For outdoor activity, night life and coffee shop culture, I'd choose Austin over my hometown any day (à la Town Lake, Rainey Street & Bennu). For indoor shopping, neighborhoods and general familiarity, home is where my heart is (à la Galleria & Tanglewood). Now when it comes to dining, it's a toss-up.
I air on the side of Austin with new, innovative restaurants always cropping up that rarely fail to deliver exciting menus with the freshest local ingredients. While home over spring break, I was pleased to find that Aaron Lyons, Austin entrepreneur, brought just that from my college city to my hometown.
After seven years conceptualizing restaurant brand ideas (and with a UT MBA under his belt), Lyons looked to Houston to open the first Dish Society. Local eating is not foreign to Austinites while Houston is more starved of this "farm-to-table" style restaurant. Lyons had this in mind when transporting himself and his ideas to Houston's eager eaters whom he hoped would appreciate his endeavor to deliver "decent choices at decent prices."
I sure did. As a foodie, Houston native, and temporary Austin resident, I think I have the proper credentials to weigh in on the new spot. Two thumbs up! Just as he set out to do, Lyons filled a gap in the Houston restaurant market with fresh fast food without all the fuss of the more formal dining options the city is already full of.
My quinoa stuffed avocados with salmon made for a delicious and quick lunch as my mom and I were crunched for time.
I enjoyed a more relaxed Saturday breakfast the next morning with my parents. The southwest scramble with sweet potato hash was washed down nicely with local coffee sipped from the canary yellow mug which compliments the color scheme throughout.
Next time I'm homeward bound, I'll try the sit-down dinner and perhaps the "social hour" offered in the late afternoons, a brilliant idea to encourage crowds to come in around the clock. Not to mention fitting with their tagline--Eat Local. Be Social.
As someone who often finds themselves sharing food with friends, it makes sense to marry these two everyday activities.
So, bravo and best of luck, Aaron in what I predict will be a bright future ahead. If Houston becomes home again, I'll be sure to be an active member of this Dish Society.