Chef Austin Simmons is on a tear. Originally moving to the Woodlands as John Tesar's sous chef at the late, lamented Tesar's Modern Steakhouse, Simmons quickly found a home with the Hubbell & Hudson empire, moving rapidly from the sous position to Executive Chef, where he quickly received notice from the food community. He helmed the Bistro, the Kitchen, and the catering operation, winning accolades for each. But it wasn't enough for this ambitious young chef.

So, in 2018, he closed the successful Bistro and reopened it a few days later as the reimagined Tris, to universal accolades. Previously, he had launched a successful tasting menu restaurant, Cureight, giving him a venue to flex is creative muscles.

Having conquered the competitive Woodlands market, Simmons wanted to bring something new, different, and unique to his guests in the Woodlands.

The result is CollaborEIGHT, a series of dinners, each conceived by Simmons and a notable guest chef.

The latest event brought Chef Dominick Lee, of Poitin to the Woodlands. Chef Dominick moved to Houston from New Orleans, and attended the Art Institute under the inaugural Chris Shepherd Underbelly Scholarship. He was executive sous chef at Kiran's, learning from Houston's matron of Indian cuisine, before moving to the executive chef position at Poitin.

The theme for the evening had a definite Asian influence, with chef Dominick's South Asian expertise melding with Chef Austin's extensive knowledge from his travels through East Asia.

The evening started with passed appetizers. Pictured above are Chef Dom's Fried Chicken Tikka Masala bites, a delicious spin on the new Houston trend of Indian-influenced comfort food. (The godfather of this new culinary style, Himalaya's James Beard-nominated chef Kaiser Lashkari, was in attendance at this event with his lovely wife Azra. The pressure was on, and Chef Dom responded beautifully.)

Next, Chris Perry, Director of Operations and General Manager of Tris, passes bite-sized renditions of Chef Austin's Kimchi Crab, a dish that has been wowing crowds at Tris since the opening.

If the appetizers were any indication, the guests were in for a very special experience tonight.

The crowd was seated at the intimate dining space, and the first course appeared: Chef Austin's Tom Yum Soup, accompanied by a nicely crunchy Shrimp Toast with sesame seeds. The bright, tangy flavors of the Tom Yum were complimented by the briny soulfulness of the shrimp.

Next appeared Chef Dominick's first dish: Duck Breast Korma. A beautifully braised and seared slice of duck breast was presented in a pool of light silky yoghurt-based sauce. Almonds and apricots added depth to the wonderfully tender and flavorful duck.

Now, it was time to kick things up. Chef Austin presented his Singapore Chili Crab with Fry Bread. Light, airy chunks of lump crabmeat surrounded by a zesty Singapore Chili sauce were combined with quarter-sized pieces of fry bread. The result was spicy (without being overbearing) and delicious.

Next came Chef Dominick's Pork Belly with Pindi Chana. The chick peas of the pindi chana were perfectly prepared; the chana masala that Chef Dom had whipped up was outstanding. However, the pork belly had issues. The skin's desired crispy texture had been taken too far; it was hard an challenging to bite into. The underlying meat was rich, savory and tasty, but a touch dry. Regardless, we still enjoyed this dish; the delicious chana masala and the well executed chick peas saved the day.

Heading east, we were presented with Chef Austin's Korean Short Rib. Perfectly sous vide rib meat was combined with jewel-like pork dumplings, and the spicy Korean flavors were deftly balanced. This was our bite of the night; I hope this dish makes it onto the menu at Tris.

Chef Dominick parried with a sublime Blanc Angus Strip Vindaloo with Aloo Methi. Strips of precisely mid-rare Black Angus were seasoned, served with lovely roast potatoes, and dressed with a subtle Goan vindaloo curry. Many vindaloo preparations lack finesse and carry lots of heat; Chef Dom's was skillfully balanced and delicious.

The dessert course was presented by Poitin's pastry chef, Hani Lee. Her Balinese Mille-Feuille featured buttery, razor-thin French pastry with a cream filling. Asian accents of coconut and papaya carried the dish from France farther east, and the result was outstanding. A delicious denouement to a very memorable meal.

