I have a buddy that I hadn’t seen in like at least 6 weeks–doesn’t sound like much, but for us we usually see each other at least once a month. I was out Saturday night and we tried to connect, however, by the time the final response came, I was already at home. lol The next text sent was, “How about brunch Sunday?” Wheet?!(translation: Whaaattt for those not up on the lingo) That’s like asking me if I wanna stand in for Elphaba in Wicked (which is my favorite musical ever.. well until I can afford Hamilton tickets) for the Sunday matinée show. Uh, YEAH! The next most beautiful sound to my ears (or eyes),after my response of HECK YEAH, was “You pick the place.” OMG is my birthday again?! Well hmm.. I made a reservation at Harold’s, sent a screen shot so he’d know where to go –he said “See you there” and I immediately checked out the menu. lol I had dreams of biscuits, gravy and Mimosas.
So time is going so s-l-o-w in church this Sunday and I’m like ,” Really, are you up there stumbling over your words on your Annual Men’s day announcement that looks like it’s a page long front and back– hurry up–I have brunch to get to and I need this benediction to happen–get your words together Mister!” Sorry, but I have times where I think about brunch before and after the sermon if I have plans already. lol Shoot me– No sooner than we sing, “Amen”, I have hit that first step out of the balcony, threw my sunglasses on, and made a v-line out the front door so I wouldn’t get stopped to speak. I had things to do. I got home, put my crock pot black-eyed peas in a pot to boil and thicken, ironed my shorts and shirt, added students’ final grades on Blackboard and got dressed. Once completed, cut the beans off and hit the door to head from Pearland to the Heights. Harold’s I’m coming to see ya!
You enter through the downstairs bar and go up the stairs or the elevator to get to the dining area. It’s great to know that Harold’s has a patio for cooler temperatures but today was not the day. I love the natural light in the place and there is a mirror directly across from the glass doors that led out to the patio, giving the illusion and feel of a larger place.
The Owner and The Chef
I teach Hospitality and Tourism courses for a local high school so whenever I enter a restaurant I wanna know what I can share with my students about the industry. I want them to see minority owned businesses and chefs so I usually take a photo with the chef or the owner–or both which I display on my “Wall of Possibilities.” I spoke with the female owner (yes, women are considered a minority group) of Harold’s Alli Jarrett who is so sweet and she agreed that if I needed a speaker she would love to help. We chatted more about the importance of every job in the restaurant and she handed her card to me to contact her to set up speaking dates. She is so warm and kind that I thought, even if I don’t like the food, I’m coming back to purchase SOMETHING, She mentioned that the Chef was in and she’d send him to my table once he’s available.
So my brunch buddy and I were seated sipping water while waiting on our Mimosas when Chef Antoine Ware appeared at our table. He was very hospitable and mentioned that usually he’s home with family and friends on Sundays but the restaurant was pretty busy today so he decided to come in. My brunch buddy said, “Chef what do you recommend?” Chef Antoine replied, “Is this your first time? We have some really great things. What are you interested in?” Brunch buddy said, “Chef we’ll eat whatever you recommend.” Chef said, “Really? Well let me take those menus from you.” I was ELATED– a personal chef tasting menu for regular price?! Okay! I said, “Buddy, I’ve gotta bring you more frequently to brunch!”
First up was the Shrimp and Okra Gumbo: Chunks of shrimp and okra that wasn’t mushy served without rice– that’s a WINNER for me, but maybe not for some. This smoky roux based gumbo comes with potato salad. This was my first time to try it that way and it worked perfectly. I just want it on the side, like it was served here, instead of plopped right in the middle like some restaurants. I love potato salad, but not ALL potato salad is made equally so keep it coming on the side Chef! 🙂
The Big Nasty Biscuit was next: This was so perfect because it’s exactly what I wanted to order. Crispy buttermilk fried chicken served atop this fluffy biscuit drenched in a cheddar cheese sausage gravy topped with a sunny side up egg. Brunch buddy and I don’t really care for sunny side up eggs so we took it off before we cut it to share. I was in heaven!
The last star of this tasting selection from Chef Antoine was the Fried Chicken and Pancakes. People, there is half a chicken.. HALF A CHICKEN–in case you don’t know that’s a breast, a wing, a thigh and a drumstick– atop the fluffiest, most beautiful pancakes served with cane syrup.. CANE SYRUP. This is a plate of the happiest place on earth– this is Disney on a platter people. The chicken and the skin were seasoned (which is such a pet peeve of mine) well, these pancakes appeared like thick heavy pancakes but were light and airy, which won’t make you feel like you ate a brick. The cane syrup on that pancake — lawd, will make you never go back to pancake syrup. That is a different type of sweet–it even pours differently–thick and smooth–not runny. Well my buddy said, “I could have just had ole pancake syrup.”–but he’s not a foodie so he doesn’t know how this is “well with my soul.”
We didn’t get to see Chef before we left to thank him for the most awesome selections, however, I believe our “happy plates” were enough. Did we finish everything? Heck naw, but we took it to go.
If you’re ever in the Heights, stop by Harold’s in the Heights.. and afterwards, take a picture by the #ILoveYouWall on the side of the building.
Harold’s in The Heights
350 W. 19th St.
Houston, TX 77008
Until the next bite,