Backstreet Cafe - Houston

Backstreet Cafe, located on a short offshoot of Shepherd (the back street) is a favorite for its patio in the spring and fall and summer nights. Super patio with lots of seating and shade.

In recent years, they have featured a special tasting menu for “in season” items, and right now it’s artichokes and crawfish. Wanting a light meal, I ordered the crawfish and artichoke risotto from the tasting menu and a wedge salad. The portions here are often difficult to judge. The risotto was a good portion with plenty of both of the seasonal items, and was otherwise creamy and delicious. The wedge salad on the other hand was two wedge salads, enough for two people or one meal if nothing else is served. I’m not complaining. But one of our party ordered the jumbo crab salad for $26 and stared at it rather sadly when the crab was served on a lettuce “plate” without further ingredients. We were both thinking it would be a meal sized salad with plenty of greens to go with the crab. I offered her one of my wedges, but instead she just ordered a sherried wild mushroom soup to go with it, which arrived swiftly.

Now in its 36th year in the cozy old house location, Backstreet is a Houston institution. It’s also a great patio to take visitors and dates alike to for a meal. The sourdough served prior to the meal is wonderful.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold