While perusing the interwebs for this week’s brunch adventure, I came across an old favorite of mine, The Bird and the Bear Bistro, on Open Table’s suggestions for places with quality Artisanal Cocktails. I decided to commit and be all official with my decision and booked a reservation via Open Table Houston. If you’re not familiar with it, Open Table is a website that finds “open tables” for you and allows you to book a free reservation at a gazillion restaurants around the country. Pretty nifty if you’re someone (like me) who decides what they want to do the
day before day of and doesn’t have the time/energy to search through Yelp reviews and call 50 restaurants to see if they have availability for six people in two hours…
Anyways, I created an account (which took all of five seconds) and reserved a table at The Bird and the Bear Bistro in a few clicks. Open Table sent a confirmation to my gmail which synced up automatically with my Google Calendar on my iPhone which popped up with a notification conveniently when I was about to leave my house with the address and driving directions to the restaurant. Technology man! It was great. Very convenient. Very pleasantly surprised.
As someone who dines out pretty often, I’m pretty stoked to continue using my Open Table account because of their rewards program. It’s not all that great, but I’m a sucker for free things and winning (see my obsession with Bing Rewards). Basically for every reservation you make you get points and when you reach 2000, 5000 or 10000 points you can redeem it for cash at participating restaurants. Now, I have no concept of how long it takes to get that many points since this was my first time using this account, but I did get 100 points for a reservation for 5. Quick math tells me that I’ll have to schedule 19 more brunches for the free $20…But since I’ll be brunching anyways, I might as well get paid for it.
Also side note. I happened to notice at the bottom of the screen when you make a reservation, there’s an option for ordering flowers to your table via FlowerPetal.com! What! So cool! I would love to see this happen/had to refrain from ordering myself flowers with my reservation. But hint, hint for anyone going on a date. This could an effin’ special touch to your special evening with your special someone (cough Valentine’s Day in two weeks cough).
The Bird and the Bear Bistro
Located in Upper Kirby on Westhiemer, The Bird and the Bear is a quaint bistro with eclectic and vibrant decor and fresh American fare. Bright chandeliers, furniture, and even a bear fur hang from the cieling, and wine glasses and classy mirrors adorn the walls. I’d been here once before for their taco night special (during the week they have bomb specials!) and was pretty excited to return and try out their brunch menu.
The meal started off with crispy sesame bread crackers and homemade garlic oil relish for dipping. The B&B Bistro offers Bottomless Mimosas, which as one of my friends said “they’re really only worth if if you’re going to have more than two.” So in other words, totally worth it. The brunch menu itself wasn’t really all that exciting. There was a few standard egg dishes but I wasn’t impressed with any of their actual brunch options and went for the Vegetarian Burger instead. So first off, misnomer: not a burger, just a portabella mushroom cap, which was good but not a burger. It was filled with corn and cheese and had a sort of buttery sauce (yum!) and was served on a toasted wheat bun with a peeled vegetable salad. All of it was kind of annoyingly messy to eat. The mushroom was slippery and kept slipping out of the bun. (To be fair it was probably partially my fault, but note to self: don’t get the mushroom burger on a date.) The salad was pretty bland and slippery and I couldn’t figure out the best way to eat it and made a bit of a mess. Pro tip: Even though the vegetables look thin, cut the pieces smaller before attempting to eat. All in all, it was filling, but not fabulous.
My friend got the “Best Eggs Benedict” which turned out to be not all that great either. Like good, and edible, and nicely presented, but definitely not the “best” in Houston by any means and certainly not worth the $17 price tag. Same with the Caprese Omelette. Despite not being a huge sweets-for-breakfast person, I did think that the Strawberry -Nutella Crepe was well executed. It was topped with granola and greek yogurt for an interesting parfait-esque interpretation. That may be the only thing that I recommend at The Bird and the Bear Bistro for brunch. All in all, I give the place 5 of out 5 sesame crackers for decor and ambiance, but only 2 out of Unlimited mimosas for the memorableness of the food.
The Bird and The Bear
2810 Westheimer Rd.