Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Boston's The Gourmet Pizza




Update:  I found out that Boston's closed its Houston location during the 1st Week of May 2012.  This is too bad.  I really liked their pizza and flatbreads.  They still have locations open in other parts of Texas and I recommend you try them in Dallas or College station.  I'm leaving this review up in memory of their Houston presence.
Those of you who know me well are aware that I am an Economics Professor and a TV watcher.  You also know that I am a sucker for a success story about a little guy who makes it big.   Boston's The Gourmet Pizza  has some of all of that in its origin.  As a regular visitor to Vancouver, BC, I am very fond of a pizza chain by the name of Boston Pizza--though they changed their name temporarily to Vancouver Pizza when the Canucks faced the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jim Treliving in front of a US Boston's
As a regular viewer of CBC's Dragon's Den (known as Shark Tank in the US on ABC), one of my favourite Dragons on the Canadian Version is Jim Treliving, who is the majority owner of Boston Pizza.  Boston Pizza in Canada is called Boston's The Gourmet Pizza in the United States.  As a fan of Jim Treliving, Dragon's Den, Canada, the Canucks and Pizza, I was very glad to see that the Houston area has a location.

My kids and I were off for the day from school  and work, so we stopped by for lunch.  I was pleased to see that a lot of their menu choices were the same here as up there.  We shared their gourmet cheese fries, my son ordered a kid's cheese pizza, my daughter ordered spaghetti and meat balls, and I had a small Meat and Pepper pizza.  So with that, here is our meal blue print:

Boston's Cheese Fries
Boston's Cheese Fries
Oven-baked french fries loaded with queso, smoked bacon
cheddar & mozzarella cheeses, jalapeño peppers
tomatoes and green onions.
Served with a side of ranch dressing

Double Meat and Pepper Pizza:
Sausage and meatballs and pizza sauce with
fresh roasted red onions
red & green peppers
mozzarella cheese
Double Meat and Pepper Pizza


Kids Fan-Tastic Cheese Pizza:
An Individual Sized pizza
with Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese Blend

Kids Slammin' Spaghetti and Meatball:

Kid's Sized portion of spaghetti
covered with
Bolognese sauce and
topped with a huge hearty meatball


Each of these dishes was served piping hot, yummy to look at and in a reasonable amount of time.  The cheese fries were AMAZING.  This was no frozen fries covered in liquid rubber cheese.  This was fresh cut spuds, deep fried and then baked with cheese, bacon, onions and tomatoes.  It was served with a side fresh ranch dressing that had the twang of buttermilk and sour cream you just don't get from the bottled variety.  The Double Meat and Pepper Pizza was loaded with savoury flavour.  The spongy, hand-tossed crust was the right mix of crunchy and soft (note to self:  try the whole wheat version next time).  The meatballs and sausages were full of black pepper, fennel seed and sweet, meaty goodness.  The peppers tasted fresh and a nice mixture of sweet and sour.  The cheese was well melted and stringy like I love on a pizza.  My kids were very satisfied with their dishes--Jason gave his cheese pizza two thumbs up, and Helena liked the hearty flavour of the meatballs and the spaghetti.

The staff that runs the Houston location off of FM 249 near Willowbrook was clearly well trained.  They were very friendly.  They gave timely service but weren't overly hovering.  Jay, our server, was very patient with the kids and made good, timely call backs for refills and other needs.  I have eaten at Boston Pizza in Vancouver, BC and found the experience at Houston's Location equally friendly, accommodating and very much up to Jim Treliving's standards.  Although this is a chain, it's a good one and I promise you, I'll be back for a follow up in a couple of months.  And since Jim Treliving does provide investment capital and his expertise to help smaller entrepreneurs develop and succeed, I do not have any qualms about eating at this wonderful restaurant and bar.

The Foodie Professor's Report Card for Boston's The Gourmet Pizza:


Boston's Cheese Fries: A
Double Meat and Pepper Pizza: A
Kids Cheese Pizza: A
Kids Spaghetti and Meat Ball: A
Service:
     Speed: A-
     Friendliness: A+
Atmosphere: A-


Overall Grade:  A 


Boston's: The Gourmet Pizza Has locations  in 23 US States and in Mexico, and all over Canada as Boston's Pizza.  We went to the location at:

17125 State Highway 249
Houston, TX 77064
281-469-5959

And remember:
Eat Happy!!!
Zao an, Y'all!!!

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