Restaurant Weeks Dinner at Backstreet Cafe Derailed By Lobster Addiction

I had my choices all picked out before I even stepped foot in the restaurant. Backstreet Cafe was offering FOUR different Restaurant Weeks dinner menus, and I had a lofty goal of sampling two or three of them (on separate occasions). When a friend requested Backstreet as the location of her belated birthday dinner, I decided I would try the "Cocktail Menu," which promised courses of tamarind shrimp, short ribs and almond cake with drunken figs. I wasn't sure if I could handle the optional cocktail pairings, which I suspected might leave me as intoxicated as the figs on my dessert, but such was a decision that could be postponed.


So much for that plan. Although I could blame the bartender for serving me a particularly potent spicy Dark and Stormy or our server for his captivating delivery, I will in this case take the blame for suddenly jumping ship on the Restaurant Weeks menu and spontaneously ordering the lobster special.

You would think spending the last few weeks tasting some of the best lobster dishes in Houston, including Backstreet's very own crispy lobster sandwich, would have satisfied my "craving" for this crustacean.

But let's call a spade a spade. It's not a craving if you eat lobster three days in a row and jump at the opportunity to have it "just one more time." It's not a craving if you don't even bother to ask the price of the lobster special because you're too busy inwardly sighing with relief that you won't have to "settle" for something else. It's not a craving if you delightedly devour the whole dish (even going so far as to lick the shells), oblivious to the fact that the birthday girl seated to your right is a vegetarian who does not share your love of eating whole animals.

My name is Joanna O., and I am addicted to lobster.

Backstreet enabled this addiction last week by serving a terrific poached lobster dressed in a light lemon butter sauce resting abed a mound of whipped potatoes. A cute circle of corn cake rounded out the platter. Feel free to disregard my obviously biased opinion, but I do recommend ordering this special if it's again on offer (and especially if someone else is paying). And if you start, like I did, with the fried green tomato and crab meat rémoulade starter from the August Heirloom Tomato Menu, your dinner will be a wonderful mix of hearty seafood fare and down-home comfort food.

So, I missed out on what looked to be a great Restaurant Weeks menu but got my fix of lobster. Tomorrow, I swear I'll stop.

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Joanna O'Leary