On New Year's Eve, I ate an early dinner at Reef with my husband. We enjoyed a ginormous raw platter, two plump, flavorful crab cakes, generous portions of red snapper and swordfish, and a massive block of fried macaroni and cheese.
We also managed to eat a total of seven of Reef's complimentary rolls.
Obviously it wasn't the lack of food that compelled me to stuff my face with these hot, salty-sweet egg buns. Like the biscuits at Branchwater Tavern, these rolls threatened to hijack my meal with their simple but addictive flavors.
And because it was New Year's, I almost let them, stopping only because I was embarrassed to ask the waiter a third time for more bread.
I usually don't expect much from restaurant bread baskets. Sometimes I am even relieved when they're filled with those god-awful bland, circular, white and/or wheat rolls and those stale, thin breadsticks, as then I'm not tempted to ruin my appetite on lackluster carbohydrates.
But on nights when I'm insatiably hungry or at restaurants where the portions end up being disappointingly small, I am grateful for above-average free bread.
Readers, what other Houston restaurants offer gratis bread (or roll or buns) that steal the show? Please don't write "The Olive Garden," or I'll cry.