I’m not big on watching sports, but if I were forced to do so, Katch 22 would be my haunt of choice. The barely over-a-year-old restaurant, owned by Kory Clemens, is a polished establishment that manages to balance the spirit of an upscale sports bar with a restaurant serving earnest, quality fare.
The long, rectangular space on Durham—the spot that formerly housed Convivio—boasts a large parking lot, making for hassle-free parking. A spacious lounge and bar sits right next to the dining room, to which you can easily cross over for a more traditional dining experience while a raised area in the back can be curtained off for private parties. Chow down in the dining room and you can peer through a long window into the kitchen where chefs churn out plate after enormous plate of food.
Appetizers and entrees hover around the $12-20 range and the portions are generous. Even as a pescatarian deep in the territory of stereotypically die-hard carnivores, I found an abundance of choices on the recently streamlined and revamped menu. An order of Buffalo Shrimp came six to an order with shrimp the size of my palm, breaded and fried in an incredibly light buttermilk crust and doused in a house-doctored Buffalo sauce. The Boston Lobster Roll is a fold of buttery, golden Texas toast stuffed with dollops of lobster mixture—rather light on the lobster, but full on flavor.
The kitchen should feel confident in their choice of carbs and general frying abilities: the voluminous sweet bun encompassing chunks of fried mahi mahi was the perfect fluffy foil to the crisp, mild fish, complemented by a pile of equally crispy thin-cut fries dusted with an extra-special layer of potato starch. My favorite, the Atlantic Salmon, was served on a generous bed of risotto that tasted aggressively of parmesan, and as a parmesan junkie, I mean that in the best way possible. Rimmed in a perfectly golden crust with a tender interior and accentuated by tiny roasted tomatoes and tender broccolini, the salmon could pass for one of my favorite renditions of salmon in Houston.
Chef Kory says that his interest in cooking has always been present—throughout his adolescence, he could always be found in the kitchen. Once he was sidelined from a baseball injury, opening a restaurant seemed like a natural choice. The dish he’s most excited about? The bacon-wrapped quail with infused jalapenos and stuffed with cream cheese.
And, of course, their signature play on dessert—though Fried Apple Pie doesn’t sound like a choice for the faint of heart, the piping-hot apple pie filling is enveloped in a pastry shell that crackles rather than squishes when you bite into it—a not-too-heavy shell with a substantial crunch rather than a doughy mouthful of puff pastry. A forkful of the apple-flecked pie dredged through cool vanilla ice cream and a smear of blueberry compote makes for one happy customer—as long as you can block out the thought that beef lard is a main contributor to the crispiness.
Notions of the rotating selection of craft beers—only $2.50 during the four-hour happy hour Monday through Friday (with extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday)—and specials like the $30 surf and turf on Mondays and $15 steak nights on Wednesdays sound right up my boyfriend’s alley. For me, the salmon alone was enough to make me want to come back and try multiple items on the brunch menu—starting with the bananas foster pancakes and the avocado and crab omelet. And if I have to watch sports while doing it? That’s a factor I’m willing to put up with.
700 Durham Dr
Houston, TX 77007