Burgers and Beer

A New Chef Brings a New Menu to Dry Creek

Rishi Singh's influence is already in full force in the form of Korean chicken wings and more.

By Katharine Shilcutt October 21, 2014

The barbacoa cheesesteak at Dry Creek Cafe is one of Rishi Singh's new items.

When chef Rishi Singh left Boheme—the Montrose bistro popular for its frozen drinks and flatbreads—it was a big deal. The two had formed a sort of symbiotic relationship: Boheme received accolades for Singh's inventive pizzas, and Singh enjoyed an increasingly bright (and well-deserved) spotlight for his creative melding of cuisines. A falling out over burgers—Boheme wanted them on the menu, Singh did not—led the two to part ways. It's ironic, therefore, that Singh ended up at Dry Creek Cafe, where he's currently revamping a menu of mostly...you guessed it...burgers.

Dry Creek Cafe
544 Yale St.
713-426-2313
drycreekcafe.com

The Heights cafe has always been known for its burgers, notably the Triple Bypass stacked high with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. And until recently, it's also been known for being, well, dry. Armed these days with a beer and wine permit and a brand-new chef, Dry Creek Cafe—the smallest in the "Creek" group of restaurants which also includes Onion Creek, Cedar Creek, and Canyon Creek—is the proud recipient of a facelift that has freshened the place up while keeping things recognizable for the regulars (we're looking at you, Renee Zellweger).

On the current menu, Singh's contributions are highlighted in bold, though even without the emphasis it's easy to see which are his: Korean chicken wings (available only on Wednesdays, the waiter told us today after we'd already ordered them, sadly); barbacoa in several applications, such as a cheesesteak and a quesadilla; a quartet of new burgers (among them one with chorizo and asadero cheese, and another with goat cheese and smoked jalapeños); and a section called Fancy Dinner Plates with your choice of a fried Cornish game hen or crispy battered cod, both served with seasonal vegetables and a honey-chipotle potato salad.

At lunch today, I went for Singh's new barbacoa cheesesteak. I liked the look of it immediately, tangles of sauteed onions and bell peppers with meaty mushrooms and tender chunks of beef on a warm, soft roll. Sadly, the barbacoa had no seasoning at all—something confirmed by both of my tablemates—and the creamy serrano dressing served on the side suffered the same fate. Both desperately needed salt, though adding it at this late stage would have only made the cheesesteak salty, not seasoned. My friend's onion rings were similarly devoid of seasoning, and her fried shrimp were dressed in an overly thick batter that made it tough to taste the sweet, fresh shrimp underneath.

Next time, I think we'll stick to Dry Creek's specialty: burgers. Maybe that's where Singh's real talents lie after all.

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