Bistro Alex's Shrimp and Grits

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Brennan's used to be one of my favorite places for lunch. While we wait for the reopening, I tried the brunch at Brennan's new sister restaurant, Bistro Alex. The best thing I sampled was the jumbo shrimp and buttery grits. The shrimp were served heads-on, so you had to peel them, but that doesn't bother me any. I like the rich shrimp fat in the heads. The grits were exceptionally well-seasoned.

We skipped the duck and waffles with chocolate sauce. But I tried a roast-beef poor boy topped with a fried egg. Turns out the roast-beef sandwich was spread with peppercorn syrup - and it was still dry. When we asked for gravy, the kitchen sent out more syrup. What's with all the sweet stuff on the entrees? What happened to the spicy Texas Creole style that Brennan's of Houston made famous?

Bistro Alex is named after owner Alex Brennan-Martin. It's located in the chic new Hotel Sorella in the City Center development out by Beltway 8 and I-10. The hotel has a lovely bar and rooftop swimming pool right next to the restaurant. There is also a smaller coffee bar and breakfast spot downstairs that's run by the Bistro Alex folks. It's called Café Rose, and it's open seven days a week from 7 a.m.

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