Hillstone/Houston's -- excellent service
Nor is it true of many other chains, mid or high range.
Just to name one...Hillstone/Houston's food and service is better than most privately run restaurants.
I completely agree about Houstons. I have nothing but praise about their location in Addison, TX, where I dined quite a few times and I recommend it.
I ate at Houston's many times for lunch when I lived in Chicago. It was across the street from my office. Lots of good choices. I know any decent place can do a good salad, but theirs were great. It took me a few years to replicate their spinach/artichoke dip but I got pretty close and make it a few times a year.
I think Houston's is expensive for what you get, but the food is always good and the service is always impeccable. Their veggie burger is delicious, and I prefer it to a lot of actual meat hamburgers at a lot of places. Their buttermilk garlic salad dressing is awesome too, but my favorite thing there is their braised red cabbage with goat cheese. I've tried replicating it at home several times, to no avail.
re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
it's very true about the menu prices at Houston's. I can't speak for other locations, but here in NJ...
Thai Steak salad ....21
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken....24
Last night @ Houston's with my son and nephew....luckily we had a reservation @ 8PM, sat down at 8:15. There was a 2 hour and 15 minute wait.
2 Smoked Salmon
3 Traditional Salads
New York Strip Steak, Baked Potato and Cole Slaw
Black Eye Peas....
$275 all in
It is definitely expensive.