Tuesday, April 15, 2014

“Got to Know – Call Joe”

But we’ll get back to that later.

As Chuck mentioned in yesterday’s blog, our visit to the Kemah amusement pier was just a prelude to our trip’s purpose—a visit to T-Bone Tom’s, which was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins

and Dives. (And it appears that not all are as enamored with Guy as am I. This writer at theloopscoop.com wrote: “When the idea of heading down to T-Bone Tom’s in Kemah was pitched to me, my first thought was, ‘What? The place visited by the blonde Corey Feldman on the Food Network?’”)

"’T-Bone’ Tom Fitzmorris inherited a Kemah meat market from his father, who passed away in 1982. Like many Texas meat markets, the place smoked their own homemade sausage, along with ribs and brisket and sold barbecue sandwiches on the side. In the early 1980s, during the building of the Kemah-Seabrook bridge, the butcher shop was overrun with hoards of hungry construction workers looking for lunch. So the business, which was simply known as ‘the meat market,’ changed its name to T-Bone Tom's and started serving plate lunches, steaks, and seafood. It eventually became one of the most popular restaurants in the area” (Robb Walsh at houstonpress.com).

Unlike at many of the restaurants we have visited, the crowd at T-Bone Tom’s filled both the interior dining rooms with a surprising number of patrons sitting on the open area patio that looked to me like a 1950’s or 60’s tiki bar.
(This gives lie to that Yogi Berra’s “Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.”) “The wooden deck at T-Bone Tom's is called Tom's Backyard, and it's bigger than both of the restaurant's other two dining rooms combined. The deck is built around a cluster of trees, so there's lots of tables in the shade. The building that houses the bar and the pool table has a slightly rusty corrugated metal roof. It opens to the outside by means of several garage doors. The television sets are mounted on tree trunks…” (Robb Walsh at houstonpress.com).

But, since the day was somewhat cool, we headed indoors.
“The front room at T-Bone Tom's looks like somebody put a bunch of tables in a butcher shop, which is essentially what happened. There's a glass display case full of steaks and chops. Signs high on the back wall advertise family packs for your home freezer.
"Another dining room off to the side has a mural on the wall that memorializes the meat market's founder” (Robb Walsh at houstonpress.com).

Now we have frequently seen tabletops with business cards encased in a laminated coating. But T-Bone Tom’s went in a different direction. Almost every chair back promoted a local business ranging from landscaping companies to this one that caught our eye.
On his visit, Guy Fieri sampled the Armadillo Eggs, the house-smoked sausage bites, and Tom's Choice—a fourteen-ounce marinated rib eye. I knew that I wanted to sample the Armadillo Eggs, but what are the Shark Eggs on the appetizer menu? They were jalapeno peppers stuffed with fish and seafood and then battered and fried. Tempting, but I knew that the armadillo eggs were also based on jalapenos, so I took a pass.

Now our first clue to portion size should have been the Texas-sized glasses of ice tea. We tried to provide some perspective by
photographing the tea with a jar of catsup. I’m not entirely sure that this worked, but rest assured, one glass of tea was plenty.

But back to the armadillo eggs. These are jalapeno peppers stuffed with brisket that has been tossed with a bit of barbecue sauce, then breaded and fried.
The order of armadillo eggs arrived “…to the most eager appetites. I cut mine in half, exposing the slowly smoked barbecue brisket and jalapeno. What ensues can only be described as gastro bliss, as the brisket is tender and juicy, mingling softly with the aggressive acids of the jalapeno, which are in turn subdued by the crunch of the seasoned breading…” (theloopscoop.com).

T-Bone Tom’s began as a meat market, so the rib eye would be a good choice for an entrée. But the restaurant is also known for its smoked sausage and brisket. But, given the signs on the walls, they are equally known for their chicken fried steak.

And while I couldn’t find anything from either the Houston Post (they ceased publishing in 1995) or Texas Highway Magazine, Robb Walsh writes for the Houston Press: “The chicken-fried steak at T-Bone Tom's is legendary. Counting the thick batter, it's an inch high, and it's covered with cream gravy so thick and white, it resembles the icing on a cake. When you order a large, you get two patties. The meat is surprisingly tender, considering the thickness; it's made from cube steaks that are cut and tenderized right there in the butcher shop.”
And it is also described at tourtexas.com: “They use top round steak at T Bone Tom’s and tenderize it to the point of being fork tender. The portion size is 7 oz. which is just perfect. They season the flour, coat the steak a few times then drop it in the hot oil. The result is one of the best Chicken Fried Steaks to date. The crispy coating was perfectly seasoned and the meat was thin, juicy and tender with no gristle. I lifted the Chicken Fried Steak to sop up the grease puddle, but there was none.”

So both Chuck and I ordered a variation on the chicken fried steak. For Chuck it was the Chicken Fried Steak Platter which came with mashed potatoes, green beans, a side of gravy, and Texas Toast.
The sides were described at tourtexas.com: “The mashed potatoes were excellent. They were a little more seasoned than I would have liked, but there were none left on my plate. The green beans tasted like they were just picked from the garden, and served. The constant with most of the green beans I’ve had with my Chicken Fried Steak is bacon. The bacon here was cooked properly. The white gravy was perfectly seasoned and it had great consistency.”

I ordered the Steak Finger Basket which proved to be a larger portion of food than Chuck’s platter.
First, I need to quibble with the folks at tourtexas.com. I thought that the gravy was pasty and flavorless. But the writer was right on with the potatoes and the beans. And the steak with both of our meals was indeed gristle free, juicy, and tender. But I thought that it lacked the kind of crisp coating that I really like.

We finished by sharing a slice of deliciously tart Key Lime pie.
T-Bone Tom’s provided a pleasant end for our Kemah road trip and earns a respectable 4.0 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

Pelican Pics of the Day


adham said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

adham said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

adham said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

adham said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك