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Flora & Muse is Good not Great; Chili Bob Reviews Chili Shak

Houston Press' Katharine Shilcutt heads to the Beltway for a nice change of critical pace and let's us know, "I like Flora & Muse very much."

The "charming bistro" that "feels vaguely European" offers Shilcutt "some of the best service I've enjoyed in Houston lately." But all is not sunshine and salmon lollipops, "the menus have become ragged and threadbare and the food itself can feel the same way at times."

Some of the more ragged entries sampled were "a dud piece of $24 grouper that was as dense and chewy as a boiled bagel," a token Akaushi burger that was "a charbroiled mass of overhandled beef" and a Dorian Gray-titled sandwich that was "cooked appropriately, although without much flavor otherwise."

But Shilcutt did have mostly nice things to say about the breakfast, the cocktails and as for dinner, loved the zucchini fritters, "which seemed to be held together with nothing but diced zucchini and feta," the "well seasoned" ahi poke tuna, and a lahmacun, "spiced ground beef spiked with lemon and parsley on top of a soft, blistery piece of flatbread" that only lasted "five flat minutes."

On Chili Bob's Houston Eats, a blog that "ain't just barbecue, steak and refried beans," Chili Bob takes his title to heart and visits the The Chili Shak at Fondren and Braeswood. But he ponders an important question before taking on his task, "Don’t they know every Texan over the age of two has their own SECRET RECIPE for chili that is MUCH BETTER than any other and they won’t order chili at restaurants?"

Turns out, Chili Shak's owners are from Los Angeles (gasp!), but "this is not some West Coast la-la-land chili, it’s all beef and no beans." The menu is a veritable chili extravaganza with items like "Chili Nu Nus (chili on spaghetti but not Cincinnati style chili)," as well as fries, fritos, hot dogs burgers, nachos, baked potatoes, tamales, burritos and sausages that are—you guessed it—all covered in chili.

· Breakfast on the Beltway [HP]
· The Chili Shak [Chili Bob Eats]
Flora & Muse. [Facebook]

Flora & Muse

12860 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX