11500 Space Center Blvd. Houston, Texas 77059
Cullen's is a Vegas restaurant landed on a Houston suburb. Surrounded by fields, including Ellington field, this beautiful edifice, houses a dining room that soars like a circus tent muted by browns--lots of browns. The restaurant seats hundreds and is probably the most over-the-top restaurant since Bistro Moderne
We started with the salads. Mine the Caesar Salad and Rekha's the Field Salad. Both salads had good ingredients and flavors overwhelmed by the kitchen's preference of drowning the salads in their dressings. Over-saucing is a persistent theme for this restaurant.
Our waiter steered us towards the steaks for dinner-good choice. Rekha's Sunday Roast consisted of prime rib and yorkshire pudding. The prime rib had flavor, moisture, and good looks. But the connective tissue made it hard to eat. The yorkshire pudding also had good looks, but lacked moisture or gravy.
My "CHAIRMAN RESERVE STEAKS" were listed as a separate category on the menu, apparently equal in importance to the "CHICKEN & DUCK" and "LAMB, PORK, & BEEF" categories. The meat had the musky man-flavor of aged beef. Tender, evenly cooked, and flavorful, I would ask the chef remove, reduce or rethink the thyme used in his 9 spice rub.
The best part of the meal was the Bananas "Not So" Foster. Caramelized slices of banana swimming in a rum sauce. The sauce also holds up the banana coconut icecream and banana bread. Unfortunately, the banana bread flavor couldn't hold its own drowning in the bananas foster flavor of the dish.
Cullens is out of the way and worth a visit. The food and service won't win awards (at least outside the Houston Chronicle's award), but the combination of jaw-dropping space and respectable food should keep this place busy. Think: good tasting Cheesecake Factory.