First Bite: Cactus Cove
Hot on the heels of Piggy's Kitchen & Bar in River Oaks, the folks from The Creek Group recently opened yet another brand-new venture: Cactus Cove, which has taken over the former Warehouse Bar and Chill space in Timbergrove.
With an impressive beer list (over 100 at last count), frozen mules, and craft cocktails, Cactus Cove has the bar basics more than covered. And in keeping with Creek Group tradition, it also boasts an impressive dog-friendly patio and enough TVs to satisfy most sports fans, with a great classic rock playlist jamming in the background on the night we visited.
The vibe is causal, with a menu primarily focused on starters and sandwiches, and we noticed the other customers were mainly couples and families with kids. We started out with two top picks from the sharing section: Frickles and Corn Fritters. The Frickles, described as spicy deep-fried pickles served with buttermilk ranch, came out in fresh, thickly cut slices. As someone who eats a lot of fried pickles, I can tell you the Cove gets big points for properly balancing the pickle and the batter.
The Corn Fritters were the standout of the evening however, made with a mixture of corn, white cheddar, bacon, serrano peppers and scallions. I am a sucker for anything corn-related, and as far as fritter-type hush puppies go, these were really excellent.
Fair warning: The shareable section of the menu run on the large side. There were two of us and we could not finish them both.
Next, we ordered tacos, which come in four varieties: pork, beef, chicken and red fish. We opted for the red fish since the menu has a lot of fried options on it and we wanted something light. While the fish was tasty overall, the tacos were lacking a little something extra to top them off, perhaps salsa or some slices of avocado.
For our final dish, my friend wanted to get back to the fried stuff and try the cheesesteak egg rolls. This was the one real miss of the evening, but the Cove has only been open a few weeks and it's clear they're still fine-tuning the menu.
With more of a bar atmosphere than a restaurant, Cactus Cove has more in common with the the Creek Group's popular Canyon Creek than the recently opened Piggy's. The staff is friendly and the location has a lot of potential once they iron out some of the kinks, so stay tuned.