With wood-lined walls and hard floors—plus some festive diners—the decibel level here can reach deafening. But we can’t complain about the fine wood-fired meats and equally good starters. In fact, three of them almost stole the show: a complex hay-smoked tomato bisque with a grilled cheese crouton; a smoked Vidalia onion soup topped with cheese; and a hefty beef short rib tamal with brisket chili, cotija cheese, and fresh pico. A special dish involving elote (corn) and crab, taro chips, escabeche, and avocado proved a bit of a jumble, overwhelming the delicate crab. Still, both the ten-ounce filet and a sixteen-ounce ribeye could not have tasted better (even if the side of truffle Parmesan fries seemed to be truffle-less). Speaking of sides, we couldn’t resist our favorite from the Pearland barbecue spot: creamed corn, which comes less gloppy (as in cream) and more clearly corn flavored than most. Tender roasted brussels sprouts satisfied as well. We also tried the skillet potatoes, greatly improved by a fried egg on top (really, anything apart from a dessert tastes better with a fried egg!). We liked our neat, square composed salad of grilled romaine, Caesar dressing, croutons, and Parmesan, but it’s currently the only salad on the menu, which we think is an oversight.
Steak or barbecue? There’s no need to choose.