In bringing together multiple cuisines of Asia, Chef Austin Simmons and Chef Dominick Lee flexed their culinary muscles to the surprise and delight of the assembled guests. The attention to detail shown by these talented men was impressive; the skillful execution of the Tris and Poitin teams is worthy of applause. We look forward to future collaborations between such talented chefs. The Woodlands is very lucky to be able to experience such world-class meals here in our quiet little suburb.

Chef Austin Simmons is a man on a mission. I first met Chef Austin in 2010 when he was John Tesar's sous chef at Tesar's Modern in the Woodlands, Texas. John had just departed the restaurant, and Austin impressed me with how he took the helm and skillfully guided Tesar's after the master left, proving his years of working with Chef Tesar had paid off handsomely. Clearly, this was a young chef with talent, ambition, and the ability to take the reins.

Fast foward a few years, and Chef Austin had moved to Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, rocketing through the ranks to become executive chef. He elevated the cuisine, picking up accolades along the way. His restaurant was named one of the best in Houston, the best in the Woodlands, and most recently won the prestigious 2018 Truffle Masters competition, beating a slew of talented chefs including James Beard award winners.

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro had spawned a restaurant within a restaurant called Cureight, which specializes in eight-course tasting menus. This smaller venue allows Chef Austin and his talented team to explore some outside-the-box dishes, delighting foodies and becoming the destination restaurant in the Woodlands.

One thing you quickly learn about Austin Simmons: He's never satisfied with what he has accomplished. Realizing that a great restaurant needs outstanding service as well as great food, he hired guest whisperer Chris Perry (who opened Robard's Steak House, and as General Manager built it into the Woodlands best steakhouse) to polish the service and run the front of the house.

We'd heard rumblings that some big changes were in the works, and after months of speculation, they rolled out their new concept: TRIS, which takes its name from Chef Austin's lovely daughter.

Amazingly, the restaurant was transformed in less than two weeks. Contractors were working around the clock to rip out the old banquettes and booths, and convert the dining room into an open airy space. Perry trained the service staff on the elevated expectations he has for his team. Chef Austin (along with Chef de Cuisine Cortney Taraboi and Executive Sous Chef Brian Stanek) finalized and polished the all-new menu, which by design has something of a split personality.

One Restaurant. Two Concepts

Realizing the varied needs of the Woodland community, Austin and Chris gave TRIS two distinct personalities.

By day, TRIS is a casual spot, serving a menu of classic crowd pleasers and some unexpected options. Chef Austin is not one to put boring recipes on the plate, so his versions of these dishes feature distinctive touches that aren't typically found.

By night, TRIS gets dressed up. White tablecloths come out, and the staff has a bit more starch in their collars. The kitchen ups its game even further, with a mix of reimagined classics and some of Chef Austin's more exotic creations.

Lunch - Casual, with Elevated Cuisine

We arrived for lunch, and were seated in a sunny spot where we could survey the room. Perusing the tightly edited menu, we zeroed in on what we'd try first.

We started with the Philly Cheese Steak. Mystery meat is replaced with razor-sliced prime ribeye, phenomenally tender and piled atop a fresh hoagie roll. House cheese sauce, grilled onions, shallots, and red peppers complete the creation.

This is not your Uncle Larry's cheesesteak. The rich flavor of the tender, marinated beef is enhanced by the silky smooth cheese sauce and the tangy vegetables. You're never going to be satisfied by Cheez Whiz again after devouring this sandwich.

Next up was the Texas classic: Chicken Fried Steak. High-quality beef is pounded thin, then hand-breaded with a gently seasoned breading. Béchamel gravy, Yukon mashed potatoes with caramelized cheese, and huge asparagus complete the dish.

The result is an elevated version of this Texas favorite. The sassy béchamel is an upscale version of the de riguer cream gravy, and it pairs masterfully with the moist, tender beef and the snappy crust. The mash has a sweet, soulful undertone from the caramelized cheese, and the perfectly cooked asparagus demonstrates a deft touch.

Our dining companion was in the mood for something light, so we selected the Avocado Tart. What appeared was stunning.

An etherial puff pastry was paved with thin slices of an entire avocado. vegan cashew cheese, chopped piquillo peppers, pistachios, and pickled mustard seed (almost a mustard caviar) completed this jewel-like creation. The result was delicious, and perfect for vegetarians... or anyone else who wants something light and delicious.

