Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iced Tea Report: Barnaby's

When the Jaded Consumer was first conceived, it was to discuss the things we're offered to consume. Lest I be criticized as a never-happy customer, allow me to take a moment to present a recent lunch at Barnaby's:
The iced tea has been refilled (A-: it was allowed to go empty). It came with a lemon slice in the tea (plus for a lemon, minus that I can't squeeze it into the tea without fishing in the tea first; a B+). It was served with a tea spoon. (A+: this means I can sweeten it with provided sugar, and begin drinking without further need to attract a waiter. Unfortunately, I did have to ask for sugar, since the last diner consumed it all at my table, a trick I in turn pulled on the next customer. They could be better about ensuring tables are restocked between customers. I withhold the "no sugar" grade of D because there was sugar on every table, including the next one, and I didn't even have to reach for it because the waiter swiftly remedied my problem the moment I mentioned it, without one of those oh-so-annoying trips to the back, where they tell a bus-boy to fix it, and he forgets because he's fixing something else and his tip-out share isn't enough for him to care about service. Swift and complete remedies are almost as good as initial perfection.) The iced tea came with enough ice to make it gooood and cold, but not too much to allow stirring of sugar: A+. Overall Tea Report grade: A.

Outside the tea, I can assure you (1) that the chicken salad was a huuge salad and its grilled chicken both generous in supply and unbelievably tender to the point of competing for best-in-town status (in Houston, Land of Food, this says something), (2) that the burgers were too big for my girls to eat (even though sharing a burger), and (3) that you can't visit without ordering the pink-smoked chicken, which is falling-off-the-bone tender and has excellent hardwood flavor and a tasty sauce. You don't go home hungry from Barnaby's.

Houston has several locations, and the decor (winged dog bones, dogs painted on walls painted as cloudy skies, dog houses in the sky) proves Barnaby's founder loved his dearly departed sheepdog. By the time you are finished eating, you will too.

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