Restaurants

Community Restaurants

The Chipper

Image Source: Facebook

Several months ago, the lady who works at the British Depot store near the Tamina Farmers Market just west of the Woodlands, told me about a new fish and chips shop opening in the area. I have been anticipating this opening ever since. And boy, The Chipper lives up to all my waiting and wondering and anticipating. I had high expectations. This is authentic, outstanding fish and chips. They sell haddock and cod and the haddock is crazy good. The chips (or fries to us Yanks) are the best I’ve ever had. They are historic, and I can’t stop eating them. My favorite thing they sell is the mushy peas. I love mushy peas. If you’ve never had them, you have to try them. They have a nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the fish and chips. They also sell a dill flavored tartar sauce and a curry sauce. Their traditional English pies (different meat pies) are excellent too. If you are adventurous, they sell haggis. This is a small shop with about four tables, typical of fish and chip shops in England. Because of the small size, I usually get mine to go. Currently, they are open Wednesday through Saturday noon to 8pm. Go enjoy our little spot of England in Texas.

Community Restaurants

Huti’s 5 Free-Fire Grill

Image Source: http://www.hutis5.com/

If you want to eat excellent HEALTHY food in a fast casual atmosphere, look no further than Huti’s 5.  While it is ‘order at the counter’ and you have to clear your dishes like at home, this healthy eatery has an urban trendy atmosphere.  Maybe it is the industrial decor or the beers on tap or the craft sodas, but it feels like a cool funky place in an urban area.  The 5 in the name comes from the five steps to ordering.  First you pick your main.  The selection includes beef, chicken, salmon, pork, and even Feijoada (Portuguese stew).  I like that you can see everything as you are ordering. Then you choose your base from white rice, brown rice, or fresh crispy organic greens (salad).  Next you pick a side dish.  My favorite is the fire grilled squash.  Other options include roasted root vegetables, street corn, black beans, super greens, and plantains.  Next you sauce it up from some amazing options.  I love to mix them.  My favorite is peri peri and creamy avocado.  The creamy avocado balances the heat in the peri peri to perfection.  The chimichuri is also a favorite.  Step five is to top it off with something like white queso fresco, oranges, vinaigrette or sour cream drizzle.  The combinations are endless!  I was really pleased at how healthy and fresh the food is.  I have a couple of favorites.  My number one is chicken with salad greens topped with fire grilled squash and zucchini and finished with creamy avocado and peri peri sauce.  I add whatever tempts me at step 5.  Another favorite is the Feijoada with brown rice, street corn, and chimichuri.  This food is so delicious and it is healthy too.  The nutritional information is on the back of the menu so you can feel very proud of the meal you put together.  Because of the combinations, healthy eating has never been more fun and creative.

Community Restaurants

Chi Japanese Cuisine

Image Source: http://www.chijapanese.com/

Heaven to me would be an all you can eat, fresh made sushi special at a beautiful restaurant near my house.  This heaven exists in Oak Ridge, just on the other side of I-45 from The Woodlands.  Chi Japanese Cuisine has all you can eat, fresh made sushi every week night from 3pm to 10pm for about $26 per person. It includes many items from their menu in addition to sushi and sashimi. It is a great deal.  If you don’t think you want to eat that much, there are fantastic happy hour specials that cover the gamut of sushi, edamame, dumplings, salads, and veggies.  There are also lots of happy hour drink specials that are perfectly paired with sushi.  The lychee martini is exotic and tasty at a $5 happy hour price for a good sized cocktail. Happy Hour wine at $5 makes me very happy.   I love the sushi/sashimi here and it is clearly the star. The fresh salmon just melts in your mouth.  The tuna is amazing, and the rolls are unique and interesting.  I love the Lake Charles roll which is deep fried with crawfish, cream cheese, and jalapeño.  The Conroe roll is another favorite with salmon, tuna, and spicy mayo.  They have everything Japanese here.  The tempura is legit and they have udon and rice specialties as well as hibachi and robota grill items.  Going for lunch?  They have some great lunch sushi and sashimi specials as well as Bento boxes.  This is quickly becoming my favorite place for some excellent sushi and tempura veggies after a long day of golf!  Great fresh sushi is always my idea of heaven.

Community Restaurants

Grotto Ristorante

Image Source: http://www.grottorestaurants.com/

I recently visited Grotto with a friend and was pleasantly surprised at this chain’s quality of food and service. This Italian restaurant has impressed me during all of my recent visits. We’ve had excellent service every time, and each time a manager has checked in to make sure all was excellent. I’ve tried many items on the broad menu and they have all been excellent. I’ve developed a kind of addiction to the meatballs. This is not something I would normally order, but did so on a whim. They are so fresh, tender, and tasty. For that reason, one of my favorites has become the Rigatoni Della Sansoni with meatballs and meat sauce. It has the double whammy of meat sauce and meat balls! The linguini pescatore is another favorite with its abundance of seafood in a tomato sauce. Hands down, my favorite appetizer is the calamari. It is always cooked perfectly and served piping hot. The pear carpaccio salad is a great salad with its pears, spinach, and gorgonzola cheese. The roasted cauliflower salad on the Happy Hour menu is fantastic and healthy! They really do a great job with seafood here – cooking it lightly so that it tastes fresh and full of flavor. The baby salmon ‘Becca” is great with the pinot grigio sauce and Grilled shrimp. The servings here are huge so you always have lunch the next day. It’s a good thing to save room for dessert. They wheel over a massive desert cart (wasn’t this a thing in the 1980s?) with mountainous sized cakes and pies. Each piece will feed a large family. What a fun way to split dessert!

Community Restaurants

Willie’s Grill and Ice House

Image Source: https://williesgrillandicehouse.com/location-page/the-woodlands/

Willie’s is one of my favorite places for large groups where it is easy to do separate checks and everyone can get whatever they want from a variety of options.  It is a relaxing fun place. Willie’s is very family friendly and has a large patio space perfect for sunny days.  Their menu is huge and has everything anyone could want. I’m kind of addicted to their fried pickles.  They are always a crowd pleaser. There are a ton of huge salads on their menu and my favorites are the Asian Chopped Salad and the Mediterranean Salad.  The Asian salad has greens, chicken, cashews, oranges and huge wantons in a tangy ginger dressing.  The Mediterranean salad has greens, bell peppers, cranberries, pears, walnuts, and Gorgonzola cheese.  You can add chicken to that to make it very filling.  During craw-fish season, this is is always a great place for boiled craw-fish and a cold beer.  They have about a half dozen burgers on the menu including a black N Bleu burger, a turkey burger and an awesome hickory cheddar burger.  Willie’s also has a fair number of sandwiches and poboys.  I love the fried shrimp poboy and the fried craw-fish poboy.  The pulled pork sandwich is also a favorite, but only if I’m not getting a pulled pork topped baked potato.  When I’m in the mood for fried or grilled catfish, Willie’s again satisfies.  You want chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, ribs, or tacos?  Willie’s has those items too. It is a great place to kick back and drink a beer, margarita or their famous Frozen Jack and Coke.  Yes, they have frozen Jack and Coke and frozen adult lawn chair lemonade.  The kids can get a regular frozen lemonade to go with their grilled cheese, corn dog, or mac n cheese.  Like I said, they have something for everyone at Willie’s and everyone leaves happy.