Robb Walsh's article in the Houston Press touting the seafood and saurkraut at the German-Austrian-Swiss restaurant Charivari put my system on alert. It sounded like a dish I might have dreamed. My wife and I drove to Houston to satisfy my insatiable lust for fish.
Goode and Co. Seafood - I had my first soft-shell crab po-boy and pretty much just threw it down my mouth. It was crisp, light and dripping juice all over the plate. Susan had a salad of crab over greens and we shared a cocktail of shrimp and crab called campuchina. Good.
Vung Thai - enjoyed the squid salad and shrimp rolls. Walsh raves about the duck curry and says avoid the phad thai.
Gaido's - the famous old restaurant along the seawall in Galveston, where we also swam in the ocean and bought seashells. Some claim Gaido's has gone downhill but jumbo lump crabmeat simmered in butter,lemon on the side, was simple and luscious. However, Susan's grilled shrimp was only ok and she grew jealous and sad. So I spooned her a few more tastes.
Charivari - the pinnacle. Not just the aforementioned fish and kraut, but it's chaterelle season and they happened to have baskets of the stuff. We had a generous portion of them grilled until just crispy at the edges, lightly dressed with olive oil, parsley, garlic and a shower of tiny baby arugula leaves which disappeared in the mouth. Then perfectly cooked wild salmon, redfish and lobster tail, some wonderful rich sauce and a mound of no ordinary saurkraut. Better than I imagined because the salmon itself might have been the best I've ever had (in my limited experience). I mean, that's just going too far.
It was a great trip all around. I will note in passing the creativity of Houston drivers - "going with the flow of traffic" is not a relevant concept here. People say Austin drivers are too aggressive. They have no idea.
Oh, good gyros at Niko Niko's and one dud - Star Pizza.