Looking for something a little less tony than Houston Restaurant Weeks restaurants? Here’s are some new dining spots around town.
The oil industry-themed Refinery: Burgers & Whiskey has opened at 702 W. Dallas in the shadow of downtown. The casual bar is serving a variety of burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches.
We tried the pan-fried bologna sandwich. We wished the bread had held up to the thick-cut bologna, but the sweet potato fries were among the best in town.
Open at 11 a.m. daily. Call 713-487-0029.
Also new to the greater Houston dining scene:
The West End
This Galleria-area tavern takes its inspiration from Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange. (Don't miss the knee-high white boots just outside the ladies' room.) A huge patio fronting busy Westheimer seats 400. Large selection of beer on tap, as you might expect, and housemade crisps.
The menu offers pub favorites such as Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips and Wild Boar Bangers and Mash. Want just a snack with your beer? Try the House-Smoked Trout & Crab Fritters. Just the perfect portion for an afternoon snack.
5320 Westheimer, 713-590-0616
Floyd's Cajun Seafood
Floyd Landry has opened his third Houston-area restaurant in Sugar Land, taking the former home of the very short-lived Pete & Shorty’s.
Landry was all over the dining room when we popped in recently. The menu is huge but a terrific way to try a variety in one visit is to split on of the large seafood platters. And don’t miss the gumbo.
(An aside to Mr. Landry: please consider opening a place somewhere inside the Beltway. All three of your places -- Webster and Pearland are home to the others -- are roughly 25 miles from my house. Too far when I’m jonesin’ for your gumbo.)
16549 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land, 281-240-3474
Pepper Jacks Mexican Grill and Cantina
Downtown dining options continue to ebb and flow. Pepper Jacks opened this week in the two-story spot vacated by Cabo. Gone are the clunky downstairs booth but Cabo regulars won’t notice much in the way of change in decor.
The menu leans to Tex-Mex (fajitas, nachos and tacos) but with some Cajun nods such as fried crawfish tails and gumbo. About the latter, at $8.29 for a cup of chicken and sausage gumbo (their description, not mine), we’re wondering how Pepper Jacks will play with downtown budget-watching lunchers.
419 Travis, 713-222-2922
Texas’ first Bonefish Grill has opened in Webster. The Tampa-based chain, from the folks behind Outback and Flemings, specializes in grilled seafood and steaks.
19325 Gulf Freeway in Webster, 281-332-0430
This Washington state-based franchise chain specializes in “take-’n’-bake” pizzas. It opened its fourth Houston-area store earlier this week in Katy.
The pizzas, which are made-to-order, cook in 12 to 18 minutes in the standard oven or in 30 minutes on the grill.
1560 S. Mason Road, 832-437-8237