Robb Walsh's 100 Favorite Houston Dishes: #81 Shrimp and Grits at Bistro Alex, Hotel Sorella

Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.

#81 Shrimp and Grits at Bistro Alex, Hotel Sorella

The brunch menu at Brennan's sister restaurant, Bistro Alex, is loaded with sweet stuff. The best thing I ate there was the jumbo shrimp and buttery grits. The shrimp were served heads-on, so you had to peel them, but that didn't bother me any. I like the rich shrimp fat in the heads. The grits were exceptionally well-seasoned.

I skipped the duck and waffles with chocolate sauce at Bistro Alex. 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. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer gravy to syrup on my roast beef poor boy.

Bistro Alex is named after owner Alex Brennan-Martin, of Brennan's of Houston. It's located in the chic new Hotel Sorella in the City Center development out by Beltway 8 and I-10. The new chefs at the recently reopened Brennan's of Houston downtown and Bistro Alex aren't from around here. They both seem to be hung up on sweet flavors.

I wonder how long it's going to take the new guys to figure out that here in Texas, we like hot and spicy food. Maybe they need to go back and read some of the recipes that made the spicy Texas Creole style at Brennan's of Houston famous?

The list to date: #100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87: Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli #86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms #85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan #84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina #83: El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos #82: Kielbasa on a Sizzling Comal at Polonia

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