Whenever I have a long layover at a multi-terminal airport, I always ask the airport personnel “Where’s the best food?” Inevitably, it”s in the international departures terminal, and that’s no exception here. Having had my fill of seafood on vacation, I passed on Pappadeaux, which would have been a decent choice, and headed for Cat Cora’s Kitchen.
Its location is a bit cramped, in a storefront that could easily be selling magazines and breath mints instead of featuring a prominent bar, with a smattering of tables on the sides and in the back. I was offered what I imagined to be the best seat of the house: the far corner from the entrance away from all foot traffic.
The menu was just one page, which for me indicates a restaurant wants to do several things well versus trying to appeal to the masses, offering mediocrity on a large scale. The one puzzling feature was the price point: main dishes were either cheaper than $20 or more than $30, with one $28 exception.
I settled on the Steak Tacos, which at $19 was for me a good way to have an expensive meat but a lower-priced dish. The presentation was pretty simple: four toasted soft tacos, pineapple salsa, strips of steak, and a condiment cup of green salsa on the side. The steak was perfectly cooked to medium rare, which was offered at the time of the order. Both salsas were satisfying, though I went easy on the green salsa since I don’t tolerate spicy foods well.
The service was a bit leisurely, which was perfect for my situation, but I’m sure I could have sped that up should I have cared or needed to do so. The server spoke highly about Cat Cora, as a serious restaurateur who visits periodically to give tips to the chefs, while treating the entire staff cordially. The meal was a nice finale to several days spent on vacation.
Rating 4.0/5.0 – Really liked it
Cat Cora’s Kitchen
Houston Int’l Airport, Terminal E
2800 N Terminal Rd
Houston, TX 77032