Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013

Best Spa

Best of 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Cured: Restorative eating at stylish new Pearl venture

Photo:, License: N/A

Masa flash-fried oysters served atop pickled tapioca

There’s something oddly refreshing about stepping into this 109-year old building that I can’t quite peg. Is it the bright white wooden sectionals that add coziness to any lunch? Is it the vast, custom-made meat locker that holds whole legs of ham and sausage links? Or is it the new metallic touches that merge seamlessly with the old edifice as exposed brick walls make way for an open kitchen?

Whatever the case, it all makes for a welcoming atmosphere that pairs effortlessly with the new American eats chef-owner Steve McHugh is delivering at Cured, his newly opened solo venture that sits inside the former Pearl administration building. The restaurant’s early success (we’ll get to that in a sec) isn’t a total surprise—McHugh spent about 10 years working under New Orleans’ John Besh, opening several of the chef’s restaurants including Lüke Riverwalk. But Cured is a different beast in which McHugh, a lymphoma survivor, presents his own lease on life, food and hospitality.

See also: Chef Steve McHugh Talks About Designing Cured and What Diners Can Expect

As with Lüke, McHugh’s penchant for local and sustainable ingredients shines through in just about every dish, and while the meats hog most of the spotlight at Cured, there’s definitely a place for veggies. For instance, during my lunchtime visit I noshed on a great muffaletta. Comprised of housemade ham, bologna and mortadella with a modest layer of mild olive tapenade inside a soft muffaletta loaf, the seriously delicious sammie was overshadowed by my pumpkin and pepper salad. The sizeable mound of roasted pumpkin chunks and red pepper strips sat atop acidic and creamy goat cheese. Touches of toasted pecans and crunchy preserved celery cemented my new salad crush.

While lunchtime visits are perfectly pleasant, the best way to take all of Cured in is during dinner (reservations are strongly encouraged). My dining companion and I started the night with cocktails—including a Blink of an Eye for me. The concoction of rye, grapefruit, house-made (duh) grenadine, Benedictine herbal liqueur and citrus bitters readied my palate for the charcuterie board of chicken liver mousse, goat and citrus terrine and hunters’ sausage. Served with a crispy flatbread, sweet jellied fennel, pickled cauliflower and mustard, the charc boards are somewhat pricey (3 meats for $18, 6 for $26 and 9 for $34), but they’d be an excellent, substantial addition to any happy hour at the bar, and $1 from each board goes toward the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this quarter.

Intended as a shareable experience, the remainder of the dinner menu is broken down into vegetable, seafood, fowl, pork, beef, goat and lamb. The plates range in size and grow larger as you go through each partition. The other vegetable component we tried, a beet, blood orange and avocado salad with citrus dressing, turned my dining companion into a beet fan. The masa flash-fried oysters on a bed of pickled tapioca turned this diner into someone who doesn’t like sharing.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus