It’s summer in Texas and that means one thing – it’s hot. So hot that people don’t want to cook at home; all the kitchen gadgets stay stored away for cooler days, and the oven won’t be turned on until at least September.
That is where The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa’s newly remodeled restaurant, TRIBUTE comes in. Executive Chef Neal Cox and his culinary team, including new Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Owen, know exactly what diners want to eat to beat Houston’s heat.
The lunch menu at TRIBUTE is full of summertime flavors from Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. Crisp salads, seafood and sandwiches are the highlight of the lighter fare which is perfect for a midday break. Every meal at TRIBUTE starts off with a Honey Butter Roll – these rolls are light, airy and topped with just the right amount of flaky salt. It is just one item on a long list of delectable baked goods and desserts coming out of TRIBUTE’s scratch made kitchen.
The Smoked Blue Crab Claws are an appetizer must; topped with tomato butter and paired with a grilled baguette – it is a mouthful no one can resist. From there move on to one of the hearty salads like the Gulf Coast Seafood Salad which has large chunks of crab meat and shrimp along with citrus, avocado and a mustard vinaigrette dressing.
The Houstonian prides itself on being one of the few luxury hotels in Houston that makes all its breads, pastries and desserts inhouse. The hotel’s homemade goodies aren’t just for the restaurants, guests can enjoy them in any of the five restaurants on property, as well as Trellis Spa and special events.
“Working at The Houstonian is an amazing opportunity in a city where the culinary scene is exploding, and I love being in a kitchen that takes such pride in their work. It is a challenge, but one I couldn’t say no to,” said pastry suprmeo Owen, who has worked in notable hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria and Omni Hotels & Resorts among others.
Although you may be tempted, you won’t want to miss out on the special dessert Owen created for the month of August. The Bananas Foster Cake is a sweet banana cake layered with banana pudding and roasted banana cheesecake, topped with caramel whip cream and drizzled with bananas Foster sauce. The dessert pays homage to her southern roots and her grandmother’s kitchen.
“My grandmother is really the inspiration behind my cooking, I began baking with her at 5 years old, when I wasn’t even tall enough to reach the counter. I stood on a chair next to her, and I haven’t stopped since,” said Owen. “The Bananas Foster Cake reminds me of something she would make on Sundays when everyone would come to her house after church. I wanted to give everyone a taste of my roots, and this dessert is definitely it.”
The Bananas Foster Cake is available for $10 during lunch and dinner at TRIBUTE throughout the month of August.
Cover: Seafood Salad. Photo courtesy Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Visit her on Instagram @gabioftheroses_htx