Fielding's Wood Grill is not just another beer and burgers joint - it's a Cary Attar Gastropub - and his 33rd restaurant to date. It's also not a bar, though they do serve alcoholic beverages (or will when the TABC license process is completed). Named for Cary's great-great-great-grandfather Fielding Hudson, their fresh-ground Angus burgers tops the menu along with their alternative burgers, salads, awesome milk shakes, and fresh cut French fries. Everything is made from scratch, so it's all fresh and full of flavor... and calories. The 100% Black Angus, all-natural, Texas beef comes from 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas. The goat cheese and meat comes from a goat ranch near Conroe, the low temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized milk and cream (for those fantastic milkshakes) comes from the Mill-King dairy, just outside of Waco, the bacon is cured and the breads are all baked fresh in house.
The sleek interior has a casual yet crisp feel to it along with a modern flair. Experience comfortable booths along the walls while tall tables and chairs fill the main floor space. A center aisle is lined with iPads connected to the available WI-Fi, where you can hop on a stool and surf the web, check your email or even play a game before and during your meal at Fielding's. We found the staff to be knowledgeable, friendly and eager to please.
So, what about the food? With chef Edel Goncalves (previously of Hubbell & Hudson Bistro) heading up the kitchen, the opportunity to be disappointed is pretty well non-existent. The menu with its interesting choices is not overwhelmingly complicated; Chef Ramsey would likely approve. As we were there on the first day, we're not quite ready to write a full review. But we sampled a few items, and what we can say is that we enjoyed what we have eaten at this boutique type restaurant so far.
There are a few special items you won't find at other restaurants in The Woodlands. One of them being the "Baked Fried Potato." Yes, I said that correctly, the Baked. Fried. Potato. Just what the name describes, this Idaho baker potato has first been baked, then broken apart and deep fried. It's the new French fry for those of us who like our fries crispy on the outside while being soft and tender on the inside. Both the Baked Fried Potato and the "regular" french fries ares served up in a warm, 6" cast iron skillet. A very unique presentation, and it keeps the potatoes warm for longer, giving you more time to enjoy them with your main entrée. The house-made Truffle Bacon Mustard sauce works well on both versions of the potato.
As we mentioned, we were there the first night, so the liquor license had yet to be issued to Fielding's, and the very cool looking beer tap wasn't completely set up - so we weren't able to taste any of their specialty drinks yet. But if the $5 milk shakes are any indication, they should be something special. Cary says they plan to offer then different varieties of milk shakes for everyone, and an additional nine more for the 21-and-over crowd.
The Spicy Baja Burger (mole spices, poblano, avocado, habanero ketchup, pickled jalapeños, and salsa cruda, on a milk bun [$9.50]) will make the carnivore in you very happy. The Black Angus Beef is served up warm, juicy, and tender, the jalapeños aren't too hot, and when they combine with the avocado and salsa you get an excellent Tex-Mex style burger. The milk bun(s) are baked fresh and melt in your mouth (not on your hands), creating a very interesting sensation of flavor that is definitely worth a return visit.
This burger comes with some really high quality formaggio - and you all know how much I love me a bacon cheese burger. This brings all those flavors I love together beautifully; Point Reyes Blue Cheese (from a dairy not three hours from where I grew up) - which was soft and moist with a sharp, but not overwhelming, saltiness that was exceptional. Though I removed the red onion, I noticed they, along with the lettuce, were crisp. I was hesitant that I would like the fig jam, but like so many things Cary and Edel do, it just works.
So will we be back? Of course we will. Sooner rather than later? Absolutely. And we'll give you a full report when we do. In the meantime, do we think you should stop in, even before we get there again, even be they start serving breakfast (oh, Heavens, didn't we tell you? They're going to serve breakfast!!)? Yes. You really should. Fielding's is not Gluten-free but, they do offer a Gluten-free bun.
We've had people ask if Fielding's is "kid friendly." We think it really all depends on what your definition of kid friendly is. While there isn't a kids menu (*NOTE), with burgers, fries and shakes on the menu, plus the newfangled Coke Remix machine, we're sure most any kid will be thrilled to be there. Plus that iPad bar could entertain the more tech-savvy of the youngsters. But there is no playground, and no crayons. And with the soon-to-be-available adult beverage service at the bar, it's likely to be more "kid friendly" in the mornings (when breakfast service begins later this month), at lunchtime and in the early evenings, as Fielding's is a great place for date night, girls' night out, and dinner with friends, too.
* Update: Fielding's does in fact have a kids menu, you simply have to ask for it at the register until the new menus are printed. High chairs are also planned, however, they are simply on backorder as of the date of this post.
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