There are only a handful of places in Houston that even sell this classic cookie. I figured a little food fighting between one of the only New York-style delis in town and what is arguably the city's best bakery was fitting.
Katz's Deli (616 Westheimer) After just one bite, I concluded that Katz's put most of its energy into sandwiches--not cookies. Their version was smaller in circumference and much thicker than a typical B&W. But those weren't the real issues with this flawed cookie. It was borderline stale, and both the chocolate and vanilla icings, as well as the cookie part, were somewhat crunchy and tasteless. It was a pathetic excuse for a B&W. To top things off, it was expensive. Two cookies, plus a 5 percent to-go gratuity, along with sales tax, came to $6.32. What a rip-off.
Three Brothers Bakery (4036 South Braeswood Boulevard) Kudos must go to Three Brothers. This was absolutely everything that a B&W cookie should be. It was so fresh (probably just baked) and served slightly chilled. The cookie looked the part as well, having that flat and circular shape. It wasn't dense at all. In fact, it straddled the fine line of so many great B&W cookies--the line where cake and cookie meet and you end up eating the perfect hybrid. Both the vanilla and chocolate icings were smooth, soft, and tasted like vanilla and chocolate. Imagine that! There was not one thing wrong with this cookie. And it was affordable. Two cookies, with no tax, and no gratuity for handing them to me, came to $5.50.
The Winner Unless you were blind for the first three paragraphs and miraculously regained vision for the verdict, you already know how this fight turned out. It was a good old-fashioned ass kicking. Three Brothers' version topped Katz's in every single aspect. It wasn't even close. There's no way I would even think about getting a B&W from Katz's again, not when I know Three Brothers is ten minutes away. As a side note, my wife, who has never liked B&Ws, raved about the Three Brothers version.
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SHOW ME HOW
Attention, readers: My next Food Fight will be Battle Sesame Chicken. I've already got one place picked out (Lai Lai Dumpling House). I want your suggestions for the other restaurant. Leave your best sesame chicken spot in the comment box. I'll pick one and check it out.