Wednesday, February 27, 2008

various locations across Southern California, but the one I went to was at:
2991 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

As a testament at how backlogged I have become - I am blogging about food I ate ALMOST HALF A YEAR AGO. Talk about paying my dues. I am determined to slog through this, luckily, I remember a lot after seeing the pictures I took, and sometimes, when the food is good enough, it's that memorable. Like when you pick something out of your teeth that has been bothering you for the whole evening...uh, yeah maybe something a bit more glamorous, but I definitely have a huge satisfactory feeling that almost rivals a good meal. Or accompanies one. But onwards!

Patty's birthday dinner location choice was Houston's, a CHAIN restaurant (all you food snobs, together with me - SCOFF! SCOFF!) I usually hate and avoid chains if I have to - but be it sacrilege or not, I like Houston's. The decor is always really clean, contemporary, I like their wood block tables, the service is usually sterling. they make a mean arnold palmer. As far as I know, there are no Houston's in Northern California, so I never got to experience one in my younger days.

We started off with drinks - oh I love the glasses they use for drinks! A square-ish shaped bottom tapering up to a wide circular mouth, perfect for holding any cold liquid. I got my usual Arnold Palmer. We decided on a favorite of Owen's...

...spinach artichoke dip (excuse the blurriness and rotation, for the life of me it won't adjust the other way). This was a really really good dip - the spinach even tasted really fresh. Salsa and sour cream also accompanied this dish, which....
...tortilla chips were liberally used to scoop everything up. A great start to an even more exciting meal...
Patty got one of her favorite things to eat here - seared ahi tuna with tricolor cauliflower, and tomato with basil and balsamic vinegar on top. First of all, amazing presentation - how could you lose with a color palette like that? It was like the skittles dinner - all colors of the rainbow (incidentally, also the name of Brad and Patty's macaw - I don't usually get "pun"ny but I guess there's a first time for everything). In any case, Patty seemed to enjoy her meal thoroughly.
Brad stuck with his favorite - a Hickory Burger with canadian bacon on top, cheddar, onion and hickory sauce. We had our choice of sides, and he went with the loaded baked potato. I had one too, more about the spud later. He basically licked this plate clean.

Paul got a set of BBQ ribs plate, with cole slaw and fries. We all "ooooh'ed when one of the waiters set this down in front of Paul. He rocked this plate and left no scraps. I tried a little, it was fall off the bone amazing.

Finally, to me and Owen. I decided on their special - crab cakes. I had a choice of 2 sides, which left me with a problem. I love fries, but I desperately wanted to try the baked potato. And I wasn't going to have fries AND a baked potato - tater overload. Owen nobly stepped in and wanted a baked potato too - so I ordered 2 loaded baked potatoes! Yikes! This plate looks like oval shaped things overload! Once I handed Owen his baked potato, the plate seemed a bit more manageable. So how did everything taste? This crab cake was one of the top 5 crab cakes I've ever had in my life. Big lump crab meat, SWEET crab meat, I'd like to add...with a bit of crunchy browning on top and a kick ass sauce. The baked potato was potato heaven. Not to be missed for anyone able to go to a Houston's. Owen got a fried chicken salad, because where there is bacon and avocado, there will be Owen. Namely, he loved it. This salad was huge, I don't think he finished it, even with me pecking at the sides a bit.
Another special of the night - strawberries, with a bit of balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top, with fresh whipped cream. These extremely sweet and fresh strawberries were everything you could have wanted out of a berry. Owen can't help himself. When it comes to their warm chocolate brownie, with nuts and vanilla ice cream on top, he can't resist. He has to get this every time he comes here. I'm not much of a sweets person, but I admit this combination is pretty great. I ate 2 bites of this, and went into chocolate overload.

I really had no complaints that night. Everything was spectacular, from service to food, to ambiance and great company. Go!

No comments: