063011 — During November 2010, a magic Houston Entree email popped into my inbox and alerted me of a new place to stuff myself with one of my favorite foods, steak. I used to get my steaks prepared medium which as compared to how I eat and love them now, I should have just put some A1 on my shoe and went to town. While I still have friends that love to eat Medium and even Well Done, I’ve gone down the path of getting my steaks closer to Rare and Rare Plus. Giving the email a once over, they introduced me to a place in Alvin, just about halfway down to Galveston from my place in Sugar Land, The Barbed Rose.
Months passed as I decided to venture to other places in the Houston area as well as make weekly trips to Tomball, all while letting the Barbed Rose certificate sit alone until the fateful day of June 30th, it just so happened the certificate was expiring the same day as well. My girlfriend and I hopped in the car, and made the 30 minute trek down highway 6 towards Alvin, TX. In the months that passed, praise from HoustonEntree, Alison Cook from the Houston Chronicle and 29-95 as well as small blurbs from sites around the internet created a buzz that had me pretty excited about the place. Chris Loftis, former chef had come and gone during this time and I was hoping he had injected some life back into the place. Alison Cook praised the place while Loftis was working there and had some less than stellar words for it once he left.
Then there comes my experience. We entered the Barbed Rose and were greeted to a packed house, all but one table was full and we were both excited to try it out. A quick peek at their board displayed different cuts of meat and seafood as well as some of the out of the ordinary offerings that most people wouldn’t get a chance to eat. We decided on their “world famous” country fried oysters with bacon and jalapenos for our appetizer. I was interested in the NY strip on their additional special menu that listed for $29. My girlfriend, Annie opted for the Salmon cooked Medium Rare for $18. The server just happened to tell us about the specials that included the NY Strip coupled with smoked tomatillo salsa verde, southwest potato ragout and cotija cheese. I would later find out this “special” was $45. In addition to the plates and appetizer, we opted for the Truffle Mac and Cheese as well as Mushrooms for $5 and $4 respectively.
The “world famous” Country Fried Oysters made their way to the table first and at first sight it was just boring, fried oysters atop 4 strips of bacon with jalapeno to garnish the top. The flavors and taste didn’t make any more of an impact. I’ve had better fried oysters inside most poboys. Next the Salmon and NY Strip hit our table in interesting fashion. The $18 Salmon, was literally a small hunk of Salmon. The plate was void of any garnish or additions. As you can see in the photo below, boring Salmon is boring. This had me very worried since as you can recall, my $29 offering of NY Strip was on that additional menu as well. Would the $29 NY Strip come out in such an amazing boring fashion as well? As previously stated, I would later find out that my NY Strip with extras cost me $45. What does this mean? $16 for smoked tomatillo salsa verde, southwest potato ragout and cotija cheese. $29 for the NY Strip itself.
404 Value not found. Best Part of the meal? $5 for the Truffle Mac and Cheese, quite fragrant and quite overpowering after a while, but at least there was some hints of life with it. Mix in the $4 mushrooms and you have my favorite thing from The Barbed Rose.
Total Bill with Tip and Tax? $109. Subtract the $50 Houston Entree Coupon and I left $60 for everything. For $60? worth it, I guess. For $109? hell no. I can assure you that will be my last trip to Alvin even if someone else pays for it. The entire meal reminded me of my Outback Steakhouse experience a week before it. My friend had a gift certificate as well, but I’ll be damned if that awesome blossom or blooming onion or whatever doesn’t hit the spot every damn time.
2.5/5 — Tons of praise and hype for a place that could barely hold its own against an Outback Steakhouse.