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Brennan's of Houston

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Restaurant Management & Consultants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants

3300 Smith St, Houston, TX 77006


Today: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm

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59 Reviews
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Provided by Citysearch
Fantastic! Chic, romantic. Wonderful

Fantastic! Chic, romantic. Wonderful meal and service.

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Provided by Citysearch
Not like the past

We hadn't been to Brennan's since The Fire and were eager to have a taste of the good old turtle soup. But this was so aggressively spiced and out of balance we thought we had been given a bowl of Texas Red. More like chili, we agreed, than the old turtle soup. Now some folks might like this. We didn't. My partner also handed over his Bloody Mary after two sips. ""I can't drink this. You have to,"" I was told. Too much of something, again. Tamarind? Our eggs were poached beautifully. But my hussard seemed out of whack again. The Marchand du vin sauce seemed over-reduced. Hard to say. I used to say the eggs hussard here were the single best thing I ever ate. Not this weekend, though. Too bad. The eggs sardou were better, but the spinach overwhelmed the artichokes.

This all said, the service was -- as usual -- beyond reproach. One feels special, cosseted and thoroughly at ease. The desserts: one bananas Foster and one bread pudding souffle were excellent .

The space is lighter, airier than in the past. It is a nice update from the previous structure given all the damage.

I might have a more glowing review had we eaten NEW items. After such a hiatus, it IS always dangerous to try to go with the stuff you've loved for thirty years.

Go. See for yourself. The experience is worth it!

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Provided by Citysearch
Excellent Food and Service

Went to Brennan's for the first time and my wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere. The service was prompt but not in your face. The waiter didn't have the best personality, but I'm not paying him/her to be conversational, I'm paying them to serve my food and be there when I need them. I rate it 4 out of 5 because it doesn't quite compare to my favorite place to eat, Pappa's Bros Steakhouse. As for another review I read on here. Seriously? You go to a a high end restaurant and complain about having to valet park and pay $5 for it? I always valet park, it's part of the experience of eating out at a high end restaurant, and $5 is the minimum tip anyway, unless you're a real cheap skate.

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Provided by Citysearch
Bad Birthday Gift

Like every good boyfriend, I picked a restaurant that was one of the top rated dining establishments in the city as a birthday treat. I was tolerant of the slow start to the service as the restaurant was busy, but did not understand why I had to ask the waiter (Marshall) three times for a wine list. The food was exceptional as always, but the service never recovered. I love the New Orleans Brennan's concepts, but southern hospitality apparently does not cross the Mississippi river.

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Provided by Citysearch
Service was slow given the pricey menu

The eggs benedict was very good but not as good as Ruggles. Now, having said that the service was a bit, let's tell it like it was, slow on all phases. Slow on drinks, slow to get my turtle soup. Finally the entree and after finishing the eggs benedict the plates sat there for an inordinate amount of time. Given they are using the Captain's system, it was awlful. I know because I owned and operated two full service restaurants in my date. Thus, the critique comes from an insider of the business. Given, the lunch run was partiacially over and not busy, the service was very, very slow.

Not what I was expecting and quite frankly, disappointing.

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Provided by Citysearch
Sinfully delicious!

Brennan's is a Houston institution with reason! The service is impeccable, the food is delicious. The menu is interesting, beautifully served. There is a dining section for those more casually dressed (no flip flops or shorts, please!). Relaxing, tasty, great service. One note for improvement: I was not offered a coffee refill (this was coffee following lunch).

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Provided by Citysearch
Great place, terrible Valets

I brought my 67 year-old father and the rest of my family to Brennan's for an early Father's Day... I have to say that the meal and everything was great... in fact, if it weren't for the valet parking I would have given it a 5-star rating.

When I pulled up, I asked where the self-parking area was - I was told there was no self-parking option available. I find this an incredibly obnoxious thing - its really ridiculous to be forced to use valet parking, and then have to pay $5 to have someone park my car some half-block down the street when I'm perfectly capable and willing to do it myself. Furthermore - the valets won't take any responsibility to damage, theft, or vandalism to my vehicle - whats the point? That's not a feature - its a disaster waiting to happen. Without any choice, I reluctantly relinquished the keys to my vehicle and had a fantastic meal.

Upon receiving my vehicle - it was clear that whoever parked it decided to hang out in my car and enjoy my stereo... radio settings were all adjusted differently than I had it... the bass was cranked up, the treble was tweaked - and the volume was obnoxiously turned up and playing a track that I would never have been playing with my elderly parents in my car. For all I know they cruised around in it while I was eating.

To Brennan's - make a self-park option available... charge me $5 to park it myself if you have to... but don't force me to relinquish the keys of my fancy new car to a bunch of valets who have no respect for other's property. They are not doing your establishment any good and its leaving people with a sour note at the end of an otherwise perfect evening.

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Provided by Citysearch
Local Fine Dining Landmark Returns to Glory

Upon entering we are overcome by the classic old-world elegance too often missing in modern fine dining. Although sat in a crowded table, we ask to move to one of the larger corner tables with high-back chairs and are promptly accommodated.
Our waiter is excellent throughout the evening, particularly considering that we have a late reservation. His only fault is that our wine arrives after our appetizers and our food arrives a bit too soon after that. He does, however, offer to send the food back.
My boyfriend began with the classic turtle soup, not too heavy on, but with the distinct taste of sherry. His delicate soup was, however, immediately overpowered by the fine carnivorous artist's palette placed before me. Playfully titled ""Chef's Playground,"" the array of terrines and sausages was by far one of the most delightful, flavorful and yes, I'll venture to say it, 'bargain' dishes I have had state-side in years. The venison terrine melted upon my tongue, reminiscent of a veal carpacio I had at the French Laundry, and the duck confit rillette was a gorgeous spiral of flavor and texture!
Deeply engrossed in this plethora of pâté, our second courses arrive - duck for him and Colorado rack of lamb for me. His duck is overwhelmingly tender and succulent, while my lamb is a perfectly crisp yet rare showcase of fine meat. Neither dish is particularly innovative, but prepared exquisitely and richly flavorful, each served with a house sausage, a slightly odd but fine accompaniment.
As our meal draws to a close, the flambé cart arrives to prepare a freshly flamed bananas foster. It is a simple but delicious dessert and the tableside flames only add to the romance of the evening.
Shortly thereafter, yet another dessert arrives - pralines and strawberries, ""Happy Anniversary"" written in chocolate! We are given the classic Brennan's party chef hats and photos taken.
On our way out we notice the chef at the bar and stop to thank him for a wonderful meal. Chef Trace invited us into the party immediately and offered a round of drinks. The boy ordered a Whiskey Smash while I ordered a Hemingway. Both were artfully prepared and we enjoyed sipping them while chatting with the bartender, Richard, and the Sous Chef, Javier, a native Texan and lifetime kitchen-man who enthralled us with tails of pig roasts.
Although there were only three patrons left in the whole place, Richard insisted on preparing another round of Whiskey Smashes for us. A rare find in the modern bar scene, Richard is of the old school NY grand hotel bartender class who serves up the classics with perfect attention to detail and pride.
We may not be able to dine at Brennan's on a regular basis, but will rush back to the bar. The ambiance, friendliness of the staff and cocktail perfection make it hard to think of many places in town I'd rather be.
Bravo, Brennan's, we are oh so glad to have you back!

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Provided by Citysearch
Favorite, most memorable place I have been.

I have taken dozens of employees to eat at Brennan's for their 5 year anniversary with our business. Many look forward to going to Brennan's for lunch. I was to take another employee next month and now very sad that we will have to choose another place. I hope they plan on rebuilding as I will miss greatly those special occasions for lunch. Alex, our prayers are with your family during this time. Chris Smith, Grace Community Church.

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Provided by Citysearch
Please rebuild; Houston needs you

Knowing that the family supported their workers displaced after Katrina made us feel proud to call this one of our favorite restaurants, and our family, both local and those who have visited Houston, had many memorable dining experiences here. The food is sublime; a treat for palate and senses combined. Never did we have an experience that was not memorable; never did we have a meal that was not exquisite. Thank you for the memories.

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Provided by Citysearch
The worst restaurant experience ever...my stomach still hurts a day later!

Though I would not define myself as a renowned food critic, I try my best to dine at the finer institutions in the various cities in the US I visit. Upon seeing Brennan's Dirona award, I put it on my list to visit while in Houston this past week.

I do not think it is possible for a restaurant to be worse than this one. They charge $5 to valet your car...so they enter your valet before you even walk in the door. When you walk in, it looks like a cheap antique store...I really thought I was going to come away with a lamp from 1920. Enough about the awful ambiance...when we were finally seated in the backroom (we didnt have a jacket...so we weren't allowed to sit with the ""regular people"") we sat by ourselves for a few minutes and then were handed a menu...I honestly had to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what would hurt my stomach the least. Before they took our order, they brought out a single piece of bread...it was stale on the outside and frozen on the inside...awesome start to the dinner!

