Though the Houston food scene has steadily been on the rise in the last few years, one thing has remained constant: the abundance of fantastic comfort food all over the city. Be it fried chicken, mac and cheese, meatloaf or chicken fried steak, Houston can fulfill your every comfort food fantasy in gourmet style. Here are our three top picks for best in the city:
After just one taste of BRC’s bacon jam — this chunky, viscous, addictive, sweet and salty maple syrup goes with just about everything on the menu — the place will win your heart. The popular restaurant is constantly packed with people who come for the cool vibe, great local craft beer selection and stellar upscale comfort grub. The chicken fried steak comes as part of the “evening breakfast,” a feast that includes the potato-chip-crusted steak, cream gravy, two eggs done whichever way you want, paprika potatoes, a biscuit and bacon jam. Deviled eggs come topped with fried oysters and a side of bacon jam. Liver lovers will also smile here: BRC’s menu is full of choices, from foie gras Kobe sliders, to foie gras poutine, to the undeniably delicious skillet of duck fat and raclette-Swiss mac and cheese topped with glistening chunks of foie gras. It’s decadent, bold and memorable.
For some, stepping into Max’s is like entering a gourmet comfort food heaven. All the things that you love get an epicurean spin, from its famous fried egg sandwich stuffed with bacon and served on truffle fried bread with a side of truffled house potato chips, to the fried chicken, which was featured on the Cooking Channel hit Crave. Executive chef Michael Pellegrino also keeps guests coming back with seasonal menu changes, which have seen items such as the unforgettable MWD Reuben — two sugar-dusted, freshly poured rye waffles stuffed with Angus pastrami, chipotle sauerkraut and maple-aioli spread — foie-gras-stuffed egg rolls, lobster pot pie, duck confit taquitos and fried chicken liver and white burgundy French toast. Weekenders can rejoice as well: Max’s brunch is served from Friday through Sunday, and features decadent dishes such as red velvet pancakes and crème brûlée French toast. As the restaurant’s motto goes, fried chicken and champagne, why not?
When restaurateur Shepard Ross debuted Brooklyn Athletic Club to Houstonians in December 2012, the novelty of a New England-style athletic club and its courtyard filled with outdoor adult games such as bocce ball and croquet was a huge attraction. What keeps crowds coming back, however, is the food. Glorious renditions of American classics elevated to gastronomic standards include the fantastic Reuben, braised short rib mac and cheese, porkobuco (an osso-bucco-style pork shank) and grilled Hereford beef burger piled with jalapeño-bacon jam. Portions are extremely generous here, and the Club’s desserts are fun, too. If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat next to the outdoor fire pits, order a plate of s’mores to roast over the flames. Top off the evening with a spiked milkshake to go with it.
Photos Courtesy of Mai Pham and Max’s Wine Dive