We all have our favorite food items, ingredients about which we dream, that create perpetual longing or a constant need to find their equal every time we order them. Once you experience, for example, a sweetbread that approaches perfection, there is no reason that every sweetbread should not be as good.
Perhaps it’s something that becomes a staple, so that every time you see it on a menu you must order it. I hold a good number of these things, but bone marrow is on my top 10 list, and that’s what’s on my mind today.
To be sure, it is too easy to find bad examples of this dish. It has long been common in some places, but in others it’s been embraced as a trendy menu item by people who don’t know how to prepare it. This past year, I ordered it at a critic-beloved restaurant in Houston, but it came to the table nearly ossified — and I am not talking about the bone. At another restaurant, opened in the Houston museum district to much fanfare in the fall of 2014 and shuttered the following April, the waiter was dumbfounded when I asked for a marrow spoon.
I remember thinking at the time how badly I felt for the waiter, to have been let down so by the general manager and chef. When I managed to extract some of the marrow it was loose and mealy, the bread crumbs spread on top anything but a good idea.
Fortunately, one can find good examples of bone marrow in the Houston area. I enjoyed one recently in Pearland. It came to the table during a meal at Killen’s Steakhouse, and it was a highlight of the evening.
Large bones, tender marrow that possessed an ideal fatty richness and. on top it all. scrambled eggs — eggs that my dining companions and I mistook for cheese curds when the dish came to the table. Toasted bread and a salad with a good vinaigrette were also on the plate. We used our knives to scoop out the marrow and spread it on the bread, and nestled a bit of egg on top. I added a touch of salt and had a perfect mouthful. (My only thought was that the marrow was a bit tepid in temperature … next time I dine there, I will order the dish again and hope the marrow is warmer. The dining rooms were packed on the evening of our visit, so perhaps that played a part.)
If you like bone marrow, try this one.