Brock and Stacey Silverstein know their stuff when it comes to breakfast. The Silversteins are ten-year veterans of the Buffalo Grille, one of Houston's most enduringly popular breakfast destinations, but also one that's a bit of a drive for anyone outside the Loop. And for those outside the Beltway? Forget about driving to West U for breakfast.
Enter Pecan Creek Grille, the Silversteins' new restaurant on Eldridge, just south of the Katy Freeway and smack in the middle of the Energy Corridor. It serves breakfast all day long -- including those platter-size pancakes -- until it closes each day at 2 p.m. And although it also serves lunch, too, it was breakfast at Pecan Creek Grille that I was after last weekend.
Sitting in an endcap of a large strip center that mainly houses a Kroger, Pecan Creek Grille is an unfussy, no-nonsense sort of place that reminds me of a spiffed up Cliff's inside with just a touch more "country charm," or whatever you call barn doors used as decor. It's cute, even if it's not my taste.
The cheerful young girl in a red headband at the register seemed genuinely excited to greet each customer as they came in. When I told her how nice the place looked, she gushed back, "You should have seen it when I worked here before. It was awful then. It's so much better now." Pecan Creek used to be a pizza place. You can't tell at all anymore.
I ordered the Texan ($7.49) from the list of "breakfast entrees," a menu designation I found myself liking in spite of myself. It came with two scrambled eggs filled with bacon and cheese, a cup of jalapeño-cheese grits and a biscuit with gravy -- everything you'd want on one plate. Minus pancakes, of course. My friend and I ordered those as dessert.
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I was sad to taste the grits and find they'd been cooked without any salt, a constant -- and I mean constant -- complaint at pretty much every restaurant in town. Folks seem quite able to get shrimp and grits right (witness Brennan's or Zelko Bistro), but never just plain old breakfast grits. Even the fancy kind with white cheddar and jalapeños. Please, just salt the damn things while they're cooking down. It's easy.
The rest of the breakfast fared much better, however, with a nicely fluffy biscuit that soaked up all of the rich white gravy and burly hunks of bacon stacked inside my scrambled eggs. My friend's breakfast sandwich ($7.49) was fine stuff, too: a buttery challah bun with a thick slice of country ham under a creamy, spiky serrano-cilantro mayonnaise that made the cheese and eggs inside seem obsolete. An ample pile of skin-on hashbrowns rounded his meal out quite nicely.
I was surprised to find the place half empty when we were there around prime-time, about 11 a.m. Perhaps it's because it's still new, or perhaps people are eating "real" breakfast earlier in the day. Or maybe they're coming for Pecan Creek Grille's specials during the week: $6.99 lunch specials and $1.49 breakfast tacos in the mornings.
Either way, I expect Pecan Creek to catch on soon and see a healthy breakfast crowd, whether at 11 a.m. or when it first opens at 8 a.m. on the weekends.