I ordered the seafood gumbo to start...major letdown. My wife makes gumbo that is about a thousand times better....so based on what I eat at home, I felt like I should be paid to eat Brennan's gumbo. Still it was marginal, so I thought okay....maybe the entree will be better. Not so...I got a pecan crusted Amberjack. The fish was obviously not fresh and the pecan encrusting of the fish was poorly done and done with very low quality pecans. I love pecans...and I had to choke down these ""chewy pecans"". My stomach gave me the headsup that it was in no shape to eat dessert after the two disheds erstwhile...and therefore I declined dessert. My dining partner had the chicken and grits...and he was also amazed at how bad it was...

If anyone has eaten at Cheesecake Bistro or Cheesecake Factory....think of this place as a worse Cheesecake Factory. If you care about your wallet, your stomach, and having a great dinner...skip this overrated restaurant.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great anniversary brunch

I wanted to let readers know what a great experience my husband and I had at Brennans for our anniversary. We have always been fans of the Brennans in New Orleans but this was our first try in Houston. WOW! It was our 30th anniversary and they exceeded all expectations. Our table was great - looking out over the patio. The waitstaff was attentive but not oppressive. The food was great from start to finish. The turtle soup was as outstanding as were the crab crakes. Who can resist the ""bananas foster"" and the great show they put on. I was a little concerned after reading some of the reviews but I honestly don't know how our experience could have been better. The musicians even came to our table and sang a special song for us. Truly a memorable experience.

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Provided by Citysearch
Excellent Easter

Easter brunch was a very pleasant surprise at Brennan's. So many good restaurants perform poorly on the major holidays when they are expecting large groups of diners and they want to offer a limited menu. However, the Brennan's Easter brunch was a great experience. We were a party of 5 and although we had a late reservation at 3:45 p.m., we were seated promptly upon arrival and the service was attentive during the entire meal. The Easter brunch menu offered a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert for $55 and there were at least 6 selections of each course. Everyone's food was delicious and they even accomodated one of our group that didn't think she could eat an appetizer, entree and dessert by preparing her entree choice and packing it ""to go"" for her. I was also pleasantly surprised that they offered one of their signature desserts, bananas foster, which is prepared table side. Brennan's has always been known for their excellent food and service, but I would also recommend it for major holiday dining events. They seem to have figured out how to maintain their food quality, selection and service at a very reasonable price for special occasions.

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Provided by Citysearch
What's all the fuss about?

My wife and I dined at Brennans tonight and I had to write my review imediately. The evening was terrible and we won't be going back. The service was atrocious and not something we'd expect from a restaurant portrayed as one of Houston's best. The service was slow, our waitress was very poorly informed and I even had to ask for the wine list a number of times before she finally remebered to bring it. I ended up pouring wine into our glasses most of the evening as the waitress was otherwise engaged most of the evening. She even huffily responded when we asked to look at the dessert menu (there was no way we were leaving to end her pain!!!). The food, which had been highly rated by Zagat's, was also bland and unimaginative - veal was dry, creole pranws were overcooked and the chocolate souffle was the size of a walnut and very floury with no chocolate centre. We definitely won't be going back and I would urge others to really reconsider their choice of restaurant as the quality does not justify the price.

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Provided by Citysearch
Very romantic, excellent food

We went to Brennans for Valentines day. It was the perfect romantic spot. There was no jacket and tie required, however many people were dressed up. Definitely not a jeans place. I had the strawberry salad, the fettucini with steamed vegetables, and the chocolate souffle. The strawberry salad and steamed vegetables were some of the best I've ever had. There was an extensive wine list, but very few choices for wine by the glass. It was a wonderful romantic restaurant, and felt great to treat ourselves. However, spending $200 for 2 people is a surefire way to ensure we won't be back for a while.

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Provided by Citysearch
A perfect Restaurant !!

I have been going to this restaurant for many years and it has certainly continued to live up to its stellar reputation. The atmosphere is New Orleans inspired and beautiful. Most recently my girlfriend and I took advantage of their complimentary theater shuttle they offer on show nigts, it was much better than having to try to park and walk to the theater! For dinner we started with the crispy fried oysters. They were fried in an authentic Louisiana fashion and served with potato shavings and a chili sauce... they're addictive! Our entrees were the duo of lamb and the redfish ponchetrain both were equally incredible. And for dessert we had the famous (and i think original) bananas foster...we were both full but couldn't stop eating. The wine list is more than adequate and on request the saumelier will always pair you up with something perfect. On a side note, Thomas is an outstanding waiter!! Will DEFINITELY go back.

