Houston >Food & Dining > Brenner's Steakhouse on the Bayou
1 Birdsall St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700729.759485 -95.419579
Mon. - Fri. 4:30pm - 10pm;Sat. 4:30pm - 10:30pm;Sun. 11am - 3pm
Neighborhoods: Washington Ave./ Memorial Park, Central
This Brenner's Steakhouse location sports one of the best patios in Houston. With its breathtaking views and "like no other" ambiance, it sets the tone for a very swanky brunch and is perfect to kick off your girl's day (or night) out.
Beautiful patio with lush background – We arrived around 6pm on a lovely spring day. Entering the parking lot to the compulsory
but complimentary valet parking, I immediately take note of the surprising scene in front of me:
lush, rolling hillside, green landscaping, and a craftsman/lodge style building of brown wood
and windows that looks like it was transplanted straight from Lake Tahoe to Houston. Interesting.
The valet stop is right in front of the entrance, so I don't have to worry about walking in my high
heels as we make our way down the winding walking towards the patio. The trickle of the waterfall
landscape and the railed wooden walkway evoke a resort-like first impression and I am liking every
The bar/patio area was an exercise in contrasts. The white acrylic "blue bar" had a trendy young
feel, blaring light techno music with young t-shirted staff. The backdrop: tranquil bayou water
scene, lush foliage and forestry, large inviting wickered patio seating with plush white cushions.
I felt like they were trying to create a clubby trendy environment with the bar, when the setting
and crowd were more mature - old Memorial money and professional-looking patrons. The
happy hour deals were decent at $5 each for choice of cocktail, wine, small bites. We ordered
some drinks, and calamari, sliders, truffle infused fries, and the bacon wrapped quail (from the
regular menu). The food and drinks were just so-so, but the setting is so different than anything
else in Houston, I will definitely be back to enjoy this patio.
I like the ambiance at the restaurant and food was great. However, our service was absolutely horrible. Alex was our server and at first I just thought he had a dry sense of humor but as the night went on myself and the other 7 girls I was with came to realize he was just rather rude, slow, and didn't seem any bit worried about providing us with good customer service.
We sat down at 8 and did not get our salads until 9:15. I understand this is a nice restaurant and you take your time, order drinks, ect but the time spent waiting was a little excessive. We ordered 2 bottles of wine and after we were done with the first we had to ask two times for him to open the second one. This probably took 15 mins from our first request. In a place like this I would expect the waiter to keep an eye on this and open the next one when he see's you are running out of the current one, I should at least not have to ask twice for it to be done!
Also our bread was taken when he brought the bottles of wine, he said to make room for them. It was a big table, I didn't really see the need for that but we had ordered so we figured salads would be there soon so ok. Well, 30 mins later we still hadn't gotten our salads and we had no bread to snack on. When we asked if we could have some more he looked at us like we were stupid and said um sure but he never brought anymore.
Also he picked up 2 salad plates at the table before the girls were done with them and both had to say they weren't done and ask him to put them back. A nice are you done with this before picking it up would have been great. I do want to mention that he did one thing right which was get the manager when my friends sea bass was actually tilapia and he comped her meal.
As far as the food goes my steak with Oscar topping was great as were the au gratin potatoes. I also tried some of the other dishes that people at our table had ordered and the shrimp and grits and pork chops were also good.
I would definitely go back again for the food but will most likely pick somewhere else do to the service I had. I'm guessing this is not normal for this restaurant and maybe Alex was just having an off night but I was not impressed and unfortunately I'm not very willing to try again.
Watch out for the restaurant police!!! I went there last night to celebrate my girlfriends getting her real estate license... just champagne and appetizers. We sat down and I put my unbranded carbonated water on the table that I carry to avoid dehydration... Soda Stream... the bottles cost about $7 and I carbonate filtered water at home. When the waiter came to take our order he picked up my 1/4 full bottle and said you are not allowed to have that in here shall I throw it away?... I said it's only water for God's sake, Within a few minutes some punk shows up wired like a police officer with a microphone on his shirt and spiral cord over his shoulder and says the TABC will shut us down for you having that here... I once again said it is just water!!! He says I will either confiscate it or you can put it away... there's nothing like paying someone to ruin a celebration. Tillman Fertitta, owner of Landry's has many restaurants and I have never had a great experience at any of them... from now on I will make sure I avoid any restaurant owned by him.
