Somebody mentioned the Catalina Room the other day in a post about Wayne Broadwell so I decided to go back in for a quick dinner. The good news is their air conditiong works great, you can carry on a conversation if you sit in a booth, and you can watch the Rangers’ game (without sound) on your own private TV. The servers are cheery and happy and the menu is as I remember: a Houston’s wannabe with all of your favorites like shrimp cocktail (obviously pictured) roasted chicken, nice sandwiches, burgers, salad, and a more-than-decent version of chicken fried steak. Oh, and catfish. The food was OK: roasted chicken and steak were both undercooked but the flavors were ruined by the dipping oil they serve when you first sit down. It’s not just a pool of olive oil with a bubble of vinegar floating on top, it’s spiked with anchovies, carrots, and califlower (see picture below)–all a little much for a pre-game and meal starter. The concoction would work fine in an Italian joint where it was followed by a bite of pasta studded with seafood and a mouthful of Sardinian wine. But I found it too heady for the rest of the menu, particularily what would have been a nice shrimp cocktail.
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