Thursday, August 22, 2013

White Oak Kitchen- Houston, Texas

Hummus Plate
A friend and I visited White Oak Kitchen in order to participate in Restaurant Week in Houston and try out a new place to eat. Its hard to know where to start when talking about the many disappointments I experienced at this restaurant.  First, the parking is nearly impossible since the restaurant is in the Galleria.  So the first decision any guest must make is whether to succumb to expensive Galleria valet parking or park at Dillards and make the hike across the street to the restaurant. It's definitely not a relaxing start to a night out.

Fried Calamari Appetizer
When we finally arrived at White Oak (where we did indeed have reservations) it took twenty minutes for a server to even arrive to take our drink order.  Fifteen minutes later our drinks finally arrived and we hadn't even ordered our food.  When our server finally appeared my friend and I practically had to pounce on him to get our food order in.  Suffice to say the food was slow to arrive as well.  Additionally, the restaurant was already out of their shrimp appetizer and I was forced to order the hummus instead.  Didn't the restaurant think to plan ahead for restaurant week?  Strike one.

Wok-seared Beef and Shrimp
When the hummus did arrive it tasted worse than a hummus I could buy from Kroger and the pita bread it was served with was dry and had quite obviously been sitting out.  When I noticed my friend demolishing her calamari appetizer I assumed she was enjoying it but she confessed that she was just so hungry from waiting that she would have eaten about anything.  Strike Two.

Luckily when the entrees arrived, wok-seared beef shrimp for me and spicy clam linguine for her, they were hot, tasty, and surprisingly, served in a timely fashion.  I absolutely loved the sesame sauce served with my shrimp and the tangy beef and succulent shrimp were a great combination.

Chocolate Brownie and Ice Cream
However, just as I assumed things were starting to look up for White Oak, it was dessert time.  Naturally, the restaurant was out of the bread pudding I wanted to order so I was forced to order a chocolate brownie instead.  It was, at best, average, but at the very least it was world's better than the chocolate cake my friend ordered.  Since we are both pastry chefs my friend and I are hardened dessert criticss.  We both decided the desserts looked as though they had been frozen at some point and we also felt that they were incredibly bland.  Strike Three.  You're out White Oak Kitchen.  After enduring the poor food and service here once, I will never eat here again.

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