Nice View! – I ate here for my 22nd birthday. We had a reservation dinner, but we were not seated immediately. We had to wait for about 30-40 minutes to be seated. Our table was in a nice spot, and I thought the view would be wonderful especially in the morning or if you are having lunch. The food was alright, and it wasn't all that great nor will i put it in my top 10 list. Service was decent, staff were nice but the food took so long before it was served. I would go back and give it another chance, Only if a friend recommend to eat here again.
Awesome Steak – I went with a large group from work. For appetizers, we shared the blackened scallops, crab cake and Texas quails, they were all tasty and well prepared.
The highlight was the steak. I had a medium rare 6 oz. fillet. It was perfectly cooked and truly was one of the most tender steaks that I've ever eaten. Every steak ordered at our table came out perfect.
However, the weakling was the dessert. I had the fruit cobbler and it was disappointing. Other people had the mousse cake and that tasted ok.
Room for improvement – My boyfriend and I dined at Brenners this past Saturday. I have to say this is the worst restaurant I have been to in a long time. The setting is fantastic. I should not be able to purchase and cook a better steak myself than a high end steak house. Both of our steaks were over cooked. I guess the chef does not know what medium rare is. The steaks came out in the consistency of shoe leather. No moisture, grey in color. The service was mediocre at best. It is such a shame, the setting is so nice. None the less, I cannot recommend this restaurant, the setting cannot make up for what is lacking in every other aspect of this steak house. Certainly try somewhere else. I checked city search reviews prior to dining here and was on the fence, as half were good and half were bad. I have to write, the negative reviews proved to be more accurate. Hope this helps.
Terrible Experience – I ordered a market price bone in ribeye medium rare. I recieved a well done steak. Without taking a bite, I showed the server. He agreed it was well done and said he would take it back. Instead of the $48 market ribeye, for the re-do I requested the $35 non-bone in ribeye. The waiter said that he would talk to the manager and work something out. After my my wife was complete with her meal, my steak came out. The bone in ribeye (which I did not ask for) it was cooked medium, which was okay. After the dinner the server dropped the bill at our table without aknowledging the steak issue. There was nothing "taken care of" and they charged me for the bone in ribeye (even though that is what he brought, it was not what I ordered). I called the server over and asked if he had talked to the manager. He said he did and nothing was to be taken off because I was happy with the steak and that they quickly brought it out (my wife was already finished with her meal). I told him that want to talk to the manager, the waiter said good because he thought something needed to be done and that the management at Brenners is the worst that he has ever worked for. The manager then came out and briskley set the revised bill on the table and said that he comped two glasses of wine. With those two glasses of wine comped it brought the bill to what it should have been (I changed my steak to the cheaper after they scorched the original). This was a birthday dinner for my wife. I cannot say how angry this made me. I am saying for your benefit, do NOT go to this restaurant. There are too many in Houston that work for your business and appreciate their costumers.
Will not return – Last night, we visited Brenner's on the Bayou to celebrate my mom's birthday. Sadly, it was a very disappointing experience. The hostess, waitstaff AND management were very rude and even condescending at times. We did not get the table location we requested and were confirmed for over the phone with a manager. They ran out of two things on the menu after we already ordered and couldn't even suggest a substitute. And among other things, when making our reservation, we made sure to ask if they can put a candle in our dessert for the birthday girl. They said yes. But last night, after getting our desserts without a candle, I asked our waiter why there wasn't one. I made sure to tell him this when we first got there. I made sure to point out whose birthday it was. The waiter told me the restaurant doesn't bring out candles and that they don't even have any. However, there were TWO tables around us celebrating birthdays, and they both received candles. Our waiter told us that they probably brought their own candles from home. Really?
