The E is Silent

The Best Grilles (and Grills)

Why do Houstonians like the name “grill” so much? Probably has something to do with our love of meat.

By Robb Walsh February 2, 2014 Published in the February 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

024 Grille

024 Grille

Bare wood, glass, and gleaming stainless steel set a tone of minimalist luxury at the 024 Grille. The roasted chicken is solid here, and the Berkshire prime double-cut pork chop has the makings of a stunning dish (it was overcooked on our visit). The rest of the menu veers between excellent offerings like red curry coconut chicken soup and run-of-the-mill options like Caprese salad. The dinner menu is divided into “interesting entrees” like the pork chops, lemon baked grouper, and glazed short ribs, and “simply grilled” proteins. If it sounds like a hotel restaurant, that’s because it is—024 Grille is located inside the Westin Hotel on Gessner. 

Bitterman’s Market Square Bar & Grill

This place reminds us of the time when the words “grill” and “bar” were happily married. The hamburger here has long been one of the best in the city. But since its name change, the food has gone downhill—the new owners added the surname and cut the fresh tuna sandwich and other ambitious items from the menu. Still, we heartily recommend the chicken wings and the still excellent fire-grilled burgers.  

Cullen’s Upscale American Grille

Some will say that projecting famous old oil paintings on big-screen TVs isn’t exactly “upscale.” But the food at this over-the-top restaurant, complete with soaring ceiling and huge booths, makes up for that bit of weirdness. Ambitious appetizers include tuna crudo, succulent grilled scallops over mushroom risotto, and house-cured charcuterie. Awesome USDA Prime steaks and top seafood cuts are served with cutting-edge sides like cauliflower puree and “brussels sprout kraut.” Don’t miss the chocolate layer cake.

Daily Grill

This classy but casual eatery, one of the most popular hangouts and meeting spots in the Galleria, is well-worn and comfortable, with handsome, dark-wood furnishings and a long, comfortable bar. The Daily Grill opens at 6:30 a.m. and offers some two-dozen elegant breakfasts, including bagels and lox, steak and eggs, eggs Benedict, corned beef hash, omelets, and oatmeal. $4 drafts and an impressive craft cocktail list are the draw at happy hour. The lunch and dinner menus are equally expansive, with kids’ and gluten-free menus offered all day. 

Del Frisco’s Grille

Del Frisco’s Grille, at the corner of Kirby and Westheimer in River Oaks, is owned by the same folks who run the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in the Galleria, but the menu is more casual. For lunch, try the shaved USDA Prime steak sandwich, which comes with both au jus for dipping and creamy horseradish sauce for added zip. Or go for the double-meat, double-cheese “Grille Prime Cheeseburger” featuring two quarter-pound ground-brisket patties with cheese, chopped lettuce, and a slice of tomato, served on a toasted bun covered in “Sloppy Sauce.” Both sandwiches come with a cone of crispy frites. 

Frank’s Grill

In most American cities, Frank’s would be called a diner. For many years, Houstonians visited the Telephone Rd. location for bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, and the rest of that familiar list of American breakfast favorites, but now there are six locations around town. Frank’s offers excellent hamburgers, liver and onions, pork chops, and chicken-fried steaks, but as good as the lunch and dinner items may be, it’s best to heed the employees’ T-shirts, which read “Best Breakfast in Town.” Frank’s Grill takes you back to a time when Americans took breakfast seriously. Why do we prefer the name “grill” to “diner” in Houston? Probably has something to do with our love of meat. 

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