Marty and I can see the end of the tunnel on our Virus but we get so tired by evening that we have “dined out” for lunch the last two days. Here’s our review on our two lunch choices: Houston’s in Boca and Cod and Capers in North Palm Beach.
Houston’s in Boca: As you know Palm Beach Grill (PBG) is our favorite place in Florida. PBG is owned by Hillstone Restaurant Group – which also owns Houston’s and is changing the name in Boca soon to Hillstone Restaurant. We had lunch today at what is still Houston’s in Boca and from the crowd they had for lunch on a Tuesday they must be doing something right.
When we were seated we told the server we were regulars at PBG and he immediately responded by saying sort of sheepishly “well you know PBG is an upscale version of Houston’s.” If PBG is an upscale version of Houston’s he may have meant that Houston’s is a down-scale version of PBG. We asked for a straight up Margarita with Milagro Repisado and he sadly told us that their entire Tequila list consists of two (2 – shock) Tequilas – Patron Silver and the House Gut Tequila. I didn’t believe him so I feigned the need for the Men’s room and went to the main bar – where sure enough I was told they have a total of two Tequila offerings. Not good – not good at all for Margarita drinkers.
We ordered two food items we have at PBG: Tuna Burger and The French Dip. Both were good but the bun was much thicker and drier on the TB and though I asked for it medium rare and moist it came medium and somewhat dry. The FD was good but the meat seemed to be a slightly lower grade and was very chewy. We had to take small bites so as not to choke on it.
There is no need for you to drive to Boca to Houston’s when you have PBG much closer to home.
Cod and Capers (C&C): Cod and Capers is more of a fresh fish market than a restaurant. There is only seating for about 30 diners inside and another 35 or so outside. We chose to sit outside because it was cold inside and unfortunately it began to rain and blow and down went the curtains and the ambiance of El Fresco dining. At best I would describe the ambiance of C&C as very casual.
We read in the PB Post the Lobster Bisque was to die for – then get ready to die. It was “pasty” and came to our table cool. We asked the server to heat it and he brought it back pea (or it that pee) warm. The taste was good but overall this headliner item only gets a 4 out of 10. The Post said their number one and fabulous item is their lobster roll. When I hear lobster roll my mind goes to the sea food roll in the Seafood Bar at the Breakers. My expectations were too high. C&C’s lobster roll is what a Midwesterner would call a toasted hot dog bun with small bites of lobster – a sufficient amount of lobster but so small as to remind you of yesterday’s lobster special.
As a fresh fish market it looks great with a wide selection of shell and fresh fish items – similar in price to Carmine’s and about a thirty percent premium to Publix – which we like for their fresh salmon. The staff was friendly, the hostess particularly attractive so overall I will give C&C a 5 out of 10, which is a two steps below what I give Jetty’s and Kee Grill.
On balance I can’t say that I recommend either Houston’s in Boca or Code & Capers but I’ve been to worst places.