Food: Did not try the food at Artista in the Hobby Center. We did dine at La Fisheria after, review below. The final verdict on that was, it was okay to try once. Only 01 Vegetarian option on the menu. Only a side of vegetables and modified salads would be suitable for vegans. As with most seafood joints GF diners should not have an issue finding some options.
Parking: Downtown, need I say more? – We parked in the Hobby Center garage which is directly behind the building off Rusk and Walker Streets. – We then hoofed it in the cold wind to La Fisheria. (To avoid paying for parking twice, and avoid the rush of cars exiting the garage post show.)
Patio: La Fisheria. It was cold so I didn’t even look, but I do not believe they have one. The outside area walking up to the place smelled like sewage (more typical downtown stuff) so sitting out there on warm day if there is a patio would not be recommended.
Pricing: I believe it was 350.00 or so for our seats. Not at the very top of the venue, maybe a level down. (I will pay attention next time) Worth every damn penny. I believe our double shot of Gin we took back to our seats was around 14.00 or so. – La Fisheria pricing, eh $$-$$$, but way over priced on the 16.00 chunk of cauliflower.
Service: Efficient, polite, for Hobby Center, same for La Fisheria.
Take out: La Fisheria. Take out is allowed, however, I cannot vouch for the packaging and such as I have not taken any to go food from here.
Cleanliness: Both establishments were clean, with no issues to report on that front.
Now on to the review.
Hello again and welcome back.
This was sooo much fun! If you are unfamiliar with this musical co-produced by Trey Parker (South Park) it is to briefly summarize, a very humorous depiction of what it would be like for a couple of young missionaries leaving the nest to convert Ugandans to the Mormon religion. Be prepared for religion to be poked fun of a bit in general if you are sensitive to that sort of thing. – There is also a small bit of shock value style comedy involved, similar to the kind of stuff Jim Norton or Doug Stanhope would put out, so maybe a good show to avoid if you are sensitive in general.
There was no photography allowed during the show, but I was able to snag the above photo of the opening set before the show started. It had a nice ethereal look going on there, and the ceiling of the theater has a starry night effect, complete with shooting stars which complimented it well. – If you look to the bottom left of the photo, you can see the box balcony seats, so we were up quite high, and still managed to really enjoy the show.
The venue itself is very clean, including the black and white bathrooms. The employees are efficient. During the huge bathroom rush at the women’s restroom during one of the all to quick intermissions, they even had a nice woman standing at the end of the ladies room directing the next in line to the stalls as they emptied out. This was a huge plus to me, as often when lines are this long, a working stall or two may actually be empty, and everyone is unnecessarily waiting to use only a handful of stalls. Having someone to direct traffic in a place with such an overflow of humanity at once also may help keep those that have left their manners at the door (line cutters you know who you are!) in check a bit.
I people watched a bit at those below from our perch as my companion grabbed cocktails. I could smell deep fried goodness coming from Artista on the ground level and vowed to grab a bite next trip back. Apparently now instead of having to rapidly chug your cocktail before intermission ends, like you are about to make some bad decisions at a frat party, (you did have to wait in the bathroom line first mind you) a double shot of spirits (or single if you roll that way) in a tumbler can now be ordered to take back to your seat.
All in all the performers in this show were top notch, I truly enjoyed every act and every character, and though it was their last day here for the Houston tour, they surely brought it like it was the first.
After the show, on a whim we walked over to La Fisheria over in the Main / Congress area.
Décor wise, it’s an interesting mix. Note the paper bag, Mexican market plates, and mason jar glasses. The rest of the place however, kinda has a modern contemporary vibe. (Im not an decorator, so if I have the style wrong, my apologies.)
It was good. Eh, kind of. Honestly nothing special for what we had. – I don’t remember anything having a wow factor or being standout taste wise from Top Shelf margaritas all the way down to the chips and salsa. (I felt both salsas were watery and bland) Very limited options that might be full on vegetarian, and nothing at all listed for vegans, though this was expected with the type of cuisine we chose. Latin Fisherias tend to leave us out as a general rule, as do most Seafood restaurants and Latin/Hispanic restaurants do TBH, much less a combination of the two. ** I reached out to them a few days ago via email link on their website in regards to vegan/vegetarian options and have yet to receive a response **
Here is our spread.
My dining companion tried the “Trío de Tacos” – (“Al pastor” fish taco, shrimp taco, and lobster taco, served with Mexican rice and refried beans) – His review, “It was alright, a bit busy. Would try something else for sure next time, maybe see what the ceviche is about.” They at least gave him a full side of rice and beans. I have seen some beautiful food images for this restaurant on yelp and their own website, however, I did not find this dish to be very aesthetically appealing. Particularly the goopy over sauced taco in the center.
My options here would have been the black bean soup (maybe, need to verify vegetarian) possibly most of the side items, again, I would need to verify animal products and preparation, or specifically request a vegan / vegetarian prep, OR, I could try the 01 Vegetarian item listed on the menu. Which I did.
“Vegetarino” (slightly spicy) – (Cauliflower in a very crunchy deep-fried “capeado”, rustic tomato and smoked chipotle broth) – So this was literally just a giant chunk of tempura-like battered cauliflower, sitting on a teeny tiny spoon of rice, with an also teeny tiny smidge of beans on top. For 16.00 – For the lack of actual preparation involved in this product, and the fact that is literally just cauliflower/batter and not full sides of dirt cheap rice and beans at that, I do not at all feel like the product is worth the price, a few dollars less maybe, but not 16.- The broth is a salt bath, no real chance for any actual nuances of flavor to shine through, just salt. I think just a squeeze of lemon/ lime may have just complimented things a bit better. – The cauliflower itself, just held fryer grease, and coated the mouth and tongue. Yet, much like any items that are deep fried in a tempura like batter, I found myself eating it anyway, oil slick or not. But I would not, for my health and desire for a value, get it again. (Top photo is sans sauce, both is with)
Final verdict. So would we come here again? I do not venture downtown much, for too many reasons to count (mainly lack of free, spacious parking), so it would be unlikely that I will be in the area till the next show. There are also a ton of other places to try on a next rare trip down there. It would be unlikely that I rush back to La Fisheria. Maybe if they ever answer my veg/vegan inquiries I will make it I special point to give it another go.
*** La Fisheria did eventually respond to my email, but only advised that the cauliflower dish is the lone vegetarian item. – My inquiries in regards to whether or not the rice/beans and black bean soup are vegan were not addressed. ***
- – N