Friday, July 30, 2010

He Said, She Said

Monthly Feature
It's the end of the month...and guess what's due...another He Said, She Said for Carrie and me. Here’s how it works:

• We went to the same Houston-area restaurant at different times.
• It's our first time eating at the restaurant.
• We read no previous reviews.
• We write our reviews separately.
• Once written, the reviews are not changed.

Little Bigs
2710 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77006

Little Bigs is a slider/shakes, order-at-the-counter restaurant located in the heart of the Montrose District. There’s also a location in Hermann Park.

He Said Atmosphere: (3.0) Stars
Montrose location: I was flustered upon entry. The order counter is about two feet from the front door and with the lack of patrons, they were ready for me. After I ordered, I got a better chance to appreciate my surroundings. Clean, white community tables were throughout…with mid-sized metal stools for sitting. Nothing really stood out about the place, but I felt comfortable enough. Watched some sports highlights on the flat screen and listened to some tunes on the jukebox. I wasn’t a fan of the beer bottles on the wall…felt like college. This place was better than that. LBs also had a nice, covered outdoor deck.

She Said
Atmosphere: (3.5) Stars
Hermann Park location: The straight forward concept of this place is evident the minute you walk in. Simple stainless steel tables set up counter-style. A couple smaller tables, but essentially, you will be sitting next to strangers. Floor-to-ceiling windows give you a beautiful view of the lake. However, if you sit against the windows, make sure you are on the lakeside; otherwise you have a lovely view of the public restrooms. Tables to accommodate 4-6 available outside if you can bear the Houston heat (which I couldn’t in July).

He Said
Menu Selection: (0) Stars
Ummm….four types of sliders, fries, shakes, beer and wine. Think that was it.

She Said
Menu Selection: (3) Stars
Not a lot to think about in terms of what to order. At the Hermann Park location, there are 3 slider choices- beef, chicken, or black bean- fries, and 2 salad options. Various yummy sounding milkshakes, including several for adults.

He Said
Taste: (2) Stars
Can someone please change the name from “Little Bigs” to “Order the Fries”? The fries absolutely saved this meal. They were some of the best I’ve had. Everyone has their own style of fries and these were right up my alley…medium-cut, good amount of potato, crispy but not too crispy, with a perfect amount of sea salt. They were fabulous. The rest of the meal screamed average to below average. I ordered three of the four sliders (beef, fried chicken filet, and pulled pork). First off, I’m not a big slider fan. The patty is typically small and thin...ending up dried out. Not LBs…their patty was almost like a little ball, and thus it turned out moist. But it wasn’t seasoned well, and the caramelized onions did nothing for me. I walked over to the condiment bar for some “special sauce”. Good description…if you eliminate “special”. The fried chicken slider was the best of the three…not greasy, very crispy…but nothing about it stood out. The pulled pork slider was dry and poorly seasoned. It was topped with cole slaw, which was tasty, but I wanted more. Did I mention the fries were fabulous?

She Said Taste: (2.5) Stars
Maybe if I could have indulged in an adult milkshake I would feel more positive about my food experience. Here’s the thing…if you are only going to offer four menu items (the 2 salad options don’t count in my book), they better be exceptional. Mine were not. I ordered the slider trio – one each of the beef, chicken, and black bean (pulled pork was not an option at the Hermann Park location) – a basket of fries and a lemonade. The beef slider was on the dry side and lacked seasoning. It was saved from ruin by the caramelized onions, but just barely. The chicken slider was tender and juicy, but forgettable…breaded chicken which was by no means “spicy” with a single pickle. The black bean slider was the best thing I ate. Granted it was a bit pasty and the little squirt of harissa cream sauce was undetectable, but, it was tasty with a good level of heat. Now, the fries…props to Little Bigs for using sea salt, but I would have liked some more of it. To me, fries should be either super crispy or full-on greasy. These were somewhere in between. Not terrible, but nothing spectacular. Oh, and my lemonade may have been hand-squeezed, but it tasted more like Countrytime. So sad.

He Said Service: (5) Stars
Great service…fast, and the guy running the show complimented my super cool, vintage Astros shirt. He was a nice guy and was genuinely interested in making sure we enjoyed our experience.

She Said
Service: (3.5) Stars
Since you order at the counter and pick up when your number is called, rating the service is somewhat difficult. That being said, the staff at the counter was friendly and the place was extremely clean.

He Said
Pricing: (5) Stars
I ordered four sliders and some fries and the bill was around $10…not bad. The burgers were small, but the fry basket was huge. Have I mentioned how good they were?

She Said Pricing: (3.5) Stars
Not bad…about $20 for two of us. Extra points for considering tax when pricing their items $5.78 for the slider trio = $6.25 with tax, $1.62 for fries = $1.75 with tax. Genius!

He Said Overall Opinion: (3) Stars
I don’t want to completely destroy Little Bigs. I like the concept, and at least I didn’t leave feeling like a complete fat ass. There’s something to be said for that. The burgers weren’t terrible. I didn’t like the pulled pork, but the other two were average. I’d come back for some fries and a shake. My biggest complaint…if the menu is this limited, every item needs to be spectacular.

She Said Overall Opinion: (3) Stars
Expectation is clearly the mother of disappointment. Had I not had such high hopes for Little Bigs I may have enjoyed my experience more. I LOVE the concept of this place…no frills burgers and fries. Unfortunately, I could have used a few more frills as my meal, in general, lacked flavor and pizzazz. Sorry, Little Bigs…I wanted to love you.


Molly said...

Keith and I would have to completely agree with both of you regarding LB. We visited once when it first opened and never went back.

Kevin said...

Molly, I think I wanted to like this place just as much as Carrie did. But other than the fries, they just didn't bring it.