Tuesday, April 3


On Saturday my family and I (and fellow blogger Lyndsay) ate at Houston's in Pasadena for my sister's birthday. My sister loves Houston's and has been wanting to go there for a long time, and always talks about how good it is. I should have been skeptical when she said she always orders the fish there, even though Houston's is a steakhouse.

When we first got there, the hostess told me the wait for a large party would be around two hours. Now, I don't know about you, but I expect the food to be spectacular if I had to stand there and wait 2 hours to be seated. It's because they don't take reservations here. However, we got lucky and a table was available for us within a half hour ( just about when the rest of the family got there). Houston's is primarily made up of large, dark booths and we ended up getting the corner booth. I'd like to think that's where the VIPs sit. All of the waitstaff is extraordinarily attractive and slim, and our waitress also happened to be very nice.

I ended up ordering the fish (what was I thinking?) which was the halibut. My sister ordered the other fish that was available: salmon. The cool think about Houston's is that you can choose what side you would like with your entree, which ranges from french fries and a baked potato, to the seasonal vegetables of the day, which this time included chilled asparagus, glazed carrots, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower. Almost everyone got the chilled asparagus.

My halibut was served grilled with a half of a lemon covered with cheesecloth and four big spears of asaparagus lightly drizzled with some sort of creamy vinaigrette. The halibut was perfectly grilled with just a bit of salt, but I found it lacking in flavor. The lemon juice helped a bit. The asparagus was slightly cold and delicious with the vinagrette, but I wish there was more of the dressing. It perplexed my dad as to why there was "no flavor" so he put a lot of lemon juice on his asparagus.

I found myself craving some sort of carbohydrate...which was thankfully placated by a big mound of french fries in the middle of the table, which my sister had ordered for everyone to share. The french fries here are delicious, cut thinner then regular french fries, but fried just enough to be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I think that was my favorite part of the meal. I was still pretty hungry after finishing my fish.

I tried a bit of my boyfriend's prime rib, but I thought it was too beefy for me. My family laughed when I said this, because after all, prime rib is beef. However, when I eat steak, I like to taste the flavor of the grilling and the spices put into it, with the texture of the beef. I do not like thinking that my steak just tastes like...plain meat. Or plain cow in this case. I also tried the rotisserie chicken that my mom ordered. The glazing on the chicken was delicious, but the Louisiana dirty rice that accompanied it was nothing to write home about.

In the end, I think if you like steak you would like Houston's. Also, if you like spending almost 30 dollars a plate after having waited for 2 hours, you would like Houston's. If you don't mind a lack of presentation (though I guess most steakhouses aren't big on this anyway) and a weird menu (the restaurant serves sushi, salad, burgers, and steak and chicken), you would like Houston's. I was unimpressed overall, but I think I would give it another shot on someone else's dime.

320 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 577-6001
Sun - Thu 11:30AM to 10:00PM
Fri - Sat 11:30AM to 11:00PM

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