Friday, December 28, 2007

Hyden's

This restaurant is now closed. (2014)

Restaurant: Hyden’s

Type: Seafood

Address/phone/web address:
5104 West Davis
Conroe, TX 77304
936.441.FISH
http://www.hydensrestaurant.com/

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Local establishment or chain: local

At a Glance:Exterior Cleanliness: 9

Interior Cleanliness: 9

Service:
Hostess: 10
Waitstaff: 10

Food rating: 8.5
You should order: Seafood enchiladas; coconut cream pie
You should stay away from: Steamed veggies

Overall rating: 9.3

This is a long review, but I promise to make the next one shorter! It's still shorter than Sketch's blogs!

The Back Story
I’m not a big fan of this place at all. We had three poor experiences there in a row, and I had written them off, vowing I’d never return after being overcharged $15 at our last visit—not to mention mediocre food and service. Well, as the saying goes, never say never.

At the Hydrate Hope fundraiser last month, Jason, my husband, and I won a collection of gift certificates to various North County eateries. Hyden’s happened to be one of them. I decided we had better go ahead and use it quickly before that place closed its doors forever. There never seem to be any cars there, and since they moved from South County, I felt that their food and service had deteriorated. So that’s how we ended up there—a gift certificate. Needless to say, I set my expectations really low, as to not be disappointed.

The Review
As you can see by the ranking, the hostess was very friendly. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. I saw another glimmer of hope when our waiter, Darin (sorry if I misspelled your name—like he’s reading this or something), greeted us so genuinely. He didn’t seem to be reading from the “waiter script.” Throughout the meal, he provided us with prompt, informative, and friendly service. Ask for him when you go.

I’m getting long here. I’ll get to the point.

I ordered the Seafood Enchiladas ($18.95). It came with black beans and Spanish rice, but I substituted the rice for green beans because I’m not a fan of rice. If you would like to know why, I can tell you privately while you’re not eating. Jason ordered the Top Sirloin ($15.95) with Au Gratin Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables. Now, you gotta watch them because they charge an extra $1.95 for a salad or the Au Gratin Potatoes. That can quickly raise the price of one meal to over $20.

The enchiladas were out of this world! It was honestly some of the best food I’d had in a long time. There was a little bit of spice, but not too much for you pansy-mouths out there. I still have half of the enchiladas left, and I think I hear them calling my name right now. I definitely recommend them. They’re pricey, but worth every penny. The green beans were a pleasant surprise, too. They were not from a can, as most restaurants serve. Score another point for Hyden’s.

Jason ordered the Top Sirloin. It was cooked medium, just as he’d ordered it. It did seem to lack seasoning, though. He had to add salt. Overall, though, it was a decent steak. The steamed veggies were a little too steamed. They lacked color and were a bit limp. The Au Gratin Potatoes were very good. This was another surprise for me; the last time I visited, my dish had 3 small chunks of potato and a bunch of sauce. Ick. Definitely not worth an extra two bucks. But now I have a different opinion of those potatoes. Yum.

Of course we ordered dessert. I got the Coconut Cream Pie, and Jason ordered the Cheesecake. The portions were huge—large enough to share. I know the pie is made there, but I’m not so sure about the cheesecake. It was still very good and had a nice, creamy texture.

Needless to say, Hyden’s exceeded my expectations—and not because I had set them very low. It seems they are really trying to improve service and food quality—something that was missing in my previous few visits. I encourage you to go if you’ve got the money to spend. It’s not cheap, but based on this visit, definitely worth it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Texas Grill

Restaurant: My Texas Grill

Type: Country Cookin’

Address/phone/web address:

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604 N Loop 336 W.
Conroe, Texas 77301
Phone: 903-760-2030

Prices: Low prices for a sit-down establishment

Local establishment or chain: Local place

Exterior Cleanliness: 10

Interior Cleanliness: 9

Service:
Hostess: 6—Only semi-friendly; the majority of the staff seems to be teenagers
Waitstaff: 9

Food rating: 5

Overall rating: 7.8

The Review
Prices are in line with quality. At $6 a plate, I wouldn’t expect the quality of Saltgrass or Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish. I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The CFS was seasoned nicely and was very good. Everything else was just okay. The mashed potatoes were a bit lumpy, and I don’t think they were lumpy from chunks of fresh potato. They tasted kind of like instant potatoes that had been “doctored” a bit. The gravy was also instant. This was a real disappointment considering the fact that the cfs was so good. Who wants fake gravy on a great cfs? For dessert, I ordered the bread pudding. To say that I was a bit disappointed would be an understatement. It was very rubbery and its only saving grace was that it had real whipped cream on top. I wouldn’t order that again.
For the price, this food was decent. I definitely will go there again to give them a second chance. If you decide to go, don’t set your expectations too high, and you won’t be disappointed. The owners seem like very nice people, and maybe they need to get the kinks worked out of this new restaurant. I say we need to give ‘em a chance.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Chewing and Reviewing

I’ve been thinking about gettin’ on the blog bandwagon for a while now, but haven’t known what to write about. I honestly don’t think anyone would enjoy reading about my life. Unless, of course, you were looking for something to help you fall asleep. I know of a pill that works much better, though. Anyway . . .

I just couldn’t think about what to say, until the other day when a friend affectionately called me Marvina Zindler. If you don’t know already, I’m a walking health department report. I keep up with what restaurants are clean--and which ones are not. Then it hit me—why not write restaurant reviews? If you’ve seen me, it’s obvious I like to eat! This new blogger role fits me like a glove.

I’ll be posting reviews of Montgomery County restaurants which will include locally-owned establishments and chain restaurants. I’m still working out the details, but hopefully I will have my first review posted soon, so be sure to check back soon.