The Cadillac Margarita gets me in the door and the Mariachi combination plate keeps me there. Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen has been on I-45 in Spring for years, and now we have one in the back of The Woodlands on FM2978 at Woodlands Parkway. It is fast becoming one of my favorites for Tex Mex food. It offers an updated taste on classic Tex Mex. The margaritas achieve that perfect combination of tart lime, the right amount of tequila, and sweetness. Hands down, it is my favorite in the area. My favorite Mariachi plate has chicken enchiladas with an addictive poblano creme sauce. It is served with empanadas with cilantro sauce, southwest eggrolls, rice and beans. It is perfection. If you are having one of those days where you need to console yourself with an enormous amount of chile con queso, the burrito con queso is the thing to order. A big burrito literally smothered in gooey queso. The Tampico is another favorite. It has sautéed vegetables on top of a chicken breast. Perfect with some flour tortillas. The Pollo Marisco has shrimp and crawfish in a white wine sauce atop a chicken breast and is my go-to chicken dish when I also need a little seafood comfort food fix. So far, I’ve liked everything I’ve ordered and I eat there often. If you go at peak times, expect a wait. The bar is a great place to wait and if you like dining al fresco, the patio is very nice. This is a great place for creative Tex-Mex.
Tag - woodlands
Image Source: https://modpizza.com/locations/woodlands/
Who doesn’t love a good pizza? I’m in love with Mod Pizza. I say that it is just like Subway, only it is pizza. You stand in a line and order one or more individual pizzas (or salads). You pick exactly what you want on it, from all the displayed ingredients. No matter how many ingredients you get, it costs the same ($7.87) for a Mod (the normal size, 11 inches). It is thin crust and all the ingredients taste fresh and wonderful. You don’t want mozzarella, don’t get it. You want gluten free, get it. You love meat but your spouse is a vegetarian, no worries. It is set up for everyone to have their own very easily. Once you pay, it takes a couple of minutes for them to call your name and then you can chow down on pizza. They have about thirty ingredients to choose from. If you don’t like all that choice, they have about a dozen pizzas on a menu that you can order. I love the crust. It is thin and chewy and tasty. I love the variety of different ingredients and cheeses, some I would never think to put on a pizza. If you aren’t so hungry, you can get a mini (4 inches). They also have a mega for big appetites or families who do like the same thing. My favorite is a Mod with tomato sauce, garlic rub, Canadian bacon, roasted red peppers, pineapple, roasted garlic, mozzarella, and parmesan. They have craft beer, soft drinks, and wine. So Mom, Dad, and the kids are always happy. The last time I was there, they had ‘no name cake’. This was a homemade style Ding Dong type cake. OMG. HEAVEN. I don’t know who makes them and I don’t care how many calories, this was WONDERFUL.
Photo From https://www.fieldingsrooster.com/
The latest in the trio of Fieldings restaurants to open in The Woodlands might be my favorite. It is Fieldings Rooster, and as you can tell by the name, it is all about chicken. They have some excellent non chicken items on the menu, but the chicken excels. I will likely never eat another grocery store rotisserie chicken again. They have fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, and wood grilled chicken. The piri piri wood grill and the chimichurri wood grill are outstanding. The piri piri has just the right amount of heat to give the flavor some depth. The chimichurri is an amazing blend of garlic and basil and perfectly complements the chicken. The Tennessee red fried chicken is the best fried chicken I have ever tasted. It has a some heat and spice; making you want to eat more and more. The chicken is served a la carte so order some of the amazing sides. The brussels sprouts are my number one favorite. They are served pad thai style and stand alone in flavor. I could eat them as a meal. The mac n cheese is amazing too. It is gooey and creamy and will fill your tummy and your soul. The duck fat potatoes are as comforting and filling as anything Grandma every cooked. The drinks menu is as amazing as any fancy bar I have ever been to. They have a very talented mixologist who has created some very interesting and creative drinks. I cant wait to try them all if they are as good as the few I’ve been able to sample so far. It is a good goal to have! Try Fieldings Rooster and enjoy some of their amazing chicken.
When people started raving about how great Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse was, I was surprised that a restaurant inside a Holiday Inn was getting such great foodie reviews. Well, it far exceeded my expectations. This gem sitting inside the Shenandoah hotel has some amazing steaks and Italian classics. I think the steaks here are the best in the area, and yet they cost much less than the more expensive steak houses. I love the filet trio with different toppings. The horseradish topping is amazing. The filet was flavorful and tender. The dish is three portions of filet, each topped with a different topping. The steaks are served with a salad, bread, and a side dish. The garlic potatoes are fantastic. The Italian classics are great too. The lasagna is cheesy and spiced perfectly. The chicken parmigiana is tender, juicy, and comforting. The crab stuffed shrimp is a great seafood dish rounding out the diverse menu. The limoncello raspberry cake is the perfect way to end a fantastic dining experience here. The service was friendly and fast. Johnny’s also has a great bar that makes a great martini at happy hour. The bar service is friendly and the bartenders are knowledgeable. Johnnys is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. This will definitely be a part of my regular mix of restaurants I frequent.
Image from The Refuge Steakhouse and Bourbon Bar
The newest upscale restaurant in Creekside is The Refuge Steakhouse and Bourbon Bar. On a recent Monday night, the place was packed with people enjoying themselves. I recommend you start in the bar. This is probably my favorite bar in The Woodlands. The gorgeous rustic decor makes you want to stay all night. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. On a recent night, we tasted several bourbons, bourbon cocktails, and bourbons flavored with all sorts of interesting things like mint, chocolate, and coffee. They were all superb. The non bourbon drinks were excellent too. In the dining room, our favorite appetizer was the pork belly three ways. It was perfect to share between three people and very tasty. The steaks and seafood on the menu are all excellent. Steaks come with a choice of two sides which are large. I loved the flavorful brussels sprouts and macaroni and cheese. Including the sides makes it very reasonably priced and made it plenty for two meals. The sea bass is one of the best in the area and was cooked to perfection. There are lots of other things on the menu I cant wait to try. The chicken fried rib-eye and the mojo marinated pork tenderloin both tempted me! Save room for dessert because the chocolate cake is fudgy and delicious. One really cool thing they do at The Refuge is a pub run. On Monday nights, a group of local runners meet and run, and then cool off on the patio with a few beers. It looked like a fun group and a great way to build community. I think The Refuge is going to be one of the long term favorites in this area.