Happy Hour at the Grove

Monday, March 9, 2015
I am a train wreck when it comes to dating.

So when I met up with my yoga buddy-turned-martini buddy (because as we all know that's the natural progression of things) Kate for our first Happy Hour friend date at The Grove, it's no surprise that I underestimated Houston rush hour traffic (amateur), was 30 minutes late, and may or may not have hit a car trying to parallel park.

Okay, I thought I hit a car, but then it ended up actually just being the curb, and really I only tapped it a little.

Is curb-tapping illegal? Am I about to be arrested? Man, I would suck in prison.

But see my new friend Kate is totally a keeper because when I finally showed up 17 hours later, I found her sitting at the bar, completely unaffected by my bloodshot eyes, frizzy hair, and questionable driving record, exclaiming "Kim! They have cocktail onions here!"

And they do! And I had an incredible, much-needed martini with cocktail onions!

(Or vodka gibson, whatever your preference.)

Food-wise, we started off with the charred sweet potatoes and mac and cheese to share.

The charred sweet potatoes, made with honey, red chile dust, queso fresco, cilantro, and red onions, were my least favorite thing we ordered, so let's get that one out of the way. I love sweet potatoes. And I love all of the ingredients included in the dish (with the exception of cilantro, but I'm able to pick it out and not have it ruin my whole life, unlike my many fellow cilantro-hating brethren). But all I could really taste were the sweet potatoes. And they did not taste exceptionally charred. In fact, they were a little mushy, and simply tasted like softly baked sweet potatoes. You could certainly see all of the other beautiful ingredients, but their flavors were absent. The dish was fine. However, it was not impressive.

But you know what was impressive?

Time and time again, I continue to be amazed at how creative, different, and incredible macaroni and cheese can be. And the mac and cheese at The Grove is no exception. Combined with roasted, powerful-yet-somehow-subtle mushrooms, and topped with crunchy, toasted bread crumbs, the dish was smooth, indulgent, rich, creamy, and delightful. It was by far my favorite thing we had.

Next up we ordered the sweet corn esquites.

This dish was a combination of corn, crema, radishes, cilantro, and chile. Much like the charred sweet potatoes, it was a beautiful, vibrant, exciting-looking dish. And also much like the charred sweet potatoes, it sort of fell flat. Once again, all I could really taste was the main ingredient, which in this instance was the corn. Don't get me wrong - I love corn, so I did not hate this dish. But I truly could not taste anything else. With all of those added ingredients, the corn should be elevated to another level. Different spices and cheeses may be what are needed here.

After the esquites, we ordered the cheese plate, which 12 times out of 10 is always a good decision.

Here I go being a terrible food blogger because I have no flipping idea what we ordered!

But the cheeses were sensational. The one on the left was similar to a brie, and suuuper creamy. The one in the middle with the black wax was phenomenal and unlike any cheese I'd ever had, and the sliced up little guy on the right was a more pronounced, harder cheese. The jams served with each were perfect companions, and the light, crisp, wafer-y crackers did not distract from the main event.

So when you go just be sure to ask for the brie doppelganger, the black wax coating cheese, and the sliced up little guy on the right!

And tell them Kim sent you!

(Straight from the slammer.)

Despite the fact that I wasn't completely wowed by everything we had, I would go back to The Grove. The mac and cheese was phenomenal, the artisanal cheese plate was superb, and the martini was insanely good. The location on Discovery Green is beautiful, the service is attentive, and the whole atmosphere of the restaurant is buzzing and vibrant.

It's the perfect place for a first friend date!

(or to hide out from the law).

The Grove on Urbanspoon


Post a Comment

> Back to Top