CSL Insider | Houston

By Kailash Maharaj
December 6, 2009

The Steakhouse at The San Luis Resort

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“I make my way to the San Luis Resort, where all the rooms overlook the ocean.  There are beach amenities right outside the door including H20 their swim up bar.  There is a parrot mascot inside that begins talking to me as soon as I enter the hotel.  Sean Moore is executive chef at The Steakhouse, where I dine that evening on arctic char and sensational creamed spinach.”

The Steakhouse at The San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, Tx
www.sanluisresort.com

The atmospheric fish at the restaurant. Photography K&S Media.

 

Lump Crab

The Downtown Aquarium

“That evening we have dinner at the Downtown Aquarium part of the revitalization movement of the city’s downtown that included the construction of several stadiums such as Minute Maid Stadium, and the Toyota centre.

Owned by Tilman Fertitta of Landries, the Downtown Aquarium is a family friendly concept restaurant. Feasting on lump crab, crab cakes, fried shrimp, po boys and breaded fish, the irony of our surroundings – gigantic tanks filled with sting rays, neon moray eels, and hundreds of exotic fish – does not escape us. My Dad and I head to the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit.

Shannon our guide is knowledgeable and patient and a real animal lover. There are a multitude of species here that we have never seen before, polka dotted sting rays, an alien like turtle and a horseshoe crab. More than once Shannon precedes her explanations with, “oh I love this creature.” Despite close encounters with a few of the animals (“I once had to clean the scorpion fish tank and I counted all but one, then all of a sudden I feel something by my leg. It just brushed against me, but it was close”) Shannon pets the underside of a stingray like many would a puppy. Our last stop is at the white Bengal tigers, an encounter Cook warned had a mesmerizing effect on tourists.”- Kailash Maharaj

The Steakhouse at The San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, Tx
www.sanluisresort.com

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House of Blues

CSL got a personalized tour of the ultra exclusive back rooms at the House of Blues Houston. Touches of East Asian art and architecture were everywhere in abundant opulence.

Our brunch, consisted of soul food, fried chicken and waffles, chocolate cakes, rice and beans and gravy and biscuits.

“It is Sunday and the streets of downtown Houston are hush save for the sound of R&B coming from the House of Blues. Chadley is our guide as we tour the restaurant and concert venue that opened in Houston October 2008.

The chain began as an original club in Cambridge Massachusetts founded by Isaac Tigrett and Dan Aykroyd and has since been bought by Live Nation, the company responsible for bands, tours and live entertainment shows. The ethos of the company since its inception has been universal love, unity and peace. An enormous white sculpture with portraits of various legendary musicians in bas relief greets us at the entrance.

Chadley leads us through secret passageways and hidden elevators to the immaculate members’ only rooms, foundation rooms, and gold corporate rooms that can be rented out for a tidy sum. The rooms featuring 24k gold leaf ceilings, Indian miniatures, intricately embroidered wall covering, Hindu statues and pieces from a Buddhist temple in New Orleans speak to founder Isacc Tigrett’s involvement as a disciple of Sai Baba. My father and I are astonished at the artwork and sculptures. Chadley is excitable and talkative, it is evident that he loves working at the House of Blues. He tells us that he was living in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit.

Like many companies, Live Nation relocated their employees to other House of Blues branches throughout the United States. Chadley is among 200 000 residents of New Orleans who moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina. There are two Gospel brunches every Sunday featuring soul food and a rousing live musical performance and my Dad and I make it just in time. As the performance begins we notice Chadley parading in front of the stage and between tables waving a white napkin to the beat of the music. “

www.houseofblues.com

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Goode Company

You haven’t been to Texas if you haven’t had Barbeque and you haven’t had BBQ if the joint you’re eating at doesn’t have wood outside- preferably hickory.

Goode Company (seven locations in Houston) has both, with a variety of meat selections (brisker, duck, chicken, ribs, seafood, sausages, honey smoked ham, turkey breast among others). Goode caters to a variety of palettes.  And contrary to thinking,, vegetarians can even have a tasty lunch- baked potatoes with all the fixings (sour cream, BBQ sauce, cheese, butter and green onions), and coleslaw and Goode’s famous jalepeno cheese bread.  Vegans may have a small bit of trouble.

Traditional cola, root beer and cream soda are all locally brewed, and taste just like true old fashioned, not too sweet and effervescent with tons of bubbles.  The local beer isn’t half bad either. We ordered the chicken, cheese bread, baked potato, potato salad, coleslaw and a side of sauce.  We were expecting a spicy, smoky sauce but were were told that real authentic Texas barbeque sauce is sweeter.

To end our meal, we finished with chocolate cream pie and Brazos bottom pecan pie (Goode ships these all over the world and one bite will have you putty in their hands.  Though the pecan pie is cloyingly sweet with a caramel like filling, the neutral salted cookie like crust balances the sweetness.  Our mud pie was good, though could have been richer.

(Several locations)
Open Daily 11:00am-10 pm

www.goodecompany.com

This is excerpted from an original article in the Winter 2009/2010 issue of City Style and Living Magazine. For more from Houston and Galveston, click here