This week I visited the BRC Gastropub in Houston, TX. BRC is defined a gastropub as it has an extensive selection of beers and wines in addition to their diverse and delicious menu. Hidden not far from downtown, you’ll know you’ve found this petite brown building when you see the giant red rooster (or BRC) in the parking lot. The building may be small, but it packs a culinary punch to the mouth greater than you’d expect!
Located on Shepherd Drive near Washington Avenue, BRC has a prime location for foodies and beer enthusiasts. I pulled into the parking lot around 6:00 pm, and it already seemed to be getting busy. As I walked in I noticed that they feature an outdoor patio that is dog friendly! What a cool idea, I would definitely like to bring at least one of my dogs here on a cool evening.
I was seated immediately. On the short walk to my seat, I became very distracted by the décor. BRC has a wonderful playfulness to its atmosphere. It can almost be described as “barnyard chic” vs. “Fun With Dick and Jane”. The walls feature a bright red pattern against the solid brown wood frames of the windows, tables and bar. There are rusty brass light fixtures above most of the tables. In contrast, BRC features very funny, “Dick and Jane” like pictures all over the walls alongside the rooster art; Very fun and inviting.
As I looked over the menu, it was hard to ignore all of the fun and inventive dishes. From the handmade cheddar biscuits and bacon jam, to the burgers and entrees, BRC has something for everyone. But, I was here for one thing: The BRC Pub Burger. This burger is made from 100% Black Angus beef, cooked to a nice medium, topped with cheddar cheese, mapley bacon, special sauce, marinated tomato, and iceberg lettuce. I would normally ask for no tomato, but something told me to try it on this burger.
I waited about a half hour for our food. This seemed a little bit long to me, but would have been about right if I were trying out the extensive beer menu. When our food came it was beautifully presented. My burger stood very tall on its plate, each ingredient perfectly stacked between two shimmering buns. Next to it were steaming hot fries served in a mini fry basket.
As I brought the burger to my mouth, the first thing I noticed was the unbelievable fresh aroma. The beef smelled fantastic, but the tomato gave off a sharp smell of fresh herbs. I bit into the burger, and quickly bit again. No words had yet been spoken, and then suddenly I took a third bite. I could not put this burger down. The beef was perfectly seasoned and juicy. The cheddar was melted into a gooey blanket over the meat and its sharpness was a great contrast to the salty bacon and the sweet special sauce. A crunchy texture was provided by the crisp iceberg lettuce.
But overall, I loved the marinated tomato! You usually can’t pay me to eat fresh tomatoes on a good burger. But I tell you, don’t skip it on this one.
The fries were great; very well seasoned, hot and crispy. I had no complaints.
My only beef with the restaurant was that they served soda in cans. I prefer fountain sodas when I go out, but the out of this world food more than makes up for this.
If you are in the downtown area and are looking for a perfect date night, brewpub, or just a place with great inventive food, don’t pass up BRC Gastropub. Visit their website at http://www.brcgastropub.com/
519 Shepherd. Dr.