From outward appearances one would not guess that it has been deemed the best new restaurant to hit the Houston scene since it opened last December. Rather, it almost looks like a wayward Zen Garden that became frozen in the constant stream of headlights on Southwest Freeway.
I don't get out much, so I can't speak to the 'best new' crown that Haven is currently strutting around town. I can tell you it should not be missed.
Continuing the escalating restaurant trend in Houston of using locally grown ingredients, Haven creates an ecclectic menu that is equal parts down-home-Southern and urban sophistication.
The Shrimp Corn Dogs were an excellent choice of app. Created in upscale street fair fashion, super-sized shrimp meet a tasty thick batter which become greaselessly deep-fried to a visceral crunch. A spicy remoulade with lemon overtones was a perfect dipping sauce. Clever, that each plate was accompanied by a homemade lemonade shot. Really, this was the perfect sweet, airy counterbalance to the savory weight of the Shrimp Corn Dog.
Wild Boar Chili with Redneck Cheddar was equally excellent. Thick, meaty and midly spiced. The Redneck Cheddar, sour cream and grated purple onion that were served with, not only create visual texture, they added dimension to a chili that already had a lovable, quirky personality of its own. BTW, Redneck Cheddar is a cheddar that has been washed in Shiner Bock.
Alas, although I'm sure the chef would work with a vegetarian, there were not many vegetarian options. And for vegans, you can have the water with lemon. Yum!
Decor was casually chic-minimalist. Service was upbeat, efficient and informed. While the space was one-big and open, the noise factor supported inside-voice conversations. Street parking was easy on Algerian Way for lunch but the valet might come in handy for dinner, given its meteoric rise in popularity. Prices were the upper end of moderate but that was expected and easily digested.
2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX, 77098