Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Texas Land & Cattle -- Tomball, TX

I tend to be wary of Texas-themed restaurants – they tend to mask poor quality food with the spectacle of Texas, hoping non-Texans (and Texans) won’t notice. Texas Land & Cattle deviates slightly from this mold but isn’t without it’s problems.

Like other Texas-themed restaurants, the décor was western themed, although more tasteful than you might imagine. The notable exception was the giant steer head on the wall.
The CFS ($11.95) was a southern style breading soft and juicy round steak. The tenderness was unexpectedly moist and tender, almost fork tender. The breading was soft and not overly crispy. The gravy was a classic luscious white gravy. There was a nice hint of cumin that brought a nice smoky flavor. As good as the technical preparation was, the flavor was a bit bland. Every level (breading, meat, gravy) needed salt and at least a hearty dash of pepper.

The garlic mashed potatoes were tasty and it was clearly prepared freshly and with care. The skins were left on and the garlic tasted like it was roasted, then added, giving the potatoes a nice smoky-sweet flavor instead of overpowering the dish. Still, a dash of salt would have again been warranted.

For a slow Sunday lunch in an empty restaurant, the service was slow, although our waitress was attentive and polite.

If you ignore the wall-spanning Lonesome Dove scene painting on the wall, Texas Land & Cattle ends up like other restaurants. A little more salt and I’d be right at home.

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