A lunch menu isn't complete without soup. Eschewing something simple, Chef Austin presented his Tonkatsu Miso Ramen. We were a little skeptical; we've not found great ramen outside of a dedicated ramen shop, or at the hands of a experienced master like Chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata. Will this difficult dish prove to be the undoing of the talented chef?

Never attack Russia in the winter. And never bet against Austin Simmons. Chef Austin's ramen hits all the classic notes, but was gently lightened for the lunch crowd. Artisan noodles (imported from Sun Noodle, the benchmark) are topped with planed mushrooms, green onion, smoky grilled pork belly, and sous vide eggs, then bathed in the 48-hour tonkotsu-miso broth. The result is soulful (without being cloyingly heavy,) flavorful, and memorable. This is real ramen, with Chef Austin's distinct signature clearly evident. He apparently picked up a thing or two on his recent food tour of Japan.

Dinner - TRIS Dresses to Impress

Returning a few hours later for dinner (oh, the sacrifices we make for you), we were welcomed into a totally different restaurant. The lights were dimmed, the white tablecloths were out, and the place settings were noticeably more formal. The menu had been replaced as well, and the staff's demeanor was a bit more polished. The menu had expanded, and taken a noticeable turn toward France... but with Chef Austin's signature Asian touches well represented.

Our eyes were immediate drawn to the foie gras, a popular luxury ingredient that is easy to mishandle. But we had faith in the kitchen at Tris.

What appeared was an artful example of attention to detail. House made brioche was crowned with a slab of decadently rich foie, accented with blood orange, honey, and hints of truffle. The result was indulgent and delicious... the sweetness of the brioche and honey, and the tang of the blood orange offset the richness of the foie were in a beautiful balance. Easily one of the best renditions of this dish we've sampled.

As a contrast to a rich dish like foie gras, we chose the intriguing Hamachi Tostada as another appetizer. The blue corn tostada was layered with a generous portion of thickly sliced hamachi, shreds of cabbage, shaved onions, and slices of serrano peppers, glazed with a tangy Thai vinaigrette. This dish was bright, fresh, and delicious, a tribute to Chef Austin's mastery of Asian flavors.

Now it was time for the entrees. We decided to sample from the land and the sea. We started with the 1855 Ribeye, a sliced, bone-in presentation of wet aged super prime beef.

Barely mid-rare (as requested,) it was deftly prepared, served with parsnip puree and a mound of flaky sea salt. The spectacularly charred beef had the subtle flavor of charcoal, and had a bold, beefy swagger. Easily one of the most memorable steaks I've eaten; I now have a favorite steakhouse very close to home.

On a more aquatic note, we jumped on the chance to order a classic we'd not seen on a restaurant menu in years: Lobster Thermador. This classic French creation (Escoffier first served it) is often considered the true test of a classic French kitchen.

This is precisely the kind of challenging dish that Chef Austin executes so well. Huge chunks of lobster were removed from the shell, cooked, and glazed with a sublime cognac lobster creme, then combined with razored shiitake mushrooms and topped with a light crown of  freshly grated parmesan-reggiano. The result is a superlative, utterly decadent creation that every foodie has to order at least once. The tender, moist flavorful lobster meat is glazed with the cognac lobster cream, creating a bite that is perhaps the ultimate indulgence.

After this remarkable degustation, we wanted to wrap things up on a sweet note. The dessert menu was full of intriguing options, but one classic choice stood out: The signature TRIS chocolate cake.

The generous wedge of deliciousness was a revelation. The thick, glossy chocolate enrobing locked in moisture and flavor of the riotous chocolate cake, its layers divided by a schmear of caramel buttercream and salt. This simple but masterfully executed cake is destined to become famous; it embodies everything we love about cake but rarely end up tasting. An outstanding finish to an extraordinary meal.

Throughout the adventure the TRIS staff provided excellent advice and service; Chris Perry as been teaching them well. We look forward to returning again to sample more of Chef Austin's creations. It is exciting to have watched the enthusiastic young sous chef land in his own restaurant, expand his already formidable skills, rise to the top, and execute his vision on such an extraordinarily high level.

I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

HEB is the type of organization that we love. Founded in Kerrville, Texas, the chain of supermarkets brings a wonderful mix of products to neighborhoods all over Texas.

We won’t hide the fact that we’re unabashed HEB fans, and it’s the grocery store we visit first for all of our needs. (Truth be told, we feel a little dirty every time we walk into a Kroger or Randall’s… like we’re cheating on our favorite.) We’ve had great success with products that HEB puts their name on, since almost all products branded HEB are not only high value but also very high quality. Clearly this is an organization that stands behind what it sells.

We recently got word that the new HEB on 1488 in Magnolia had something interesting: An honest-to goodness BBQ joint inside the store.

Order at the Counter

Located right by the main entrance to the store, you can’t miss the Texas-themed facade or the smell of smoked meat. (These HEB guys are pretty darned smart.)

Right off the bat, we’re told that the beef used in HEB BBQ is 100% natural. “Natural” is a buzzword that doesn’t have an official meaning, so we’re glad HEB defined their take on it: No added hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.

We place our order with the friendly, efficient staff member, and search out a spot to devour our BBQ.

Find a Seat

After ordering, we are directed to a side room that was easy to overlook at first. It’s bright, spacious, and comfortable. We appreciate the honesty of the space; it’s not trying to be a fake City Market in Small Town, Texas.

Plenty of seating is arranged throughout the room, and the wall graphics pull together this modern/rustic look that is comfortable and inviting.

Chopped Brisket Sandwich

We started with a quarter-pound chopped brisket sandwich. The brisket was coarsely chopped and shredded, and moistened with a tangy-sweet BBQ sauce. The flavor was unusual, in a good way; a bit sweet, a touch of tangy sourness, and noticeable peppery finish.

The chopped beef sandwich made a good first impression on us. It’s above-average BBQ; nicely tender and filled with unique flavor from the sauce; a great start to our BBQ lunch. But it was time to move on to the next course.

Baked Potato (w/Turkey)

Next up was the beautifully arranged, loaded baked potato. The warm potato was topped with butter, sour cream, pre shredded mild cheddar (slightly dried out) and freshly cut chives, then finished with chunks of chopped turkey.

The turkey was tender, juicy, and gently smoked. It was better than average, but would have benefitted from a touch more perfume from the smoking wood.

The potato, however, needed some serious work. It arrived only slightly warm and undercooked; the butter wasn’t melted. When we alerted the manager, he quickly replaced it… with another slightly warm, undercooked potato. The manager on duty told us that he’d checked the internal temperature himself, and it was correct to HEB’s 140 degree specification. The manager (a very nice guy who was clearly interested in our feedback) even showed me a photograph of the inserted thermometer showing 140-145.

But the potato was undercooked.

I’d never researched this before, but upon returning to my desk, five minutes with Google revealed that an internal temperature of 210 degrees is considered ideal for baking potatoes (other sources confirmed this). Apparently HEB needs to update its specifications unless it wants to serve an undercooked potato. It is apparent that their kitchen isn’t staffed with experienced restaurant cooks; I can’t imagine that a professional cook wouldn’t know how to properly bake a potato.

Fortunately, this should be an easy fix.

Fatty Brisket

As any Texan will tell you, the standard test for Texas BBQ is the brisket… preferably the fatty (or moist) brisket. Lean brisket can be good, but there’s flavor in the fat, and the fatty end is the part most BBQ connoisseurs crave.

Pit masters experiment for years to learn to select the perfect brisket, concoct the ideal rub, and perfect the smoking technique that brings the most out of each individual brisket.

So how does HEB, who’s new to this game, do? Let’s find out. At the counter HEB sets a pretty high bar: At $18.50 per pound, HEB's brisket is priced higher than Corkscrew BBQ, our benchmark for great brisket.

The brisket arrived thickly sliced, with a nice pink 3/8” smoke ring. Curiously, the smoke ring was only on one side of the brisket. The bark was dark, thin, and soft… and again, only on one side of the brisket.

As you can see, the fat wasn’t particularly well-rendered, leaving significant zones of creamy white fat intact in the midst of the beef.

Cutting into the brisket revealed an inconsistency of texture. Some regions were beautifully tender and soft; others were dense and far too firm, requiring a saw-like technique with the supplied plastic knife.

Tasting the brisket revealed a uniformly mild flavor. Clearly this was high-quality brisket, but the flavor was more like roast beef than BBQ. The flavor of smoke was somewhere in there, but was so far back in the flavorway as to be lost in the more dominant beefy and fatty flavors. The bark lacked an assertive kick of pepper; it mostly contributed a needed bit of saltiness.

