Thursday, August 20, 2009

Carriage House - Houston, TX

I discovered the Carriage House on accident because I was on my way to Hickory Hollow which is right down the road. Fortunately, I can’t seem to pass up a sign announcing chicken fried steak, so I made a return trip.

With horses on the premises and the acreage surrounding the restaurant including old building and, of course, carriages, the Carriage House is part diner and part historical grounds.
More barn than restaurant, the Carriage House is like no other place I’ve ever seen. It is literally like walking into an old barn, complete with wood all around, horse harnesses, hay bails and creaking floors. It is a cavernous place with many rooms that evokes a dark old saloon from yesteryear. The décor is more like an antiques store, with more china hutches than the collective grandmothers of my readership. This made for a very homey feel, especially for being inside of a barn.

The CFS: Very tender and cooked perfectly, making it hard to believe that it was cube steak. How they got it this tender is a mystery beyond my cooking skills. I wish more places would do it like this.

Breading: Flakey and crispy. It was as light as one could make such breading after frying it. It had a taste that reminded me of a cafeteria style breading , done with more care and thought.

Gravy: The gravy was flavorful – creamy and peppery with great consistency.
Knife: Regular knife. I usually lean toward something more substantial, but the tenderness of the CFS made anything more than your fork unnecessary.

Sides: Salad bar + one side. I chose the fried okra as my side: it was delicious. Fresh, hot and very crispy. The salad bar, which I used simply as a way to kill time until the fried items arrived, was well stocked but not very large.

Cost: $ 7.29. A great deal.

Service: Walkup service (which got crowded around lunchtime). The food came out hot and fast.
Music Selection: (Very) old country. It fit the location perfectly!

This place is certainly a throwback – a unique specimen from inside to outside. And the food is also unique. The quality of the CFS and the ethereal quality of the preparation ensures I’ll make another visit. I’ll bring Trigger next time.

7955 Fallbrook Dr.
Houston, TX 77064

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