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Monday, January 15, 2007

Max's Wine Dive!

4720 Washington Ave

I'm going to do something rather stunning. I'm going to recommend a restaurant that doesn't even serve iced tea!!! In fact, you can't even order a Coke or Sprite here (they do offer a fancy root beer). Max's wine dive feels like an urban biker joint with its neon sign, concrete floors and dim interior, but it is a wine bar.

I could talk about their interesting wine list (think bold flavors), but the punch line is that you should probably order an entire bottle since wines by the glass are rather expensive compared to just buying the bottle.

Owned by the folks who brought you The Tasting Room, this place has a distinctly urban renewal vibe to it. We sat at the bar that runs the length of the restaurant. Behind the bar is the big burly chef who whips out dishes like Kobe Beef Burgers (how trite), chili, and haute dogs.

I had the fried chicken on a bed of collard greens. IT WAS THE BEST DAMN FRIED CHICKEN I'VE EVER HAD. They soak the sucker in buttermilk(?) and then fry it to perfection. Juicy, flavorful and perfect for sharing. The plate came with 4 pieces of chicken. Rekha had the venison chili. Quite good, though probably not the best we've had.

Max's is open till late. The place is packed on the weekends. This restaurant seriously made us reconsider moving away from the area. If you don't live near here, you might want to move so you can come eat here everyday.

Rekha and I ventured back with my sister and brother-in-law in tow. This time, no table came available so we spent the evening standing at a cocktail table. We opened the evening with a bottle of white and an order of fries smothered with venison chili, guyere cheese, black truffles, and two eggs over easy. Absolutely decadent and tasty.


B said...

That sounds sooo good! I am going to be in houston for 4 weeks and i was wondering whether u have any recommendations for restaurants in the north. Thanks!

January 20, 2007

Huan said...

Which side north? Kingwood or Woodlands. If you're any further south than that, you'll probably want to come into town to eat. In the Woodlands, I'd recommend Jaspers (though it's a chain restaurant).

January 21, 2007

governor said...

I have a problem with Max's because the first and only time we went... we ended up sitting around for over an hour. We drank two bottle of wine (one Spanish red and one Oregon pinot noir) and an appetizer of some sort. The food smelled and looked good, but the wait was very long and the staff not very accommodating.

We ended up going down the street to Catalan, which had better service and exceptional food.

January 22, 2007

Huan said...

governor, i think you have to take it for what it is... a wine bar that happens to serve food. as i mentioned in the review, we ended up standing and eating. it's so packed and so busy, there's no way to get service other than waving down a waiter or waitress. But chicken is very much worth the effort. this isn't a place for a romantic dinner or meeting with long-lost friends.

January 23, 2007

b said...

I am near champions forest. I will definitely give Jaspers a try. i looked it up and it sounds good! Thnx!

January 23, 2007

Huan said...

A lot of chains in the area. Gringo's is a good chain choice. Rekha says Campioni's is pretty good Italian.

January 23, 2007

Anonymous said...

We had great food the first time we went when Max's was newly opened. Both their food and service was exceptional. However, the second time we were there, the food was mediocre and don't even mention service since it was so packed and busy. We managed to "grab" seats at the bar counter, but it was unpleasant to dine since we sat next to the cashier counter/POS and customers kept on interrupting when they came to order their drinks. I think we will take a long break from Max's Wine Dive.


January 29, 2007


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