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Grub Burger, Etoile, Lowbrow and Fleming's Reviewed

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The Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook visits Grub Burger, a burger joint that hails from College Station, and decides that it's no Aggie joke after all. She awards it one star and writes that after three visits, she hasn't had a bad meal there yet. "The very presence of the upstart Grub Burger Bar in this burger-mad city, with its increasingly rich and heady dining scene, seemed preposterous on its face. Houston is the capital of its region. We export culture - high and low alike - to the provinces, not the other way around. Right? Wrong, I decided as I took my first tentative bites of Grub's Voodoo Mushroom Burger. I loved everything about it: the strong sear on the patty of house-ground Angus brisket and chuck; the way the beef stayed juicy right through its medium-well passage on the griddle; the perfect size of the thing, plump and tallish but easily handled and eminently biteable, from top to bottom." [Houston Chronicle]
Check out the Eater Houston classic burger map here.

For this week's Cafe Review, the Houston Press' Kaitlin Steinberg visits Etoile. "All the classic French items on the menu here are prepared thoughtfully and with the same finesse as the torchon, from the moules marinière to duck à l'orange. The service, too, is what one expects in a venerable upscale establishment, but with none of the stuffiness that can so often mark typical gourmet French meals. This attention to history without musty arrogance or excessive modern technicality is what elevates Étoile's cuisine from overly passé or avant-garde to simply parfait." [Houston Press]
Check out our interview with Etoile's chef and owner here.

The new Montrose bar from the Free Press Summer Fest folks, Lowbrow, gets a visit from My Table 's Taylor Byrne Dodge. "The menu changes regularly but offerings range from breakfast to not breakfast, and each week one of the not-breakfast specials is named after a famous deceased Texan. Last week's special, the Crazy Swayze, was a take on Lowbrow's Juicy Lucy burger ($12), and it included a Ghost pepper mash-up marinade and manchengo cheese (shown just above). Check out this week's Anna Nicole burger listed on the chalk board (photo at top). If you're popping in for drinks with friends and looking for something light to nosh on, the crispy fried green beans with miso dipping sauce are my pick for favorite shareable." [SideDish]

The ladies of Urban Swank talk steak at Fleming's. "You can have your steak prepared two ways - broiled at 1,600 degrees or iron-crusted (this adds additional flavor to the beef and if you are a texture person you will appreciate the charred and crispy edges). In addition to the typical Filet Mignon, Ribeye, or New York Strip cuts, they have bone-in options and the infamous Tomahawk steak that looks like it came straight from the Flintstones cartoon. Seriously." [Urban Swank]

Grub Burger [Greg D./Yelp]