HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 14, 2000
OUT ON THE BAYOU
Generous but jumbled platters
byKATHREEN I II
TEALA'S provides an interesting study
Take, for example, the mingled roots of
Teala's cuisine. While on a trip to the
Yucatan, Teal Anomaiprasert, who also
owns Thai Pepper, discovered that despite
the different hemispheres, Thailand and
Mexico have much in common when it
comes to food.
Abundant seafood, fresh hot peppers,
zesty lime and cilantro, and a hint of a
wood burning grill flavor, are all culinary
traits shared of both countries. One example Teala's oilers is a special southeast
Asian version of the traditional mole
sauce—an exclusive house peanut mole
sauce. But despite claims of a fused cuisine, outside of its particular mole same,
Teala's offers nothing distinctive from the
usual platos Mexicanos.
My dining companion and I started with
the Chicken Fajita and Jack Cheese
Quesadilla ($8.50). The cheese and chicken
grilled in fajita sauce provided a spicy
punch to the dish and blended well with
the heaps of extra guacamole from the
Guacamole Salad ($3.75).
The quesadillas were not arranged in the
usual tan-like manner for easy access.
Instead thev were stacked on one another,
seeming more like a jumbled bundle of
chicken and tortilla. Nevertheless, the generous portions left us feeling like we had
finished the entice, no. jusl the appetizer.
My companion also ordered the Black Bean
Soup ($3.95), which she found to be rather
ordinary and too salty.
For the main course, 1 ordered the half
pound platter of chicken fajitas ($10.95),
which is served with the usual tare
of onions, guacamole, rice, frijoles
Restaurant and Bar
4319 Montrose Blvd.
Service: C^ Cr,&>'t:
Scene: S^S> &> &
Opt for bread, water at home
OK, if you really must
Fine for most
Worth the drive, so live a little
As good as it gets
charros and pico de gallo. Overall, the dish
The same was true of the Vegetarian
Enchiladas ($8.95), served with spinach,
soy bean strips, jack cheese and enchilada
My dining companion described the
dish as "pedestrian," complaining that
the soy bean strips tasted more like dehydrated space food.
Though the entrees don't inspire any
hint of distinctiveness, the raspberry
cheesecake dessert ($3.95) ended the meal
on a positive note. The cheesecake had a
lighter, grittier texture than most, and it
didn't leave cakes of cream cheese plastered to my palate. The thick graham
cracker crust had a homemade freshness
that made it exceptional.
The distinguishing feature of Teala's is
not its cuisine, but its decor. When you first
enter the restaurant, there's an overwhelming sensation of having stepped
into a western saloon. With a large wooden chandelier, a staircase leading to a balcony over the bar and a hitching post separating the bar from the dining area, you
could stage an old-fashioned Western
shootout in the place.
Again, in the decor, Teala's juxtaposes
one style with another. For example, paintings ranging from a grainy portrait of a
Mariachi band to Picasso-esque modern
prints adorn the walls. Large paneled windows, which make up one side of the
restaurant, face the parking lot and provide a ski lodge atmosphere quite disparate from a saloon.
A large dilapidated sign surrounded by
flashing bulbs and painted with the word
"favourite" hangs over the bar, adding to
Teala's diverse and kitschv decor. If you're
looking for a new place to dine, or for a quiet
patio to converse with friends over a mar-
garita, then Teala's may be the place for you.
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