One of the best things about grand tasting events like the Rodeo's Best Bites competition or our own upcoming Menu of Menus is the opportunity to sample food from restaurants you may have never heard of, or restaurants you've always meant to try but never got around to. Joyce's Seafood and Steaks falls in the latter category.
During the final round of judging Best Bites this past Sunday night, I became obsessed with a cup of bread pudding that featured everything I love about the difficult-to-perfect dessert: slightly crunchy, caramelized pieces of soft, challah-like bread soaked in a creamy sauce that was almost like vanilla custard. I had to know where it came from. The answer was Joyce's, which won two awards for its dessert that night: the Tasty Traditions Award and second place in the Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert category.
At one point long ago, I used to drive past Joyce's twice a day during my commute to and from the Galleria. I never thought much of the little seafood place tucked away in a 1960's-era strip center, and nothing about its rather charmless exterior ever encouraged me to stop over for dinner on my way home. I should have known better. A lifetime spent in Houston has taught me not to judge a book -- or a restaurant -- by its cover.