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Cook Enjoys Oysters at Brasserie 19; Shilcutt Heads to El Real Tex-Mex Cafe to Take on Predecessor

El Real, the subject of the Houston Press review.
El Real, the subject of the Houston Press review.

Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook gives one of the newest restaurants in town, Brasserie 19, one star, despite its "electric scene."

While the food is good at times, "it can be wildly erratic" and the menu "is rife with the old French warhorses." She also finds that "good dishes will be marred by a single odd detail" and also found some big things "amiss" like an octopus dish with a "sludgy texture and muddy flavors."

But more positively, Cook has "always had a good time here," and is lured in "by the prospect of plump, cold Moonshell oysters" and the Oyster Fricassee that she found "fascinating with its surprise little note of hot red pepper, its clear winy broth and its jaunty cap of coarse-cut, toasty bread crumbs."

Cook's final thoughts: "if you order right and enjoy watching the human spectacle, there is plenty of fun to be had at Brasserie 19."

Houston Press' Katharine Shilcutt had a daunting task for this week's review: she tackled the critique of her predecessor and former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh's restaurant, El Real Tex-Mex.

Shilcutt wasn't holding back when she found that "consistency issues abound" and not just in one area, "in its food, its drinks and its service." Between being served wrong plates, "dried-out enchiladas," and food "so often mangled by the kitchen," she's not kidding.

She does find a salsa that's tasty, chips that are thin, good puffy tacos, stacked enchiladas and old school cheese enchiladas that invoke "a pleasant trip down memory lane." But for all of it, she predicts that El Real probably won't become "a shrine itself any time soon, although it could become one."

· The Real World [Houston Press]
· Brasserie 19 Packs in the Well-Heeled Crowd [Houston Chronicle]
· All Week in Reviews on Eater Houston [EHTX]

Brasserie 19

1962 West Gray Street, , TX 77019 (713) 524-1919 Visit Website

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

1201 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77006

Brasserie 19

1962 W. Gray Houston, TX 77019