Lunch at T’Afia

01Jun10
I’ve been reading all sorts of negative reviews about this place, and I think the heart of the problem is that people come in to T’Afia expecting a gastronomical revolution. I think they need to take a step back and look at the restaurant for what it is, which is local food done right, simply prepared, elegantly presented, with the finest ingredients all brought to us by farmers who share our same area code. As with most nice places, the lunch menu offers an excellent value for the price, here a seasonal three course prix fixe menu for $22. Note that they only have this on Friday. Don’t bother with the website for a preview of what’s for lunch; the menu will most probably be different from what’s on the site.
That’s kinda too bad for me, because I’m terrible at remembering this kind of stuff, since I tend to focus on the macro of a dish. I did snap some pictures of the bread, my wife’s tomato and cheese salad, the chicken apple sausage and bean soup, and my entree, skirt steak with vegetable medly. The bread was yeasty and thick, and was disappointingly cold, but the butter presentation was cute. The salad was dazzlingly fresh, especially the tomatoes, which were sweet and ascerb with amazing depth of flavor. The soup was simple and solid, but perhaps a little too simple. I was clamoring for a kick, like maybe some chiles.
The skirt steak was excellent, with that crisp along the edges, but tender on the inside, done medium rare. This is the standard in which I will hold future fajitas. It was perfectly seasoned, salty to pair with the sweet, fresh vegetable mix. For dessert, I had what I would describe as peaches and blueberry on a biscuit, and I think the timing on the ripeness of the peaches was off, but with some of my wife’s ice cream, the dish leaps a few bounds towards perfection.
Service was courteous, and as with the nature of a prix fixe menu, the dishes came out quickly. You will be charged for water, but it’s only a dollar for the table. Just prepare yourself mentally for that.
Would I return? Yes, at least four times a year, one visit for every season as the menu turns. I may be back for more summer fare as we come in to the season proper. God, I love seasonal restaurants. You can taste the freshness.

T’Afia
3701 Travis Street
Houston, TX 77002-9505
(713) 524-6922
http://www.tafia.com/

Bleh. Valet parking is typically your only option. Get your dollar bill ready. Also, this place is next to the Breakfast Klub, which I badly want to go to, but the line to get in snakes around the restaurant!

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