In summary, I think the brisket has potential, but the potential hasn’t been realized. A more fragrant mix of wood, a bit more time in the smoker, and improved technique to even out the cook across the brisket could result in a greatly improved product. Learning to create top-quality BBQ takes time and experience; even a top notch organization like HEB isn’t going to perfect this craft right out of the box. Hiring an experienced pit master to oversee the preparation, smoking, and slicing of the brisket seems like a prudent course of action.

In Summary

HEB should be applauded for bringing a legitimate BBQ operation to its new Magnolia store. This early visit showed promise, but there is work to be done. Based on the food that came out, it appears that the hard-working staff has experience in the grocery business, not the restaurant business. Adding a couple of pros in the restaurant field would go a long way to taking HEB True Texas BBQ from promising to outstanding.

It had been too long since we'd looked at the offerings from The Olive Oil, the Woodlands' only traditional Greek restaurant.

On a rainy August evening some hearty Greek fare sounded perfect, so we zipped over to the establishment, conveniently located on Sawdust in a large shopping center with ample parking.

The Gyro

The most popular item at many Greek spots is the iconic gyro sandwich, and The Olive Oil didn't disappoint. Thick slices of gyro meat, fresh onion and tomato, and the tangy house tziziki sauce are surrounded with a fresh pita, and wrapped for easy handling. It's a solid rendition; the juicy meat and fresh veggies are complimented by the creamy sauce. Gyro fans should be quite happy with this version.

The Greek Sampler

For those wanting to try a selection of Greek standards, The Olive Oil presents the Greek Sampler. Consisting of Moussaka, Pastitsio, cheese pie, spinach pie, gyro meat, dolmas, tzetziki, pita bread, green beans, chicken souvlaki and oven roasted potatoes, it is a great introduction to the wide variety of classic Greek favorites offered on the menu.

The Mixed Grill

In the mood for meat? The mixed grill will catch your eye. Lamb kabob, lamb chop, beef kabob, chicken souvlaki, pork souvlaki, and shrimp souvlaki are all represented, and all are well prepared - juicy and flavorful.

We enjoyed our visit to The Olive Oil, and found it to deliver consistently good Greek standards in a comfortable, pleasant setting. If you like Greek food, check it out.

The Olive Oil Restaurant | 373 Sawdust Road, The Woodlands, Texas | (281) 367-0114

One of the questions we're most often asked is "Where should I eat?" We're setting out to answer that question.

With the imminent arrival of Torchy's Tacos to the Woodlands, we feel that it is time to help our readers find the very best tacos in the Woodlands area. We've visited Torchy's, and we're proud to confirm that taco lovers have much better options in the area.

Here is our list of our favorite places to eat tacos in the Woodlands area. This list represents our ideas about the best tacos in the Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas.



Our Favorite Tacos

Cabo Baja - If you're looking for something different, Cabo Baja offers tacos with a distinctly California accent. The emphasis is on fresh, light tacos. Our favorites include the grilled shrimp tacos, the fish tacos (either fried or grilled), and for those who want more food, the outstanding burritos.

Chycho's - Chycho's began as one of Houston's uncountable taco trucks, but evolved into a brick-and-mortar location 10 minutes from the Woodlands. Traditional tacos are the draw here; our favorites are the fajita, chicken, and pastor. Chycho's grills its meat over charcoal, and the distinctive flavor is infused into the meat. Bargain seekers visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, when tacos are only $1 each.

Hello Taco - Hello Taco serves traditional Mexican tacos in an environment that's friendly and inviting. Ingredients are high quality, and those who prefer nontraditional toppings can be accommodated as well. Patrons watch their tortillas being made just before they're used as the foundation for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Also Recommended

Blue Mug Cafe - Now under new ownership, this casual bistro on the far west border of the Woodlands offers some excellent seafood tacos. Shrimp tacos were our favorite; the housemade sauce added just enough heat to the perfectly grilled shrimp.

La Palma - This blue collar taqueria in central Conroe has been a preferred destination for those wanting authentic tacos in a brick-and-mortar setting. Pastor tacos are our favorite, and the plate of grilled onions shouldn't be ignored.


Sawdust Road just south of the Woodlands is home to dozens of small restaurants. Most are forgettable, but there are a few gems, like Hello Taco, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, and The Olive Oil.

New on the strip is The Omega Grill, an upscale casual American concept from the people behind The Olive Oil. Taking over the physical space that was a succession of two-letter grills (JP's, PJ's, etc.) the former faux 50’s diner space has been transformed.

The new space is comfortable, contemporary, and inviting.

In the kitchen, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro alum Jason Bielefeldt is creating his take on American comfort food favorites, including pork chops, chicken-fried steaks, hot dogs, and a burger made with 44 Farms beef

Our quick lunch at The Omega Grill was fresh and tasty. The new kitchen is finding its groove, and new menu items are being rolled out on a regular basis

We're excited to return and sample more of Chef Jason's menu.

Omega Grill | 399 Sawdust Road | The Woodlands 77380 | 832-299-6665

Houston BBQ fans have been anxiously awaiting the reopening of Corkscrew BBQ, the award-winning BBQ spot on the north side. Before today, Corkscrew was located in a trailer on Budde road, just South of the Woodlands.

We arrived at Corkscrew BBQ just before the opening. This has become a tradition for us - we visited the original location on opening day, and were immediately impressed by the BBQ turned out by this family business.

The new Corkscrew is on the northern edge of Old Town Spring, having taken over the old Hyde's Cafe building. Will and Nichole Buckman, owners of Corkscrew, completely renovated the historic building. The setting is rustic and comfortable, with the two Corkscrew pavilions repurposed to create an outdoor seating area.

As expected, lines at the new Corkscrew were out the door to the curb. Waits to order ran about an hour, which isn't bad for top quality craft BBQ.

The assembled crowds had their waits rewarded. Corkscrew delivered its Texas Monthly Top 50 meats and delicious sides.

We're excited to see the reopening of Corkscrew BBQ. The Spring area once again has two top quality destinations for barbecue fans. We'll be back. Often.


Cary Attar is a man you should know if you enjoy great food in the Woodlands. He created Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, considered by many to be the finest restaurant in the Woodlands area, and one of the best in Houston. His Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen concept elevated fast casual dining,  bringing an attention to detail that is often sorely lacking in the genre.

More recently, Cary created Fielding's Wood Grille, which quickly earned a reputation as one of the Woodland's premiere dining destinations. The focus on locally sourced ingredients and classic French technique applied to elevated comfort food won over the Woodlands locals. Fielding's burger's are among the best in the Woodlands, and their cocktail program is the benchmark by which others are measure.

His latest creation, Fielding's Local, is set to open soon in the Creekside Park village center. We stopped in to get a sneak preview of Cary's latest creation.

Stepping into the restaurant, we were taken by the bright, airy interior. The dining room and bar areas are surrounded by glass, looking over the lovely Creekside Park village center grounds. 


Thoughtful, modern touches abound - each table has power and USB, allowing digital savants to recharge their devices while they refuel their bodies.


The bar area is airy and open, and the signature Fielding's cocktail program is in full effect, along with, 18 beers on tap. The well edited 100 bottle wine list is supplemented by 20 choices by the glass.


Scotch is a focus at the bar at Fielding's Local, with an impressive lineup of bottles.  If you're a scotch fan, you're going to enjoy working your way through the collection.

And  as  always, the craft cocktail program is second to none in the area. We sampled the Dragon's Breath, featuring Herman Marshall whiskey, St.  Germaine, crushed lime juice, and smoke, poured over a single cube from Fielding's Ice Program. Yes, Fielding's has an ice program, and we expect this unique idea to spread throughout the area.  


The kitchen at Fielding's Local is open, spacious, and stocked with state-of-the-art equipment. No expense has been spared.


All of this leads up to the centerpiece of this new restaurant: The food. We sampled several items at this sneak preview; Fielding's was generous enough to invite us over as their guest. Since this was a pre-opening runthrough, we won't be critically evaulating the dishes, but we will point out highlghts.


Hammond Farms goat cheese, with charred avocado, Colinas De Garzon EVOO, house made fennel crisps. Smooth, creamy, with a hint of sweetness. One of the mildest goat cheeses we've tasted; we see it having broad appeal, even to those who don't typically like goat cheese.


Fingerling potatoes, served in a tiny iron rammekin. Perfectly cooked. A simple side executed very well; it speaks to the attention to detail that is a halmark of all of Cary Attar's restaurants.

44 Farms filet mignon. Nicely seared, rare center (as ordered), supremely tender. Fielding's knows how to handle high quality meat, and it shows here.


Dessert: Coconut rice tamale. Jasmine rice, pina colada sauce, mango habanero salsa. Superb dessert; sweet, light, tropical, with a subtle kick from the habanero. Perhaps the perfect Texas summer dessert. Do not miss this.

We've been fans of Cary Attar's restaurants for years, and with Fielding's Local, he has created another exciting concept. From the beautiful setting to the interesting, creative cuisine, we look forward to returning and sampling more from this exciting new restaurant.

Fielding's Local | Creekside Park Village Center | 26400 Kuykendahl Road 77375 | 281-352-2225

On a recent visit to Robard's, we noticed a burger hiding on the very well priced Social Hour menu. Since our quest to find great burgers is continuous, we had to check it out. Our bartender took our order, asking our temperature preference. (Medium rare at a place that knows how to handle ground beef.)

In short order this burger appeared. A half-pound patty of the house grind, made from the USDA prime beef Robard's sources for its steaks. Perfectly medium rare, the patty was rocking a solid char, and its rich, beefy swagger was front and center. Topped with a melty slice of good quality American cheese, and finished with fresh veggies, this burger wowed us. It's an honest-to-Boulud American cheeseburger, without frills, executed extremely well.

Even more amazing is the price: $8, with fries. The best burger bargain in the Woodlands, by far, and one of our favorite burgers in the Woodlands.

Highly recommended. Go check it out.

Update: Robard's excellent Social Hour burger added to the list.

One of the questions we're asked most often is "Where should I eat".

Here is our list of our favorite places to eat burgers in the Woodlands area. This list represents our ideas about the best burgers in the Woodlands. We enjoy burgers at each of these places, and we think you will, too.

Our Favorites

Del Frisco's Grille - This more casual American bistro concept from the highly-regarded steakhouse chain knows its beef, and their burgers reflect this expertise. A custom grind featuring aged sirloin is formed into two quarter-pound patties. High quality cheese, fresh, crisp veggies, and an airy, eggy bun complete the package.

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro - What happens when a classically-trained chef with a love for burgers has access to the best ingredients in the world? The Bistro Burger at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro. Chef Austin Simmons starts with a carefully developed custom grind of prime beef, hand formed into a generous patty and cooked to temperature. It's covered with melted, aged cheddar and thick-cut bacon, then toped with handcrafted veggies, included oven-dried tomatoes, two process onions, and three styles of housemade pickles. No sauces are needed to dress up this master course in burger execution. For our money, this is the best burger to be had in the Houston area.

Robard's - Tucked away on the Social Hour menu may be the Woodland's best burger value. This classic steakhouse burger, a half-pound custom grind based on Robard's USDA prime steaks, is stunningly good. The beefy, expertly-handled patty is finished with high-quality cheese and fresh veggies. The value is amazing: This serious burger and excellent fries (parmesan truffle or plain) for $8.

Also Recommended

Beck's Prime - Mesquite is the key word at the well established local chain. Certified Angus beef, your choice of cheeses, sauces, and fresh veggies have kept burger lovers coming back to Beck's for decades.

Crisp - This Heights import burst on the Woodlands scene and caused quite a stir with it's Italian-accented take on casual American cuisine. The well executed burger is highlighted by addictive purple onions marinated in balsamic vinegar. It's a surprising blast of acid that pairs nicely with the high quality, hand-formed beef patty.

Fielding's Wood Grille - An obsession with high-quality ingredients and unique flavor profiles elevates Fielding's above the norm. Chef Edel Goncalves starts with 44 Farms angus beef, and artfully combines it with hand-selected cheeses, veggies, and housemade sauces to create some of the most unique burgers we've tasted. We keep coming back to his Texas Blues burger, featuring Point Reyes bleu cheese, pickled red onions, fig jam, and jalapenos.

Grub Burger - This college station import grinds its own beef, bakes its own buns, and combines this solid base with a variety of fresh ingredients to create some unique burger combinations. Don't be afraid to sample the often odd-sounding monthly special - a recent muffuletta burger was a surprising favorite.

Jax Burgers - This local take on an old-school burger joint serves up big, hand-formed patties with plenty of melted cheese and your choice of toppings. There are no gourmet pretentious here - just big, classic burgers executed well.


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