Houston >Restaurants >
Cafes >Tiny Boxwoods
3614 W Alabama St, Houston, TX | Directions 7702729.738511 -95.435096
Tue - Sat, 7am - 10pm;
Sun 9am - 2pm
Neighborhoods: Greenway/ Upper Kirby, Central
My favorite patio in Houston – Like an oasis in the middle of the desert, the plush green grass in the middle of the courtyard at Tiny Boxwoods is a sight for sore eyes in a city often drowned in pollution. I try to come here whenever I can to escape the hectic pace of the city and relax in the tranquility of this beautiful setting. A perfect place for breakfast or lunch, with one of the best patios in the city, Tiny's is popular with the country club lunch set, and you can often see ladies sporting Louis Vuitton bags or dressed in Chanel and Dior sunglasses. But the concept isn't too silver spoon uppity even if the scene may initially appear so - you stand in line to order your meal, get a number, find a seat, and then get your meal served some time later.
I love coming here for one of their impossibly large bowls of coffee and a cookie. The turkey avocado club is always good and everyone I've brought here just loves it. It's usually just me and a girlfriend, sharing the latest gossip and having a leisurely meal. The only downside is the parking. It's rare to find parking easily, and even though they have another parking lot down the street, you often have to circle around a couple of times before finding a space that doesn't have a sign saying "No Tiny's Parking!"
I had a great experience here in Tiny Boxwoods. The ambiance is great.
Proceed with Caution – It's very curious that despite the plethora of bad reviews, Tiny's appears to transcend the negativity. Yes, it's disturbing to me that they don't publish their prices, but I think that encourages me to get what I really want rather then let my purse decide how many calories I can consume at brunch time. If you aren't prepared to spend $15 for lunch, then don't go. People don't eat there because it's a bargain. The walk from the alternate lot gets tiresome, so I don't recommend wearing your Jimmy Choo's. The Buffalo Burger is legendary, however the pizza was probably the worst that I've ever had (it was like ketchup on water crackers) - so the menu can be hit or miss, depending. Atmosphere is casual, but nice. I prefer their lunch counter service rather than their dinner wait service. Bathrooms are world class. Seating is fierce, so go early 10:30-10:45AM. I like the offering of a complimentary refreshing beverage while you're waiting 25 minutes to order.
Sunday menu sucks – It is a nice environment with nice music and beautiful garden, but my husband and I were really disappointent with the Sunday's brunch menu. We were both dreaming of having the Tiny Benedict at Tiny Boxwoods for the last couple of days. Unfortunately, we found out that they didn't have it on the Sunday Brunch menu. Instead they had granola, quiche, pizza, hamburger, French picnic and some pastry. We ended ordering 2 French Picnics, 2 cappuccinos and an orange Juice. The price came to $34 without the tip. We were shocked to see that French Picnic consisted of half a loaf of multi-grain bread with a side of a few olives, creamy goat cheese- which tasted like Philadelphia cream cheese-, a bite of ham and a pesto. I guess, since the size of the sides were comparable to size of my thumb, there was enough place left on the plate for bread which was as big as my head. We felt like we paid $40 for a loaf of bread and coffee. When I paid attention to other customers' meals, I noticed that most people were eating granola. This tells me that nobody could find anything interesting to eat on the menu and they ended up ordering granola. I think Tiny Boxwood needs to re-evaluate their menu....
BAD EXPERIENCE – They have an attitude. The cookies are good, but not worth $2 each. They need to have prices and a menu instead of a school room chalk board. The food is over salted, and they have a begginer in the kitchen.
Disorganized, rude, and no prices on the menu! – I did have an excellent buffalo burger, but the rest of our visit there was horrible. First of all, there are NO PRICES ON THE MENU. You find out how much your lunch is after you order and they ring it up. Second, the grapes in my fruit salad were old and wrinkly, and I'm hoping that white spot on one of them was a bit of aioli from my burger and not mold. Third, the service is arrogant, rude and inexcusably disorganized! We went at lunch with a group (8 of us). My co-worker also ordered the buffalo burger and the lemonade, and asked at the register and was told he could get free refills on the lemonade. He and two other people in our group waited more than 20 minutes after the rest of us got our food, and some folks were already finished with their meals. After waiting for 15 minutes he asked for a refill on his lemonade, and was told in a certain tone by the bartender "well we don't NORMALLY do that but JUST THIS ONCE I'll refill it for you." Finally after waiting 20-25 minutes and seeing several other burgers go by with the server to other tables, I got up and asked the manager where there food was, and was told flatly that buffalo burgers take a long time to make. Never mind I had the same thing 20 minutes earlier and our two friends had sandwiches they were waiting on - she didn't care. Then, as we were about to depart, one of us went up to pick up a couple of chocolate chip cookies to go. The guy in front of him ordered six cookies. When it was my friend's turn, he was told he would have to wait for 10 to 15 minutes because they were fresh out of the oven and "too warm to box up." Ummm I have baked many a choc chip cookie at home and fresh out of the oven is the best time to eat them! What is wrong with you Tiny Boxwoods? We left without our cookies and we're never coming back.
