon your recommendation, I will look closer next time, and will certainly order it if it's available.

        MUCH too hot for golf here in Central Texas right now (but, I'm still playing)!

        1. re: marfaboy


          I have to agree with you completely about Houston's as a top chain restaurant. Around here there are mixed opinions.....many centered around their limited menu and higher than expected prices. Comparing the Hackensack prices to yours in Austin, we are higher on the appetizers and burgers, but both are comparable on dinner entrees. I will say though, for a limited menu, what they do offer is done very well. Believe it or not, many around here consider the Barbecued Baby Back Ribs the best available in the area. Around here people like the fall off the bone meat and nothing with a little chew going on. I like them, but I still have a little hard time @ 27-28 bucks for ribs. I guess I'm showing my age. and memory for better and cheaper times.

          btw, the golf game is pretty good. I think I have shot only two rounds above 80 since my trip back in February....obviously a little bragging going on here....:-)

          1. re: marfaboy

            my bro is a server at houston's. they def have the smoked salmon on the menu. every once in a while he'll bring us a bunch leftover from the night with the aioli and toast points. YUM!!!

        2. I haven't had them at Houston's but we always get them at the Cheesecake factory. Has anyone had their's and can offer a comparison. We love them at CF.

          1 Reply
          1. re: michele cindy

            haven't gone to CF in years but have fond memories of the yummy grilled artichokes with the balsamic dipping sauce.