Houston’s in Hackensack

Delivering Consistency and Class

There’s something to be said for a restaurant that delivers excellent food, service and atmosphere consistently.

Sure, there are neighborhood restaurants, chain establishments and first-class gourmand haunts that we each may call a “favorite.” But let’s face it—even our favorite spot has a bad day sometimes.

An absent-minded server.

A dish that’s just “off.”

A table next to us that should’ve been bussed twenty minutes ago.

In my 10+ years dining at Houston’s Shops at Riverside Location in Hackensack, I can honestly say that it’s perhaps the most consistent restaurant I’ve visited.

My favorite dishes are consistently on the menu. No wacky reformats or realignments of flavors or assortments.

The service is on-point with not one, but several servers, zipping their way around the dark restaurant with ease and purpose. Consistently.

And over the years, Houston’s has served as the perfect spot for dinner with friends, a client lunch or a date night with the husband.

Which was exactly what it was on a recent Friday night, when my husband and I had the chance to enjoy the Fall menu, which of course, included all of our favorites with a few seasonal enhancements like the rosemary Focaccia bread and emerald kale salad.

Nice Little House Salad, Houston's, Jersey Bites
Nice Little House Salad

I was really happy to see the addition of the Nice Little House Salad that consisted of mixed greens, yellow beets and goat cheese tossed in a light vinaigrette. Since I knew I’d be ordering the barbecue pork ribs, it made for a nice little starter, living up to its name. (Note: I would be remiss to not mention my usual go-to starter is the Chicago Style Spinach Dip which is served with salsa and sour cream – it’s been on the menu as long as I’ve been dining at Houston’s and is a must-get whenever I dine there with my girlfriends.)

My husband ordered his personal Houston’s favorite for his dinner: the Hawaiian rib-eye and started with the soup special: a clam chowder.

Our meals were each accompanied by a glass of pinot noir from Houston’s extensive wine list (which was also recently featured in the Wall Street Journal).

And I did something that I’ve NEVER done in my history of dining at Houston’s: I ordered dessert. The choices that evening included a nut brownie or a hot fudge sundae, so I opted for the latter.

Hot fudge sundae, Houston's, Jersey Bites
Hot fudge sundae

Our waiter, Peter, was a familiar face to us, and he’s worked with the Hillstone Group for more than seven years. He was friendly, knowledgable and a delight to speak with throughout our leisurely meal.

Those who have been dining at Houston’s for years know that it’s worth the “wait.” The wait, being the extensive time it takes to get a table during peak hours.

Well, some good news: the wait, for the most part, is over.

Houston’s is now taking reservations for groups of four or less. Management tells me that this is a first for the restaurant, and should eliminate long waits for many people. Reservations can be made through the Hillstone.com website, Urbanspoon.com or by calling the restaurant directly.

One Riverside Square

Lisa PisanoLisa Pisano is a Bergen-county based lifestyle blogger, PR/Social Media consultant and content director. Her love and appreciation of food began at an early age, in the kitchen of her Italian-American home, and then extended to a fascination and enjoyment of all things foodie as an adult. Food is very much a central part of Lisa’s personal life — from partaking in culinary vacations and walking tours to dining throughout the NY/NJ Metro Area and developing original recipes. Professionally, she’s worked as the first in-house PR Manager of Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education and has provided consulting and content creation to food websites and restaurants. Lisa brings her passion for food, fashion, family and pop culture to life through her blog, mom a la mode. Follow Lisa on Twitter @momalamode and onFacebook.com/momalamode.