Restaurants

Community Restaurants

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

Tommy Bahama

I love a good Happy Hour and Tommy Bahama at Market Street has a great one.  There are several good cocktails at happy hour prices as well as wines and beers.  And of course, they have several great appetizers to go with those awesome drinks.  Service is stellar, attentive but relaxed, and the decor makes you forgot your worries and pretend you are on a tropical island somewhere.  Whether you are at happy hour, lunch, or dinner, the macadamia encrusted goat cheese is THE appetizer to get.  It is totally addictive. It is one of the best appetizers anywhere in The Woodlands.  The duo of dips is fantastic too.  I love that spicy guacamole.  I don’t eat coconut, but the coconut shrimp is one of the most popular items at this restaurant. The edge that Tommy Bahama’s has over other chains is that their food is unique and different.  The menu is a bit different and most dishes have something special in them that makes them memorable.  It is one of the few restaurants in the area where I like many different things on the menu instead of having one or two favorites. For entrees, I love the fish and chips.  The fish is always moist and delicious and i love their tartar sauce.  The chips are made of yucca and are a perfect complement to the fish and the tangy slaw. The Parmesan crusted Sanibel chicken with the red pepper sauce is another outstanding dish that is a best seller.  They have some of the best, freshest and most interesting salads around.  The Filet Mignon salad is absolute amazing.  It is truly a gourmet salad that is a filling meal.  The grilled chicken and mango salad is bright, different, and satisfying.  So, head over to Tommy Bahama and pretend you are away from it all in a tropical paradise. You will love it!

Restaurant Website: http://www.tommybahama.com/restaurants/woodlands

Submitted by Restaurant Review Contributor, Terri Olson

Community Restaurants

The Broken Barrel

The Broken Barrel

On one of those perfect temperature, perfect humidity evenings, I headed to the best location on Lake Woodlands at Hughes Landing.  We only get about three of these evenings a year, so you have to take advantage.  I headed to Broken Barrel.  Their wrap around patio faces the largest part of the lake and is perfect for watching the sunset.  All of this amazing atmosphere is enhanced by a great menu of adult drinks and interesting tapas.  Lets talk about the drinks first.  They have an awesome wine menu that is well priced.  They have one of my favorite red wines  by the glass — The Prisoner.  They also have Orin Swift Machete by the bottle which is always excellent.  They have a full bar and craft beers.  But for me, the stars of the bar are the gin and tonics. They pair different gins with fresh botanicals and serve it on ice with good quality tonic on the side.  For example, Hendricks is served with rose petals and cucumber.  They are excellent and interesting.  The tapas menu is creative and has something for everyone.  There are daily Happy Hour specials until 6:30pm which are a good value and excellent.  I recommend the queso and the taquitos.  The menu has full sized dinner options as well as veggies, bites, and small plates.  My favorite, the grilled octopus is tender and smokey, and served with a carrot hummus.    The avocado toast with its crunchy pumpkin seeds and radishes is tasty and filling.  The cochinita pibil tostones are served on fried plantains and I could eat them all day.  Veggies are flavorful and fun.  The baby beets are tasty as are the roasted rainbow carrots, and goat cheese and arugula salad.  It would be easy to fill up on tapas and drinks and overlook dessert.  However the s’mores casserole is worth every single calorie.  It is amazing and even though I say I’m only going to eat a few bites, I always finish every single bite.  The owner of Broken Barrel can usually be found in the restaurant, and I think she will make this a local favorite.

