Pastry chef Kelsey Hawkins’ banana pudding, made with banana pudding brulée, vanilla wafer crust, bananas Foster sauce and candied pecans
Chefs Greg Lowry and Matthew Lovelace’s Kim Cheese sandwich with house-made kimchee, pimento, redneck cheddar and Texas toast
The bar at Pour Society
Calling all sport fans! Here’s a new place where you can watch all the action when you’re not in the bleachers — with no fewer than 17 widescreen HDTVs. No ordinary sports bar, Pour Society is a gastropub (one of the first on the West Side, at Gateway Memorial City). It was conceived by James Beard Award-winning chef Bradley Ogden and his progeny, who saw Houston as the next great beyond (beyond California, where his empire is based, that is).
This is the third in a triumvirate of very different eateries Ogden has brought to Houston. In terms of scale, this one — at a whopping 7,000 square feet — is his largest, a cool industrial warehouse with a chandelier rendered of coal pipes and a canopy of massive ropes (inspired by vintage ship rigging) over one of several seating areas. The menu, crafted by chefs Greg Lowry and Matthew Lovelace, strategically pairs clever plays with great taste.
Starters include seven-layer dip assembled in a mason jar with orderly layers of crab, shrimp, guacamole, pinto beans, corn, sour cream and pico, all meant to be overturned on the plate; the accompanying tortilla chips are an invitation to dive in, scoop up and munch away ($12). We loved the picnic platter app with unctuous chicken liver pate, pimento cheese and cornbread, house-made pickles, country ham and deviled eggs ($17), all of which pair well with the Texas drafts on tap. While Pour Society will no doubt hang its ball caps on sandwiches such as the mighty Pour K’Burger and classic burger (both $12), don’t discount the take on the Southern fave, shrimp and grits, made with Gulf shrimp and creamy Jefferson county rice grits ($21).
But the most winning dish has to be the nightly changing TV Dinner special. Not only did we love the flavorsome King Ranch casserole (encompassing two requisite sides and dessert — a decadent brownie), but the fact that it was served on a divided aluminum tray reminiscent of both Hungry-Man meals and school cafeteria lunches scored big.