Monday, June 1, 2009

The Bryan Caswell Empire

One of the best things about living in The Woodlands is that it is less than an hour to Houston. One of the worst things about living in The Woodlands is that it is almost an hour to Houston.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a free day and it wasn't too hot, so we decided to try to take the kids to the zoo before schools let out for the summer.  I also had an ulterior motive: to try the sliders at Little Bigs, purported to open in Late Spring 2009.  So, we loaded the kids into the car and got to the zoo before 10 a.m. only to see that every school in Texas had decided to take an end of the year field trip to there that day.  It was too crazy for us so we decided to take the Z-man on the Hermann Park train.  We had just done this a few weeks before with playgroup and he thought that it was the greatest thing in the world.

The miniature train goes all around the park and through a tunnel (!!), with many stops to get out and play.  We had a blast riding it around and stopping to play and then returned to the main train station/gift shop.  Of course!  Where MrRuckus bought a new train for the Z-man.  Of course!  But, the new Little Bigs Hermann Park was not yet open.  

So, we loaded ourselves back into the car to drive down Montrose to the original location of Little Bigs, the "slider shack" opened last year by the team from Reef.  What a great concept and what a treat!  I happen to love sliders and these did not disappoint.  They are really tasty little burgers and truly delicious fries.  My favorite part of the meal, though, might have been the sangria slushie that they serve.  If I lived near there, it would be a summertime addiction.  As it is, I can't wait to go back.

The next night, we went with some of our favorite friends for a highly anticipated night out.  I had made reservations at Reef because I am a total nerd for foodie magazines and when I read that there is a restaurant in Houston that was:
  • Top 10 Best New Chef by Food and Wine
  • One of 50 Best New US Restaurants by Travel and Leisure
  • #1 Seafood Restaurant in the US by Bon Appetit
Well, I just had to go.  In the meantime, I read every Yelp review of the place and thought hard about which fish dish I would order.  Luckily I went with fantastic people who were not only great to spend the evening with, but were willing to share and taste everything.  I think we managed to taste much of the menu that way.  The food was delicious,  beautifully presented, cooked to perfection, but did not blow me away.  The room was cool, very lofty and open, but quiet loud.  All in all, I had a great night and a good meal, but would not even put Reef on my list of top five restaurants in Houston, let alone the US.

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