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God Bless Americana: Brooklyn Athletic Club's Sinful Blend of Comfort Food and Class

Brooklyn Athletic Club celebrates with its Americana menu mixing gourmet and comfort food delivered in generous portions.

Is this what Axline perfected in between cooking up buttery biscuits at BRC Gastropub and returning to the Houston food scene? During his absence for the past few years, Axline worked for the Lakeway Resort on Lake Travis. The hotel business was all fine and dandy, but when he began to discuss with Ross the offer to open Brooklyn Athletic Club, the opportunity seemed too good.

So here he is, stopping by tables to chat with patrons in between creating masterpieces like pork rillettes, the likes of which I haven't had since I dined in a troglodyte cave in France more than a decade ago. The French restaurant brought a few small ramekins half-filled with the buttery paste of pork cooked to tender perfection in its own fat. Brooklyn Athletic Club will bring you a four-ounce Mason jar packed full of enough rillettes to feed a small army; you might well forget about spreading it on toast and just attack the meaty goodness head-on with a spoon.

Between the rillettes; the gnocchi; and the beautifully balanced butter lettuce salad with hunks of avocado, Texas grapefruit and queso fresco, my fellow diners and I found ourselves nearly unable to order a lunch entrée. Nearly.

The porkobuco is cooked in the style of osso buco so the meat falls off the bone.
Troy Fields
The porkobuco is cooked in the style of osso buco so the meat falls off the bone.

Location Info

Map

Brooklyn Athletic Club

601 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Montrose

Details

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Monday.

Butter Lettuce Salad: $10
Sweet Potato Gnocchi: $13
FBLT: $10
Porkobuco $25



View More:

Slideshow: Club Fed: Behind the Scenes at Brooklyn Athletic Club


Above the din of lunchtime conversation (it can get fairly loud in the small interior dining room), we decided on the FBLT, a twist on the classic BLT that includes fried green tomatoes, deviled-egg mayo and that incredible Nueske's bacon. It was everything a BLT should be, but it seemed lackluster after the masterpieces that were the porkobuco, the gnocchi, the rillettes and even the butter lettuce salad.

Dessert was also something of a disappointment. The s'mores bread pudding was overly sweet, the four-layer chocolate cake was dry and not rich enough, and the cheesecake lacked the tartness of a real New York cheesecake (my mother, a real New Yorker, confirmed this).

It says a lot about the rest of the food and the dining experience, though, that no one in my party held the desserts against Brooklyn Athletic Club. We each took several bites, proclaimed we'd had better, then started excitedly talking about how we'd eat the rest of the porkobuco for breakfast the next day and what we'd like to order for lunch in a mere 15 hours. And then we talked about coming back for dinner and what we'd try next time.

Next time we won't worry about what to wear or whether we should sit outside and play bocce or sit inside and sip wine. We won't worry about whether those things are mutually exclusive.

We will bask in the hip, Brooklyn-inspired restaurant dropped down in the middle of Houston and all its seemingly discordant idiosyncrasies. And we'll fast for the 12 hours before we get there, because the food is just that gratifying.

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4 comments
HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

Welcome, Kaitlin! Great review - looking forward to reading more of your work.

MollyWeasley
MollyWeasley

Vivid, well balanced, lusty prose, delivered by an unabashed lover of food. I will look forward to seeing more form this reviewer. Objective enough to acknowledge when items disappointed, but generous in appreciation of the extreme enjoyment of others- mouthwatering!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Rave review, flimsy references, absolutely no counterpoint or anything that constitutes any real depth. I miss the good old days, even if she was a Shill some of the time.. There is a definite reason why this is the only comment...

 
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