We've enjoyed each menu that Executive Chef Austin Simmons has rolled out in the upscale Bistro, but we'd heard rumors of more humble changes that piqued our interest. The Sandwich Bar, located in the Market, has been undergoing changes, and we were anxious to check out the results.
|Sous Chef Fiorella Casteel and a member of her kitchen staff|
The changes start at the helm, with Sous Chef Fiorella Casteel serving as Chef Simmon's field marshall at the Sandwich Bar. Chef Casteel brings a wealth of east-coast kitchen experience to the Woodlands, and appointing a sous chef to head up this casual spot shows how serious Hubbell & Hudson is about the quality of their sandwich (and burger) offerings.
The chefs have rolled out a slate of new dishes, and at a recent tasting we sampled several of the new hot signature sandwiches.
We started with the Prime Rib sandwich. Thickly sliced, medium-rare Angus prime rib is used, and it's cooked to a beautiful medium rare and then seared to give it a tasty char. Fresh red peppers, caramelized onions, greens, and an intriguing roast red pepper hummus finish off this sandwich, and it's constructed on a gently toasted slice of garlicky tomato bread. The chefs have a winner here - it's easily one of the best prime rib sandwiches I've ever tasted, and the unexpected spicy hummus is a clever counterpoint to the rich beefy flavor of the generous slab of prime rib.
Next up was the Crab Cake sandwich. A generously sized lump crabmeat cake is dressed with wasabi mayonaise, lettuce, and chunks of bright red tomato, and the result is served on an English muffin. As you can see from the photo, Hubbell & Hudson doesn't skimp on the crab cake, and we think this dish will please any seafood fan.
We now travel south to the Caribbean for the Not So Cuban Cuban, a modern take on the traditional Cuban sandwich. Both freshly roasted pork and black forest ham are joined by baby swiss and the de rigueur pickle slices, dressed with a spicy Asian sauce and slid between two slices of ciabatta bread. We loved the sandwich and were in awe of the stellar Slow Dough ciabatta, but felt that the spicy Asian sauce overpowered the sandwich. We'd suggest asking for light sauce for a more balanced dish unless you crave hot sauce.
The final offering was perhaps the most unique. Named the Seoul Pork sandwich, it is an Asian spin on a chopped BBQ sandwich. Shredded Asian bacon slaw, wasabi mayo and chopped roasted pork are combined with a sweet honey sesame glaze and served on a toasted challah bun. It's an unexpected combination that works - the rich roast pork and smoky bacon are complimented by the crisp slaw, and the spicy wasabi mayo is offset by the sweet glaze. The combination works - this is a sandwich we will order often.
We think that these sandwiches highlight the creativity and attention to detail that is the hallmark of Hubbell & Hudson's restaurants under the leadership of Chef Austin Simmons. As always, the chef both surprised and delighted us with unexpected flavor profiles that work on the plate even better than they do on paper. We're looking forward to sampling the next offerings from this talented chef.
Hubbell & Hudson Burger Bar | 24 Waterway Ave | The Woodlands, TX 77380 | 281-203-5600