Reviews of American Style Restaurants | The Woodlands & Spring, Texas
Foodie photos and articles.
June 6 2016
It's been about two years since The Republic Grille opened in the Panther Creek Shopping Center, and business couldn't be any better. In fact, it's so good that Terry McBurney has opened a second location in the far west end of The Woodlands, on the FM2978 facing side of Terramont Retail Center (corner of Woodlands Parkway and FM 2978). Many other would-be restaurateurs should take notice, this is how you do it; with great service and excellent food cooked right, the first time and every time. These of course aren't the only ingredients for a prosperous restaurant, but they are certainly very important. And many restaurants, both Mom & Pop as well as the chains have tried and failed in The Woodlands by not adhering to this kind of business model.
Today (June 6) was opening day, and as we arrived, everyone has a smile on their face and seemed genuinely happy to see guests approach as they open the door upon entry.
Cary Attar, restaurateur extraordinaire and creator of Fielding's Wood Grill, opened Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar in summer 2015 - expanding his empire and bringing even more of his amazing dishes to a broader swath of The Woodlands. The Local Kitchen + Bar was built using as many re-purposed and energy efficient materials as possible, and includes an open air patio with an eastern view of the green space which separates two rows of businesses at Creekside Green; the open-air mall at Creekside Park, The Woodlands. The second of two eateries by Fielding's Culinary Group, LLC, Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar is a casual, upscale neighborhood restaurant. Fielding's local features in-house dry-aged steaks, handmade artisan pasta, in-house cured charcuterie, open flame pizza, imaginative adult beverages, and re-invented desserts.
Salumi Board | Seasonal pickled veggies, Cassis mustard, and Fielding's artisanal bread ($19)
Crisp Woodlands opened less than two weeks ago (April 2015) and is off to a great start. Where most new restaurants struggle for the first few weeks or months, this one succeeds. As some locations seem to be less than hospitable to restaurants, this space has a history of being restaurant friendly. After a generous remodel, there are very few traces left of what was previously Black Walnut Cafe. Things like "order here", and "pick-up there" signs have been replaced with an informed and helpful staff. The booth seating area in the bar is the only recognizable item from the building's recent past. The full service bar is surrounded by white marble counter tops for patrons who enjoy bar-side seating. In fact, all of the tables at Crisp feature white marble tops, including the tables on the new and improved patio seating area. The modern looking interior has several interesting features, one of the most remarkable being the two glass enclosed, chilled wine vaults. Capable of storing and displaying several hundred bottles of wine, together they could be called a 'supporting wall' but of course, wine isn't the only thing they do well at Crisp Woodlands.
The Republic Grille opened for business in late Spring 2014 in the far west end of the Panther Creek Shopping Center in The Woodlands. The space was previously held for more than 30 years by an Asian eatery, Ace Chinese Restaurant, who has plans to relocate to a new location just outside of The Woodlands.
The Woodlands Texas turned 40 in 2014 having first raised a flag on Saturday, October 19, 1974. Since then, we have seen a number of restaurants come and go, and The Republic Grille pays homage to The Woodlands with their interesting collection of historical photographs.
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.
We don't venture too far out of The Woodlands to do our restaurant reviews; at least not very often anyway. But we've often heard positive things about Goodson's Cafe in Tomball, and while out that way on business, we decided to check it out for ourselves. Goodson's has a reputation for being the "HOME OF THE BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK IN TEXAS," fueled by the Destination Discovery Channel's United States of Food (episode 3 "Steaks of the United States" first aired July 22, 2012).
The Appetizer - Fresh yeast rolls and cream gravy are brought to you while you wait for your meal. The yeast rolls were large, and fresh, but not very good. They were thick and dry and neither the honey or the cream gravy could save them. They looked really nice and we both wanted to like them but it simply was not to be.
When I was a kid I remember visiting Farrell's restaurant near the local shopping mall. It was a great place to have a birthday party or a birthday dinner, "Farrell's is Fabulous Fun" was their catch phrase. The theme of the restaurant was reminiscent of a 1920's/30's era, with the servers wearing the old style Skimmer hats, tie and vest. The Farrell's restaurant that I remember is long since gone and TGI Friday's initially had a similar venue and the staff wore outlandish costumes. Over the years, the uniform has been altered at least a few times and they have steadily been trying to improve the menu.
We are all (most of us anyway) familiar with the "Dosey Doe," the basic dance step in various dances like the square dance, the contra dance, the polka, and various historical dances. In The Woodlands (and the greater Houston area for that matter), the term "Dosey Doe" has taken on a new meaning - one that refers to a premier venue for live concerts by an ever-growing list of well known musicians who, we are told, really enjoy performing at Dosey Doe.
"The Big Barn" is the original location, situated on the west side of I-45, just along the perimeter of The Woodlands, Texas and where the phenomenon started several years ago. Since then, Dosey Doe's success has caused them to expand, adding two locations; the Coffee House in Alden Bridge, and the Music Cafe immediately north of The Woodlands, in what is technically Conroe.