Caracol [Max Burkhalter]
The Houston Press' Kaitlin Steinberg reviews Caracol: While she laments that the menu is unnecessarily long and "feels staggeringly inclusive — too inclusive, perhaps, judging from the sometimes inconsistent quality of the dishes," she raves about the conch ceviche and oysters: "If you order one thing here, make it the roasted oysters." Less appealing was the kobe strip steak smothered in huitlacoche mole: "The protein itself is not the best example of steak in Houston, but the ruddy mole covers a multitude of sins." Steinberg concludes that Caracol might be too ambitious, a restaurant "where too much of a good thing is no longer such a good thing and dishes seem to suffer when not under [owner Hugo] Ortega's watchful eye."
The Chronicle's Alison Cook heads to 60 Degrees Mastercrafted: She gives the restaurant two stars, and says that chef Fritz Gitschner, who "is one of only 65 American chefs to earn Master Chef designation from the American Culinary Federation," carefully crafts his creative dishes, even when he's having fun with them. Like the "funky Hamburger Soup" which was "was ugly and delicious, not to mention unexpected," and the "stunty $200 Akaushi burger smothered in gold leaf," that Cook once spoofed (and has since ditched in favor of the $10 burger). Cook praises the meticulously prepared Texas Blue Foot chicken, and says that it's superior to some of the Akaushi steaks. She raves about sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd's wine list and commends that the esteemed somm is raising the standard for the cocktail program as a result of her smart wine selections.
More reviews: The Houston Press visits Forest Café & Bakery in The Woodlands for homemade bites: "It's a simple breakfast and lunch eatery serving comforting dishes you'd expect to have at grandma's -- pancakes, French toast, omelets, soups, sandwiches and burgers. And everything is made from scratch." H-Town Chow Down visits Hello Taco, a build-your-own taco spot that offers a solid alternative to other taco shops: "Unlike some other Americanized taco concepts (like Torchy's and Texas Taco) Hello Taco doesn't feature signature tacos, predesigned with specific ingredients." Hank on Food heads to food truck fest Haute Wheels Houston: "Houston has grown into quite a city for food trucks--and we've seen the concept grow and evolve here over the past few years to incredible levels."