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Provided by Citysearch
Worst Fine Dining Experience

My husband and I decided to dine here for our anniversary and everything from start to finish was a sore disappointment. First, we were promised a romantic table for 2 overlooking the patio area when we called for our reservations. When we arrived, we were seated at a 4 person table in a room that resembled a wedding banquet hall with no view at all. We could see our ""reserved"" table, and it was empty! Needless to say, we asked to move and they accommodated (why didn't they get it right the first time?). We were seated at least 30 minutes before anyone brought us a dinner menu. We ordered a bottle of red wine which was poured into what appeared to be water goblets that were already sitting on the table. The waiter did not mention any ""specials"" for the evening, so I presume they do not have ""specials."" The web site menu lists a soft shell crab entree, however this was not an option and the waiter replied ""we do not have any in house."" I ordered the Escargot appetizer and when it arrived it was COLD. The waiter took my plate, microwaved it, and brought me back the same plate which was now burning hot to the touch. My husband ordered the grilled filet of beef medium-rare with emphasis on RARE several times, but it still arrived ""MEDIUM"". Overall the food was unimaginative and lacked in presentation. At most establishments someone in management checks to make sure the service is satisfactory, however at Brennan's the waiter was the only person we saw despite making it known that things were unsatisfactory. The waiters do not reflect the caliber expected at fine dining in that they were friendly but lacked sophistication. I have never had to wait in line to use the restroom at a fine restaurant because they only had 2 stalls to service hundreds of people daily. In summary, it would appear that Brennan's is getting by on their past reputation, rather than trying to maintain quality and reputable service. Your money would be well spent elsewhere!

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Provided by Citysearch
Impeccable in every aspect

Apparently the best place in town. Always feel like home. Service is impeccable, all our love goes to Joe - he can make your night special whether it's your anniversary, birthday or one hour before theater. Crab cakes are to die for as well as creme brulee. Wine list is great - James will make sure that you not only pair wine and food but enjoy the conversation as well. I am not sure I would be able to persuade my husband to go to the symphony unless we drop by Brennan's before.

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Provided by Citysearch
Turtle soup

After having heard that the turtle soup is outstanding I decided to give it a try. I have eaten pretty much at most restaurants that have received high ratings on the French Michelin's Restaurant Guide, as such I had high expectations. Well either I had my expectations too high, or Brennans is truly just one big market joke. The turtle soup has all the taste of the spices that make up the soup, but you cannot even taste a hint of the turtle in it. I like food in which you can taste each ingredients and allows them to come alive in harmony. None of this was accomplished. Again, I fell flat on my face. This is another Nuvo Rich joint I hoped to have never been gone too. Kudos or should I say No Thank you!!!
In houston this restaurant might be popular but in France this would not survive!!

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Provided by Citysearch
Serious let down, extremely rude hostess.

I was very disappointed by my lacquered duck, the food was almost inedible. We had an extremely rude hostess this last friday night, who does not belong in the customer service field. We had reservations, and we were still told that there wasn't a table for us. After a long wait, we were seated. They did however have good wait staff and the wine guy was very nice. I wouldn't recomend as a fine dining experince!

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General Info
Since our 1967 opening as a sister restaurant to the world-famous Commander's Palace in New Orleans, Brennan's of Houston has evolved into the city's premier destination for memorable dining served with true Southern hospitality. From the reservationist to the waiters, chefs and every associate behind the scenes, our team is focused on the highest standard of excellence and equally dedicated to creating enduring memories of snapshots in time: the sealing of business deals, wedding proposals, joyful celebrations, and the marking of significant milestones along life's way. And the proof is in the (bread) pudding, with loyal patrons returning time and again to create new memories.Reflecting the same warmth as our friendly greeting, each farewell concludes with Brennan's signature lagniappe: an abundance of unforgettably fresh pecan pralines.
Extra Phones

Phone: 713-522-9223

Fax: 713-520-1718

Regular Hours
Mon - Sat:
Restaurant Management & Consultants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Clubs, Creole & Cajun Restaurants, Health Food Restaurants, Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants
Payment Options
Price Range
South Central Houston, Midtown

Brennan's Restaurant

Other Information

Parking: Valet

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Dressy

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Cuisines: Southern, American, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Healthy, Seafood, Cajun & Creole

Cuisine: Cajun & Creole

Good For Groups: Yes

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