Website: http://www.brokenbarrelwoodlands.com/

Community Restaurants

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is an institution in The Woodlands.  While it has been around a number of years, it never gets stale.  Perry’s re-invents itself with new dishes, new specials, and new drinks while keeping what makes it work. My first trip to Perry’s was in 2002 and I was wowed with the decor.  I was in love with those light fixtures; and that dark contemporary adult vibe still wows me today. Perry’s hits on all cylinders — food, decor, ambience, specials, service, and drinks.  They were the very first company I followed on twitter and it paid off with notification of a super Friday special (announced that day) of the pork chop for lunch!  That pork chop is historic.  it will feed two people for multiple meals.  Tender and flavorful, it has made Perry’s famous.  They have a full menu of steaks and seafood and my favorite menu items are the chopped salad, the crab cakes, and the ahi tuna. The ahi tuna is sushi grade and wonderful served rare with just the right amount of seasonings, wanton crackers, and rice.  The crab cakes are perfection amongst stiff competition.  We always over order on the sides because they are always perfect for dinner the next day.  Their steaks are excellent and cooked to order perfectly each time. I encourage everyone to get on their email list to learn about their specials.  They recently completed a special of four courses for $44 which was a huge meal for a bargain price!  In fact, it was the first time I’ve ever had dessert there and we were pleasantly surprised at how perfect the creme brûlée was. I’ll never skip dessert again.  I’m also a big fan of their social hour and bar.  The bar is beautiful and they have an awesome menu of special cocktails.  They do a martini flight that is the perfect way to sample some of their great drinks.

Website: http://www.perryssteakhouse.com/menu-locations/houston/the-woodlands/

Community Restaurants

CURRENT at the Westin Hotel

Current at the Westin Hotel

The Woodlands now has several restaurants with scenic views and CURRENT at the Westin Hotel is one of my favorites.  I recommend you start and end your meal there at the bar upstairs, SideBar.  It has an amazing view and terrific outdoor seating.  It also has an excellent cocktail menu with some choices that match some of the best mixologists in Houston.  So for a pre or post dinner drink, it is one of the best and most sophisticated bars in the area.  CURRENT also has killer views both inside and out.  It looks out over the waterway and waterway square.  It is also stunning on the inside, featuring a large tree sculpture in the modern appealing room.  CURRENT has a great menu of fresh seasonal American favorites.  Some popular choices include shrimp and grits, the Florida cobia, and the strip steak.  The side orders shine as well and the mashed potatoes might be my favorite ever.  They were creamy, silky goodness on a recent trip. The brussels sprouts are also tasty and shareable. The apple brown butter puff is also one of my favorite desserts there.  It was just the right amount of comfort food indulgence in a modern setting.  They serve three meals a day at CURRENT so it is a great place to enjoy the spectacular view on a weekday or weekend breakfast or lunch.

Website: http://www.westinthewoodlands.com/CURRENT

Community Restaurants

Creative Grounds Coffee Lounge

coffee

There is a new coffee shop in Spring, just south of Creekside Forest on Gosling that has me very excited.  I love good coffee shops and routinely drive into Houston for the really good ones.  Now I have one right here that rivals the best in Houston.  Creative Grounds Coffee Lounge is located in the back of Harvest Natural Market, but has its own entrance and its own very cool vibe.  Decorated in industrial decor, it is cozy, warm and welcoming.  The owner is usually on site and very friendly.  The baristas are all well trained and the coffee is amazing.  The owner visited numerous coffee shops across the country and took what he loved best about them to open Creative Grounds.  They have unique flavored lattes and teas as well as all the normal espresso drinks.  I like that you get your coffee in a nice beautiful cup or mug and not a paper cup, unless you want a paper cup!  They also have some excellent juices and small bites. For breakfast, they have quiche and some amazing muffins. The chocolate muffin is my favorite. For snacks they have some home-made Italian specialties that will make you totally forget about any diet you are supposed to be on.  They have one with corn flakes that is amazing.  I think I’m addicted to that one.  The real stand out at this coffee shop, besides the amazing coffee and food, is  the service and atmosphere.  I felt it immediately when I walked in and in no time I felt like everyone who worked there was  my new best friend.  Anthony, the owner, has an amazing story to tell about how God opened doors for this great place to open and how he was led to everyone involved.  They also give a percent of profits back to the community.  This is a great place that will be one of my favorites for a long time.

Website: http://www.creativegroundscoffeelounge.com/