Where Did We Go?
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar
9595 Six Pines Dr
Spring, TX 77380
What’s The Skinny?
Recently, we were invited to unwind at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar in The Woodlands as they were rolling out their new menu. We were excited to accept the invitation because we really wanted to find out what they were all about for ourselves. I mean let’s be honest, most of us are familiar with Tommy Bahama for their apparel, home décor, and furniture, but not really the food. Well, let us say you can add another thing to like about them because the food is pretty good! We will get into more detail about that a little later, but here are a few things to note about Tommy Bahama…
* They have fifteen locations in the United States and one in Japan. Unlike traditional chains, each market customizes their restaurant menu for their particular area. They use local produce and seafood to add a localized touch. Each menu does include standard dishes that you can find at all locations, but a large portion of the menu is created by the local chef.
* We were very impressed with the level of detail that was paid to everything. The menu, table linens, and floral arrangements were customized and matched just for our private media tasting. Now I’m pretty sure the men at the table missed this, but we sure didn’t! Later we found out that this is a service they offer nationally at all the locations since they do lots of business meetings and wedding events (showers and rehearsal dinners).
What Did We Love?
As we mentioned before, each Tommy Bahama location has a customized menu. Keeping the classic dishes untouched (like their infamous Coconut Shrimp), the executive chef of The Woodlands location, Chef Dimas Hernandez, does a great job at blending Southern cuisine into an island-inspired and seafood-centric offering.
Pan Seared Branzino
A few standout dishes from our meal were the Jerk Rubbed Baby Back Pork Rib, which quickly separated from the bone with little effort. The Grilled Shrimp Pappardelle with its awe-mazing lemon parmesan broth, the Pan Seared Branzino served with jicama hash and jalapeno brown butter, and last but definitely not least, the Malted Chocolate Pie that is perfection for any chocolate lover – chocolate chip cookie crust, mocha mousse, AND English toffee crumble – we rest our case.
Malted Chocolate Pie
The stigma that is often associated with “chain” restaurants really doesn’t pertain to Tommy Bahama. They break all the rules! Any preconceived notions were erased as soon as we began our tasting. Operating a scratch kitchen, they are serious about their food and it shows. If you live in or near The Woodlands, we envy you. If you don’t live in the area (we are on the other side of town ourselves), a visit is still a must. We will travel anywhere for great food, and Tommy Bahama is just begging for an encore.
Here is a recipe for their Jerk Spiced Rib Rack (serves 6) that we are sure you will enjoy!
6 full racks of baby back ribs, peeled
8 oz. Rib Dry Rub (see recipe below)
1 qt. Rib Smoke Mixture (see recipe below)
BBQ sauce of your choice to taste
Rib Dry Rub
8 oz. light brown sugar
3/4 oz. blackening spice
3.5 oz. dry jerk spice rub
1 1/2 oz. salt
Rib Smoke Mixture
12 fl. oz. cola
2 fl. oz. liquid smoke
1/2 fl. oz. Worcestershire sauce
8 fl. oz. water
Coat each side of the ribs lightly with the Rib Dry Rub.
Place a baking rack in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Arrange the ribs bone-to-bone on top of the baking rack.
Pour the Rib Smoke Mixture over the ribs.
Cover the roasting pan with plastic wrap. Then cover it with aluminum foil.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350° F for 3 1/2 hours or until a bone can be cleanly removed.
Remove from oven and peel off the foil and plastic wrap. Let the ribs cool for approximately 30 minutes, leaving them in the pan with the Rib Smoke Mixture.
After the ribs have cooled, place them curved-side-up on a grill preheated on medium setting.
Grill both sides of the ribs, 5 minutes apiece.
Leaving them on the grill, brush both sides of the ribs with your choice of BBQ sauce. Grill each side again for another 5 minutes apiece or until the sauce begins to bubble. Serve immediately.