This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. Just as Katharine Shilcutt did before her, and Robb Walsh before that, Kaitlin will eat and learn as she goes, compiling a list of the 100 dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in Houston. It's a list of her personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston food-scape. It's a list to drool over.
As I often do when I'm eating something with gusto, I forgot to take a photo of the lobster cake benedict I ordered for brunch at Sorrell Urban Bistro a few weeks back until I had already devoured almost half of it. I'm like a dog who needs to be trained to sit and wait for her owner to gently set down her bowl of food and walk away before she's allowed to dig in. I just get so excited about eating that sometimes I forget to do my job.
The lobster cake benedict was particularly exciting, because I have a small obsession with anything lobster. I also lived in the Midwest for a few years before moving back to Texas in June, and I'm still getting used to the fact that seafood is no longer a luxury item or a dish to be avoided due to uncertain provenance. In Houston, I can once again eat seafood pretty much wherever and whenever, but I don't see the novelty of that wearing off any time soon.
OK, so back to the lobster.
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Sorrel's lobster cake is assembled like a crab cake, but unlike the soggy, overly bready crab cakes that some restaurants trot out proudly, Sorrel's lobster cake employs a lot of lobster. Big hunks of meat give the cake a buttery lobster flavor, while bits of pepper and onion add complexity to the smooth cake.
This is served on top of a slice of toasted, slightly sweet brioche and finished with a poached egg that's firm on the outside but still golden yellow and liquid on the inside. Top all that off with spicy hollandaise sauce for an extra zing, and you've got quite the breakfast dish.
Seriously, after eating this decadent mound of lobster and egg for breakfast or brunch, you probably won't be hungry again all day. And that's OK, because anything else you eat wouldn't stack up anyway.