A very diverse crop of restaurants populate this week's reviews. On 29-95, Alison Cook finds that, as the restaurant's twitter handle states, she loves Roost, awarding it ??. Katharine Shilcutt takes a trip down memory lane to check in on old school burger shack Lankford Grocery in this week's Houston Press. Meanwhile, at CultureMap, Sarah Rufca brunches at newcomer Concepcion. Finally, the ladies of local blog Urban Swank follow up on Eater's Pizza Week with a trip to Pizaro's Pizzeria.
Cook says she initially found Roost's twitter handle @ILoveRoost to be presumptuous, but she quickly changed her mind upon visiting the small restaurant on Fairview. She describes it as "a snug Hobbit burrow crossed with a mid-20th century basement rec room." As for the food, Cook praises the way chef Kevin Naderi blends Asian, Gulf Coast and Persian influences to create a menu that reflects "Houston’s wildly multicultural buffet." Standout dishes include fried quail, seared almaco jack and roasted cauliflower. Roost's flaws are minimal: "a too-runny chicken-liver mousse appetizer" and limited by the glass wine list.
Turning to the Houston Press, critic Katharine Shilcutt revisits a restaurant she's been patronizing her entire life with Midtown's Lankford Grocery. She's charmed by the dining room, describing it as a "carnival funhouse of clustered tables under gaudy tablecloths and grease-slicked floors." As for the food, Shilcutt finds that it's held up well over the years. While the Old Fashioned may combine "occasionally mealy tomatoes" with regular American cheese and occasionally arrive overcooked, "there's still nothing quite like it, perhaps in part due to the city's shared nostalgia for the place." Both the Wednesday's special of beef enchiladas and the daily breakfast offerings also receive high marks.
Heading slightly south into Montrose, Sarah Rufca brunches at chef Jonathan Jones' latest venture Concepción, which replaced Oceans on West Alabama. She finds the restaurant's patio to be particularly relaxing, writing "the resplendent greenery doesn't just block noise, it also seems to make the whole space feel more chill." Much of the food has its roots at Jones' previous stint at El Xuco Xicana, such as the chilaquiles, but Rufca reports that "the Concepción version was even better, with more balance between the ingredients and slightly less heft." Another Xuco Xicana carryover are the mollete, with which Rufca finds herself " borderline obsessed." She even likes the flan.
THE BLOGS: Over at Urban Swank, Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones visits Pizaro Pizzeria. She enjoys Pizaro's chewy crust but wishes for more cheese, in keeping with her preference for Chicago-style pizza. While she notes that Pizaro is more expensive than the usual delivery places, she concludes by stating "Pizaro's pizza is worth every penny."
· Restaurant Review: Roost flies high on Fairview [29-95]
· Burgers and Nostalgia at Lankford Grocery [Houston Press]
· Houston's hottest new brunch spot: "Cursed" restaurant locale is set to be a cool summer hangout [CultureMap]
· The Outer Loop - Pizaro's Pizza [Urban Swank]
· All This Week In Reviews on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]