Saturday, December 3, 2011

Calliope's Po-Boy

OK well I'll admit to you guys that with the exception of Chacho's, which I'd never been to before, I've mostly just been reviewing restaurants that I already like. Considering the number of restaurants I like in Houston, that's a trend that's pretty likely to continue for the duration of this blog. To spice it up  a bit for my fifth post, I decided to try a restaurant I'd never been to before: Calliope's Po-Boy. I found it on Urban Spoon after typing in "Best restaurants in Downtown Houston," and guys, seriously, if this is the best downtown Houston has to offer then it's really no wonder nobody ever goes there.

Look it's not like it was a bad place. It was just super mediocre. The food was mediocre and the atmosphere was mediocre, and I'm really nervous that If I don't pull out all the stops here, this blog post is going to be mediocre, too. I mean I was there for probably forty-five minutes. The mediocrity has seeped into my pores and I already exfoliated my face once today, it isn't healthy to do it again.

I will go ahead and share my first impression of the place with you. Calliope's Po-Boy is located at 2130 Jefferson, which is in a fairly sketch part of town. The restaurant itself was in a fairly sketch shopping center. Next to it was an herbal supply store which looked like it had procured a medical marijuana distribution license from California. And yet on the door of the restaurant was as ticker from 022 magazine: "hip. current. cool." They'd been to Calliope's and rated it as hip. current. and cool.! I've never actually read 022 Magazine, though I can see now we're obviously rival ironic restaurant reviewers, and I'm going to have to take all those lessons about Machiavelli I learned in Dr. Collins's Political Theory class last semester against these posers to ensure my limited viewership based exclusively off my Facebook friends reigns triumphant against their actually printed magazine. Either way, I didn't realize that hip, current, and cool people hung out in Third Ward. I mean my understanding was that the only reason Montrose existed was so hip, current, and cool people could overpay for their cocktails and wear their cardigans out of the house. I will admit, though, that shortly after I arrived a young urbanite did wander in after me, his hair combed over to one side and his sweater sporting elbow pads, reminding us that he was going to be doing a lot of gesturing in his lunch time conversations and didn't want to wear his sleeves out. His lunch companion was dressed much more like myself (haven't showered since Wednesday chic) though so I think he was the one who was out of place, not us. +8 for fun, conflicting first impressions

As I said the interior of the restaurant was pretty average, but there was an alligator airbrushed onto one of the windows. The about us section of the menu reminded us that they were named after a street in Louisiana, and their food was traditional Cajun. It's a good thing, then, that they chose to put an alligator on one wall of the restaurant. For one thing, alligators are a pretty fun animal in that they can grow to twice my length and outrun me on land. For another, when I play word association games with Louisiana, this is what I come up with: rampant violent crime rates,  the movie "Skeleton Key", rednecks, terrible roads, trashcans,and a couple of racist things I won't say in case my friend Star is reading this. Alligators are about the only positive thing I can come up with for the state, and it's good that they chose to showcase it in their restaurant. They also have alligator on their menu, available based on market rate. I chose to go with the catfish, because I hate the thought of eating something that will eat anything. Oh, wait.... +4 for decorations.

Here's something that grossed me out about Calliope's. All their ketchup was in those red squirt top bottles. I know you know the ones I'm talking about. They have them on hot dog stands, like, in New York? Or at least on the hot dogs stands in the movies about New York. I've obviously never been to a hotdog stand, I don't work for 002 magazine, I'm not that cool. I just don't get them. Every restaurant in America puts their ketchup in Heinz bottles, and then when they run out, they refill them with HEB brand ketchup. Nobody actually uses Heinz ketchup in their stores. What's wrong with pretending, just for a minute, that it's actual ketchup in the bottle and not just a can of tomato paste mixed with a gallon of water? I can almost guarantee you they aren't saving any money by not using name brand ketchup bottles, and they look way sketchier. -8 for not just tickling my fancy and springing for an addition five buck upfront cost.

Like I said, it was a pretty mediocre place. It's not that far from University of Houston campus, though, and I read on their website that if you're proactive about it, they'll give you a discount with your school ID. I won't recommend it to you, but if you do decide to go, let me know at Thanks everyone, and have a great dinner!

Calliope's Po-Boy on Urbanspoon

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