204 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX | Directions 7820529.426470 -98.492036
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central San Antonio
I can't really complain about this restaurant. We had a groupon and everything went well. Nice ambiance, good service, good food. A bit pricey. But it's downtown.
If I could give this place a negative score, I would. I bought a Groupon for this place and figured I would give it a shot. I should have known something was wrong with Houston St. Bistro because it was Friday night at 8pm and there were only 2 other tables taken in the entire restaurant.
I checked out the website before I went and saw that they advertised 1/2 price bottle of wine after 8pm. Sounded great, so I went at 8. I told the waitress that I wanted the bottle special and she had to go over to the owner (or manager?) to verify. She came back saying she would do it JUST this time, but they don't have that special anymore. Ok, then you should take it off your website.
We gave her our groupon and ordered our food. We had a late lunch, so we weren't extremely hungry, so we said we wanted to split the tomato salad and the huge ny strip. The waitress forgot to tell us that there would be a $6 charge to split 4 slices of tomato and then another $6 for the steak. (Which ok, not a big deal with the steak, but the SALAD? And just tell us when we are ordering, not when we are paying).
The entire time we were eating the owner was sitting at the bar giving us the stink eye. When the bill comes out, he comes out and abrasively says that we could either use the Groupon OR get the 1/2 off the bottle of wine. Keep in mind I paid $15 for $30 of food for the groupon AND they charged $12 in fees for putting our food on 2 plates, so I saved a whole stinking $2 with the Groupon.
I have NEVER in my LIFE had an owner or manager of a restaurant, and argue loudly (to the point of yelling) like that. If you didn't want to take the Groupon, don't offer them. If you don't want to honor your wine special, then take it off your website. There is a reason this place is empty on a Friday night... avoid this place like the plague.
RUINED OUR EVENING! – First off I should say I didn’t even get any farther than the tap water on the table and here’s why. The manager of the Houston St. Bistro is overtly rude and a liar.
My father set up a reservation for a dinner for four of us prior to a show at the Majestic Theater. He made the reservation nearly a month in advance and asked for a specific table by the window. He spoke to Razmik, the manager and verified the table reservation.
Unfortunately, when we arrived at the restaurant, we saw immediately that the manager had given our reserved table to another party. To add insult to injury, Razmik refused to admit his error or even apologize to us for the mistake. He accused my father of not having reserved the table or of having spoken to another person at the restaurant, even though he initially admitted to recognizing my father’s voice on the phone.
When we finally decided to leave the restaurant, Razmik actually had the NERVE to follow my 82 year old father out of the restaurant and argue with him! He tried again to accuse my father of having made the mistake, this time in front of the owner, a Mister Merhdad Ghaffari. The owner never introduced himself to us nor apologized. In fact, one of the other members of the staff followed Razmik out of the restaurant and stood there staring my father down in a somewhat threatening and offensive manner.
We ended up eating across the street at Barron’s and had drinks later at Bohanan’s. Waiters at both the other restaurants told us they knew of Razmik and that he was extremely rude and offensive.
I strongly urge anyone visiting downtown San Antonio to avoid and boycott this restaurant.
Credit Card Fraud – I went to Houston Street Bistro last Wednesday night 4/13/11 before a Fiesta event and when we sat down the waitress immediately got rude with us... Long story short, I only tipped her $7 on the receipt b/c of her rude service but she changed it to a $9 tip and committed credit card fraud. When I finally reached someone on the phone to complain, it was the owner. Not only was he not upset or appalled like you would expect a manager to be, but he made no attempt to apologize or to try to retain my business by buying my meal or future meal or anything, he was only annoyed that their waitress got caught doing it, and he only offered my tip back, which doesn't even cover the cost of going back down there to get it.
It's obvious that this is common practice at this high end restaurant but the owner is only worried about getting caught in the act of committing credit card fraud, not about taking care of the customers or firing the staff who are committing the crimes. I know it was just a $2 change but any other food service manager/owner would have handled that as if it was a serious issue which makes it obvious that it's common at this restaurant that has an $18 minimum per person requirement. If just some of the waiters are doing this to just some of their customers it's still a serious problem, but based on their reaction it happens a lot. I've called the cops and am filing a formal complaint.
Food was very disappointing – The trout was wafer thin and dry; the lump crab topping looked like flaked fish with no flavor. The basmati rice tasted okay but again dry. Fish & rice for $19.00, definitely not worth it. The cheesecake was so dry, it was crumbly. Forget the tough bread & unseasoned olive oil. Although the waiter was pleasant & attentive, it didn't make up for the lousy food.
Very disappointing – From the description on the web, I thought this was going to be a top-notch dining experience. Menu sounded great. Knew it was pricy, but this was a special occassion with a special person who also really appreciated good food. All the seafood was stale and tough. The Tuna was too dry to eat without being doused in some kind of sauce. Only a hint of the ingredients on the menu were actually on the plate.
Before dinner, I really wanted to try the tiramisu, but afterwards I didn't want to chance it. It didn't seem like much care went into the cooking. NOT worth the price.
The waiter was friendly enough, and he also doubled as the bartender. Unfortunately he didn't know how to mix many drinks, so even though we expected to hang out until we got good and philosophical, we decided to hit the sports bar a couple of blocks down instead. (Ticket Sports Bar). When we saw the pizza, my friend and I agreed we should've eaten there instead.
Not as good as used to be.NOT worth the money. – We had a wonderful experience 4 months ago and this time was a direct opposite. Greeter/host showed us to table and held out chair for 2 seconds and then put menus on table. Left us fumbling with no place to put jackets. Asked if i was "still working" on salad three times in 5 minutes-like they needed the plate to wash and give to someone else. Food was mediocre--grilled salmon on tastless lentils. Creme Brulee came uncooked to table--running off spoon. Next attempt was only slightly better. Very dissappointing.
Great service, Exceptional food – We've been to the Houston St. Bistro several times and have always been impressed with the service, the selection and, most importantly, thequality of the food. A casual but upscale atmosphere with friendly waitstaff that is convinent to the rest that downtown San Antonio makes this the place to go, especially when there is something going on at the Majestic or the Empire.
better than fast food...i guess – whilst many have experienced lovely service, our visit did not offer the kind southern hospitality we envisioned...the food...well it was savory and flavorful...iam sure it would have been better had we not had to wait 45 minutes for the appitizer...but i will say that it was better than bill millers.
Fantastic experience – My husband and I were traveling from Chicago to celebrate our one year anniversary, and we could not have chosen a better restaurant than Houston St. Bistro. Although it was New Year's Eve, every staff member took time to give us a very warm greeting and congratulatory remarks. Our meal was absolutely delicious, and the service was genuine and attentive. The atmosphere was romantic, and done just right. We were so impressed with how the management and the staff went an extra mile to make our experience so memorable, so perfect. Every couple deserves to have a romantic dinner at this delightful restaurant.
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