Really Good – I went for brunch and was very disappointed with the menu selection. I begrudgingly ordered a buffalo burger and when I took my first bite it was suprisingly incredible. The burger had pesto aoli and blue cheese crumbles and was accidently undercooked to medium rare, all of which made it perfect. The service wasn't very good. I wouldn't try any special orders when you're ordering at the counter and you have to grab napkins, silverware, and your own drink and it was very difficult to find a table but it was a great burger.
Poor Staff and Management – 6/11/10 my boyfriend & I received a suggestion to visit Tiny Boxwoods for dessert. At first sight we received such a great impression that we decided to try more than the dessert, although we already ate dinner. The hostesses were sweet & seemed accommodating. We had a seat near the nursery as we waited for a table. As we sat their enjoying our drinks and admiring the landscape we notice the two ladies waiting next to us were seated at the table we set our eyes on, but no worries; they were definitely there before us & we were happy to wait our turn. We sat there a bit longer & noticed another couple walk in & sat next to us where the two ladies sat previously. Not long after, they stood up & walked directly to a table which had just become available without being accompanied by a hostess or server. My boyfriend & I thought they mistook the table for a waiting area & noticed a server approach them. We thought she was going to inform them the table needed to be cleared & it wasn't a waiting area but menus & water were brought out to them shortly after. As soon as I notified our server a hostess came to seat us at a table near the entrance that had been available for some time. &, as soon as she approached us she said "You guys were a party of four, right?" & made a reference to the table the couple sat at was a table for two; hardly a creative recovery. We definitely notice the table-for-four's availability. We were hoping not to be seated there. When we brought it up the hostess' explanation was the couple personally knew the server, knew it was her table & knew the order of the waiting list. Because patrons personally know the server it becomes their restaurant where they do as they please without consideration for others & it's allowed by the restaurant itself? I've heard of great service, but, WOW, that's really allowing a patron to make him or herself at home. The hostess explained she realized how badly is must have appeared & it had already been a bad night for them so please cut them a break. After experiencing a terrible night & being accused of being racist, why not learn for the experience & be proactive as opposed to devoting time to damage control? Although the hostesses seemed quite poised perhaps someone should take the time to provide some real service coaching for them; especially the one who provided her creative stories. It's always a horrible mistake to whine to patrons & to request not to be given a hard time & even worse to admit they have been accused of being racist. We're patrons. We had a valid complaint & we remained pleasant & polite the entire time; by anyone's standards. It would have gone over much better with us had she taken ownership over the mistake on behalf of the restaurant & simply apologized. It would have been better to explain the server didn't realize a hostess didn't seat them & has already served them. We understood at that point it would have been difficult to approach the couple. Whining, providing an unrealistic excuse & informing us of the racial accusations as if we should take it easy on her was definitely the wrong route to take. Still, we sat down at our least desired table being the good sports we are. Our French Picnic arrived with no prosciutto. When I asked about what I ordered I was told that was The French Picnic despite the menu stating otherwise. Unfortunately I only remember our server's name; Justin. We showed up about 9:15 pm.
I sent this message to Tiny Boxwoods regarding & received this response from the event coordinator:
Thank you so much for letting me know what happened. I am terribly sorry for such bad service and I promise it will be addressed. Please come back again and hopefully your experience will be nothing short of perfect.
Again, thank you for bringing this to my attention.
I expected a genuine concern. I haven't heard from anyone. She hasn't let me know she spoke to the manager, the hostess or the server.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Despite what could have been true of a café attached to an upscale River Oaks nursery, the atmosphere of cutely-named Tiny Boxwoods is inviting and the food is simple and good. House-made jam and fresh baked goods like cinnamon apple muffins and crusty sourdough warm the soul for breakfast while gourmet pizzas please for lunch. At dinner, the menu becomes significantly fancier and pricier with options like filet mignon and an over $20 lamb burger. A communal table anchors the tiny dining room, often packed with lingering girl groups who have the time to spend the morning over lattes from the espresso bar.
A palate cleanser amidst a restaurant-ridden city – Tiny Boxwood's has a unique atmosphere. Set within a garden nursery, Tiny's huge windows allow you to view the romantic landscaping while enjoying some delightfully different entrees. The French picnic will give you something light yet exciting, while the buffalo burger will make you question why you'd ever eat anything else! The menu changes from lunch to dinner, so try both and see what you think!
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