Such a beautiful restaurant, with terrible management! Food was average. My steak was overcooked to the temperature I ordered. Too many other restaurants in Houston where I can walk away happy to waste my time here again. Sadly.
Memorable Evening – We tried Brenner's On The Bayou this past stormy, rainy Saturday night, after reading many reviews here on CitySearch about it. We arrived on time and had to wait a few minutes at the bar for our table. But Brenner's sat us at a wonderful corner table overlooking the back garden and bayou; a perfect perspective of their expansive property. Three out of four of us, chose their Lobster Bisque as a starting appetizer, which was simply delicious. My daughter opted for the wedge salad with Italian dressing, which she enjoyed very much. My fiancee and I ordered the Franciscan red cabernet wine from among their varied wine selections; a great choice from among the many moderately priced red wines. For main courses we all chose among the ribeyes, lamb chops and petite filet. All of us loved our main course selections as well as the attention to detail in meat preparation, subdued music overhead, and venue selection. We also loved the side dishes that we chose as accompaniements; scalloped cheesy potatoes, grilled mushrooms and creamed spinach. The creamed spinach is prepared with a smoky, melted cheese which is unusually delightful and delicate. Our waiter was always on-point, professional, yet unobtrusive. After completing our dinner, my fiancee and daughter tried the chocolate souffle while my son and I just enjoyed watching them delight in their dessert selections so thouroughly. After completing the meal, we all took pictures in front of the restaurant, and along Brenner's picturesque outdoor garden. The valet parking attendants were equally professional and very polite. It really could not have been a more perfect dinner evening spent with family; what a great venue for a special occasion, prom night, or just an impressive formal dinner with someone special!
Breath taking view – I went here for dinner one evening and had a cool table upstairs. We felt like we were sitting in a tree. The outside views are beyond words, you don't feel like you are on a bayou. It is majestic. The food was good, not great, but good. The 3 course meal deal they are offering is of fair price, and they did make a salad substitution for my boyfriend. some of table were put in wierd locations, and I am glad we didn't have any of those!!
We also went for a wine tasting event on a Saturday afternoon. What a treat to be in gardens, drinking wine, and tasting food. The duck confeit was great, but of course this was after A LOT of wine. This wasn't your average wine tasting, as it was America vs. France with 10 almost full glasses for each country. I had a blast and hope they have another tasting in the fall.
Testosterone-fed Oil Exec playground – When you picture an expensive steakhouse in your head, odds are that the picture you paint comes out looking a lot like Brenners. All the dark woods, leather, and corporate spending accounts you may desire are here. The whole place reeks of testosterone and Vp's trying to impress clients; don't get me wrong, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just kinda funny to see so many power suits/ties/cars/watches/etc. And yes, unless Shell/Exxon/Conoco are fronting the bill, it will be a tough cookie to swallow.
As is expected form a place designed to impress a client that is going to spend millions, the whole menu is impeccable and the wine list is as expansive as it is overpriced. My favourite is the NY Strip, but all the other cuts I have sampled have been nothing short of perfect. They will cook your steak exactly to how you prefer it, top it with whatever Jus you ask them to, and present it to you in the most delicate and elegant manner possible. When you're paying $45 for it, they damn well better. The high end steakhouse is the holy grail of waiters, so expect nothing but the best here, most of them are career waiters, and as such they are incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in their trade.
The salads are equally good, with the blue cheese iceberg taking the cake. Desserts as well are what you would expect, nothing falling short of the mark set by their bloated prices. You really can't go wrong by coming here, the problem is, do you really want to?
Now we arrive at my issue with all the high end steakhouses. The corporate accounts creates a false demand that drives the prices skyward and make it almost impossible to afford. If you're at the point where you're spending $70 for a steak, a dessert, and a glass of wine, it makes more sense to just simply buy the best meat at the market and an expensive bottle of wine and make it yourself. It will be just as good, if not better.
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