There Is Talk of the City as a Whole in That Bad Food There

THERE IS TALK OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE IN THAT BAD FOOD THERE Grace's on Kirby, 3111 Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, HoustonKatharine Shilcutt gets into a few extra-culinary issues in her review of Johnny Carrabba’s new restaurant on Kirby Dr.: “The narrative at Grace’s is one of unironic kitsch, a longing for the good old days that were only good for a select few. The menu speaks volumes about Houston, but about a Houston we are far removed from not only in time but in attitude. We are not a Houston whose provincial understanding of the world at large is manifested in clumsy, token ways; we are a Houston of effortless inclusiveness. We are a city of weavers. We are a city of builders and big ideas, not sad, sweaty plates of tuna or bland, underseasoned steaks. We are also a city that knows where to get a good tampiqueña plate for less than $22, and a city that knows better than to employ ‘Chinese Takeout’ font for the two Asian dishes on a menu. But hey — at least Grace’s has ample parking and excellent service, which goes pretty far these days.” [Houstonia; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Loren A.

17 Comment

  • Great. Now I have to worry about racist fonts.

  • A lot of words that don’t say much. Left me saying “huh?”

  • Katharine must be fun at parties.

  • A lot of ‘print’ food critics write like that. Just tell me if you like it and why. Or if you don’t like it and why. No need to dance all around.

  • Katherine is spot on with regard to her review – bottom line is that the food is not good. Period. Given it several chances.

  • I have no idea what a tampiqueña plate is, let alone where to find it for less than $22.00. And I eat out quite a bit.

  • I believe a “tampiqueña plate” is something found in Tampico Heights.

  • I’ve been to a party with Katharine Shillcut. She is fun (although better adjectives are probably friendly and intelligent).

  • Bama, you can find it at La Taqueria Tapatia for a lot less than $22.

    Also: it does help to read the entire review. The quotes above are from the closing paragraphs.

  • Eh, it’s not so much as ‘racist’ as unsophisticated. The argument is that Houston is a 21st century cosmopolitan city and shouldn’t be breaking out the Chop Suey fonts for Asian dishes. A restaurant in Upper Kirby should certainly know better, since it makes them look like a bunch of rubes.

  • The Confederate House was awesome. What’s wrong with cultural insensitivity? Why do I have to be politically correct? I am a white guy, let me tell you about racism…


  • what a bunch of manure…
    sounds like Katharine Shillcut has her boss bull$hitted into thinking she has any relavent talent in this area

  • JonB: I don’t find it racist or unsophisticated, though I do find it to be more unsophisticated than racist if I had to pick one :)

  • To Ms.Shilcutt : uh-oh you’ve done it now -critiqued the Carrabba /Mandola mafia…They’re gonna have it out for you now ,girl..BTW: I wonder how many of these so-called “critics” WORKED in the industry they comment on . Like the old saying goes: ” a critic is a frustrated …cook/chef/artist/dancer/actor,etc. ” who actually NEVER worked in the field they so desperately crave to be a part of. So they become critics and try to be in that world they KNOW they’re never will be good enough to be a part of !!! @ JonB: maybe the Carrabbas are a bunch of rubes: the original Carrabbas was in an ADULT theater… But the food is ok…I’ve had better Italian cooked by my Irish/French/Swiss mother…

  • Lighten up, folks. Johnny Carrabba and his team have invested a lot of time, energy and money to make Grace’s a great restaurant. It’s a new concept and will need some fine-tuning, but the food is good, the service is excellent, the interior is comfortable and, yes, there’s lots of parking. Try the sweet & sour calamari & shrimp appetizer and the smoked-then-grilled ribeye. You’ll probably love it.

  • I think the font is a pretty clever play on the fact that you will only find these “chinese” dishes in the United States.

  • Cannot stop laughing at memebag’s comment. Glorious.