Friday, June 17, 2016

Encore Cafe at the Wortham Center, Houston - Restaurant Review

Before Houston Ballet performances at the Wortham Center, my mom and I have found it extremely convenient and delicious to have dinner at the Encore Cafe in the theater's lobby. The choices are limited (design your own pasta - $15, design your own salad - $9, and panini sandwiches - $12 each), but the food is generally fresh and the portions are large.

When we attended the ballet a couple of weeks ago, my mom ordered a pork Cuban panini, which came with waffle fries and a pickle. She finished the sandwich and pickles but left most of the fries. The fries were fairly greasy and salty. I didn't try the sandwich itself.

I designed my own salad with shrimp on top of spring mix, spinach and a ton of other toppings such as tomatoes, bacon, avocado, cucumber, olives, walnuts, bacon, and citrus vinaigrette. It was really good, despite a few mushy lettuce leaves in the spring mix.

Tonight, mom and I both designed our own salads. Mine is above - similar to my previous salad, but with the addition of carrots, red onions, and croutons. Mom chose both chicken and shrimp for her salad, added cranberries, and didn't add bacon, but otherwise her salad was just like mine.

The service is inconsistent. Some of the food assemblers are friendly and efficient, and some of them plate a mediocre dish. You can also purchase desserts (chocolates and other single serving desserts), beverages (water, soft drinks - quite pricey at $3+), and other drinks such as wine (in single serving bottles at the register, or by the glass from the bartender).

Trays, napkins, and plastic utensils are provided, as are water cups and ice if you'd rather get tap water from a fountain. There are plenty of tables located near the cafe (which spans both sides of the theater), as well as near the large window in the lobby and along the hallways to either side. We've never had trouble finding a pleasant table.

Arriving early for easy parking and dinner at the theater is a wonderful luxury and so convenient, especially because the food is good and customers have a lot of choices.

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