Black Walnut Cafe – Rice Village
Price Range is the average cost per entree. The range does not include drinks, tax or tip.
We are going for averages here, folks.$ = Under $10: My money is funny and my credit won't get it!
$$ = $11 - $20: Just got paid....Friday night!!!
$$$ = $21 - $39: Don't cheat yourself....treat yourself!
$$$$ = Above $40: Splurge baby. Splurge!
CCC: "Triple C" rating. Establishments with this rating have that wow factor -- whether it be exceptional food or world class service. An 'eat-peat' is definitely in order. Consider placing these restaurants on your 'must do' list. Visit at your own risk - these establishments can cause late night cravings.
CC: "Double C" rating. Solid restaurant. Can be either average or above average. They excel in a few categories but may miss the mark in some others. Members will agree that these establishments warrant future visits and will recommend you pay them a visit. You'll find most restaurants with this rating.
C: "Single C" rating. Missing that "it" factor especially as it relates to good cuisine. Triple C members do not recommend this establishment. Not particularly worth the money, gas, time or effort, unless you get a rise out of let-downs. Hold on to your dough and spend it at restaurants with Double or Triple C ratings.
Jazz tunes hover in the background as I take in the restaurant that would serve as the venue for Triple C’s first tour of 2012. With well over 7,000 eateries in the Houston and surrounding area, any one of them would have sufficed. However, one establishment stood out from the rest. Not because of its growing social appeal. Not even because of its eclectic fare. Of all things, the slogan is what sold it — “Where Comfort Meets Food”. How awesome does that sound? Doesn’t it make you want to detach your hind-parts from the sofa and skedaddle on down to the Black Walnut Café nearest you? If you live in the Sugarland, Katy, West U or The Woodlands area, you’re in luck. There’s one in your hood.
Although the room is filled with light jazz and the ceiling speckled with dimmed lighting, there is still a sense of casualness about the ambiance. There are no fancy waiters to take your order, no white cotton table cloths and napkins on the table and no award winning wine list to boast about. Just a simple counter service and café feel that is a welcomed change of pace. Equally welcoming is the extensive selection of eats. A smidgen of every popular cuisine is represented on the menu. If you’re looking to order breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast or combination of both, it can happen here. We’re talking pastas, salads, things with bacon, things that are stuffed and a few down home Southern classics as well.
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but there is a huge trend around recreating childhood favorites with a slight gourmet flare. Next to mac and cheese, grilled cheese is rapidly becoming the newly reinvented comfort food. Black Walnut Café offers sort of a BLT take on grilled cheese. The bread is perfectly toasted. The bacon is thick and is fried to a delicate crisp. The cheese…let’s just say there is a lot it!! Unfortunately, the abundance of cheese overshadowed the other positives. The peppered bacon is not thick enough to stand up to the aggressive flavor of the cheese. Would I order it during my next visit? Probably not.
Now, the next two dishes come highly recommended by a few Triple C diners. The name is simple, but the construction is complex. We’re talking about the Salmon Fillet (yes, that’s the name of the entrée). Roasted salmon is supported by a healthy portion of seasoned orzo pasta and red onions. On top is a layer of pesto Pavia sauce for flavor and walnut chunks for texture. If you prefer hearty portions, the BWC Pork Chop & Crab Cake entree is the way to go. The highlight is most certainly the crab cake. The addition of orzo and spicy sausage puts this crab cake in a class of its own.
Don’t leave Black Walnut Café without trying their Frozen Peach Bellini. The refreshing taste makes it more of a brunch or happy hour libation. Speaking of happy hour, Black Walnut Café offers both a morning and afternoon happy hour. I got all excited when I learned about the morning happy hour. It’s from 7:00am – 10:30am and features several reasonably priced specials. How awesome to know you can start your day with a little sumthin’sumthin’!!
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