The restaurant business is a tough one. Just ask Fritz Gitschner, who’s been without a kitchen since earlier this year, when 60 Degrees Mastercrafted closed. The steak-centric restaurant was, according to Gitschner, the victim of disruptive construction (which is still going on) on Westheimer. I dined at 60 Degrees many times, and had there one of the best pieces of meat I’ve ever eaten, an Akaushi cowboy steak. I was sorry to see 60 Degrees go, and hoped that Gitschner would open another place at some point.
That has not happened yet, but this past weekend I attended a pop-up dinner cooked by Gitschner at Mark’s American Cuisine, and was very glad to see a sweetbread dish on the menu. I love sweetbreads, and this one was good. It had been prepared well – Gitschner is, after all, a Certified Master Chef, so he knows his technique. And while I was looking for perhaps a touch more crisp on the ample sweetbread’s exterior, the gland’s interior was of the proper consistency and tenderness. It was neither chewy nor too soft. Earthy wild mushrooms and an edamame succotash, plus a roasted black garlic sauce and bacon chip, rounded out the plate. The sauce was a little sweet and a little salty, and my fellow diners unanimously deemed the sweetbread a success.
Gitschner, who hails from Austria and has worked in kitchens around the world, is planning on returning to the Houston dining scene, and he’ll be welcomed.