When a local Houston restaurant pioneer opens a new place in town, the entire city is buzzing with excitement. If that same restaurant offers a burger on their menu, I am the one buzzing. I received a phone call from my brother, advising me that his opening night visit to Grace's (the new restaurant by the famed and revered Johnny Carrabba), was greeted with a burger that I was sure to like. Not a man of much patience, I made sure to schedule a trip to Grace's the very next weekend.
I enlisted some close friends to join me last Saturday night. We arrived at Grace's and were immediately impressed with the design and architecture of this new eatery. After a very long wait (Grace's was packing them in during their first week unannounced soft opening), we were finally seated. There was little decision on what I would order - "Grace's Burger" - house ground Wagyu on challah with sharp cheddar cheese.
This burger is one I wanted to like very much. In fact, I wanted to LOVE this burger for many reasons. But, as with any new restaurant, time is needed to work out any kinks. The burger was quite good. The meat was flavorful, and the challah bun was a nice sweet contrast to the meat. My disappointment was not so much in the overall taste of the burger, but mainly on its size (or lack thereof), and uninspiring presentation. Bite after bite, I had no complaints. It was a nice burger with nice flavor, but in the end, it was nothing extraordinary. It would have been extraordinary if the burger had tasted badly - but I have come to expect nothing but great flavor from a Johnny Carrabba establishment. I have read that Johnny is still playing with the menu, and making some changes. I applaud him for wanting to improve to get things right. Maybe one of those tweeks is on their burger. All the right ingredients are there, but there is room for improvement.
One non-burger piece of advice. Save your time by not ordering dessert. Ours was a true disappointment.
Cheers to Eating More Burgers!