Sunday, August 12, 2012

Churrascos - Westchase

As I discussed in a previous post, we're in the middle of Houston Restaurant Weeks.  Yes, other cities have Restaurant Week, but Houston is not other cities.  It has a full month of Restaurant Weeks.  But it's all good because the money raised benefits a worthy cause: the Houston Foodbank.

The Lovely Spouse and I decided to drive down to Houston yesterday afternoon to take advantage of the Hatch Chile Festival at Central Market, pick up our case of Hatch Chiles, and to enjoy a restaurant participating in Restaurant Weeks.  Yup, it was a total and complete Foodie Day (tm). And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

First off, Central Market has decided to extend the Hatch Chile Festival to August 28.  More on that in the next post. This post is all about where we decided to eat for Restaurant Weeks: Churrascos Westchase.  We made the decision base on several criteria: the awesome menu listed at the Restaurant Weeks website, great reviews on Trip Advisor and Urbanspoon, and Violet von Mickelsburg's recommendation.  Seriously, anyone who makes a foccia as good as hers obviously has great taste.

Churrascos has three locations around Houston: River Oaks, Westchase and Sugarland.  The River Oaks and Westchase locations are both on Westheimer.  So when you make reservations (highly recommended!) make sure you have the correct location. Houston is known for some very large, very successful restaurant conglomerates and the parent company of Churrascos, Cordua, is no exception. They are the same people who bring you Artista in the Theater District, Amazon Grill and Americas in The Woodlands and River Oaks.  As well as Cordua Catering.  All are highly rated restaurants and services. Churrascos was the first restaurant opened by this wildly successful chef family and features their native Latin American cuisine. 

Mmmmm...plantains with sauces.

Dinner at Churrascos begins with a complementary dish of fried plantains served with two sauces: a spicy red sauce and herb and garlic infused chimichuri.  The plantains on their own are quite delicous and will be refilled as long as you ask.  But be careful because there's plenty more food to follow.

We were seated in a back room so things were kind of dark. This will be reflected in my pictures.  My only strong criticism of the restaurant is the level of noise.  It was LOUD back here.

We ordered off the special $35 dinner menu for Restaurant Weeks.  Many of the items were abbreviated items off the regular dinner menu. I started with the bacon wrapped shrimp taquitos and The Lovely Spouse started with the scallop spoon bread. Actually we ended up splitting both.  As you do.

Bacon wrapped shrimp taquitos.  Miniature tacos with an interesting flavor combination.
Scallop spoon bread.  The scallops were cooked perfectly.  The corn bread was light and delicate.
Next we ordered our entrees.  The Lovely Spouse got the Churrasco, their signature steak.  I ordered the Parrilladas, or lamb chops.  And we were very pleasantly surprised at what we got.

The Churrasco, a 6 oz flat iron steak cooked to a perfect medium rare.  Cut with a butter knife and melts in your mouth.  Served with a potato cake and pickled onions.  The Lovely Spouse didn't care for the pickled onions, and I can't eat them. The potato cake was nice, but, as you'll see, there was plenty of food and we ran out of room.
The Parrillada.  Two lamb chops that were cooked the way lamb should always be cooked. Flavorful and not at all gamey.  And tender as can be.  Served with a grilled meat and veggie skewer, fruit and meat sausage, flavorful veggie rice, mixed veggies, AND a potato cake with pickled onions.
IN ADDITION TO EVERYTHING ELSE they brought us a plate of grilled veggies and rice. And, yummie!, more plantains.
No, we didn't finish everything, in spite of our best efforts.  But, dessert was still coming!  The Lovely Spouse ordered The Original Tres Leches (tm).  Not sure how it's THE original, but that doesn't really matter.  And I ordered the Pio X, a tequila soaked bread pudding.

The Original Tres Leches (tm). It was creamy and delicious.
The Pio X. It's their name for a tequila soaked bread pudding that reminded me very much of a tiramisu. Thankfully this wasn't very large, after that huge meal.
The restaurant is quite lovely so I took a walk around to give some better images than the dark back room where we sat. This restaurant is set up for hosting lots of parties as it has lots of little rooms that can be closed off from the rest of the restaurant.  And it has a very nice bar area.

The entrance to the restaurant.

And VIP approval.
In all it was a pleasure to dine at Churrascos. My only real complaint was the noise.  There were a number of fairly large parties there, including a Pamper Chef group at the table next door.  This made it impossible to talk with each other at times. The service and food were great.  And the decor was nice.

Would I go back?  Of course!  The food and service were fabulous.  The regular menu prices aren't that bad.  But I would definitely go back for Restaurant Weeks.

Would I recommend Churrascos?  YES!  Go there now!

Note to those who might go for Restaurant Weeks: the bill arrives itemized instead of just showing $35 per person. 

1 comment:

  1. *drool* My favorite restaurant.....It's been over a year since we went. Best steak EVER. And the way they manage to get a perfect medium rare in such a thin cut of steak is astounding.

    If (when?) you go back you should try the crab finger "marinieros" (ugh, spanish I can't spell you) appetizer. The flavors are SO good.

    Glad to know the lamb was good. I can never bring myself to order something other than the Churrasco. Except at Americas where I get a dish of corn fettucine with grilled shrimp in lobster sauce. The only flaw with Churrascos is that they don't have that dish. (FYI I don't like Artista as much. The menu is more limited and you don't get the tray of veggies.)