Houston’s on the Plaza experience

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My dad would have had a couple of interesting comments to say about the restaurant we ate at tonight.

We celebrated my father-in-law’s 75th birthday tonight by taking him out to one of the upscale steak houses on the Kansas City Country Club Plaza — Houston’s.

The ambience is the thing my father would have talked about — the sort of place where the lighting is adjusted because they don’t want you to see what you are eating. My dad never did take to high-class places where the lights were turned low.

But that sort of place is where we took my father-in-law. By that I mean his two daughters and their husbands, his sons-in-law.

Finding parking was fun, so our driver, the other son-in-law, dropped us off while he looked for a spot. We had time to get in, get seated, and have our drinks brought out before he arrived from parking the car.

When they gave us our menus we looked at them, and kept expecting to find a second page to turn, except their wasn’t one. Just one page front and back. The back was all drinks, so only one page worth looking at. There was enough light from the fixture above the table to see just the menus and the table, but not much else. The glare from the light on the menu meant you had to hold it at a slight angle — just enough to see the words while deflecting the glare to another part of the menu.

Houston’s was the choice for the steak. Particularly the Prime Rib. Both mom and dad chose the Prime Rib — medium rare. Mom said it was the best she’d ever had. Dad’s was a close second, to a prime rib he had years ago at Hereford House.

Neither of the daughters had steak. One had salmon, the other chicken. Both good. I ordered the Thai steak with noodle salad. Other son got black beans and rice.

When they came out with the meals the serving staff started by giving Dad the daughter’s chicken, but we quickly got that straightened out, and they served the rest of the meals — all 4 of them (5 total) — and then left. They had brought out 5 meals to a 6 person table and then left without a question.

It took us a few moments to realize they hadn’t brought all the meals, and a few more minutes to find our original waiter and apprise him of the fact. A few minutes after that we had my Thai Steak with Noodle Salad.

Near the end of the meal, before the check,  the waiter came by apologized for missing my meal, and mentioned that they pride themselves on a certain level of service, which they hadn’t met, so they were removing my meal from the bill. After the check came the manager came by himself and apologized for the service. One small flaw, taken very seriously.

We had a good evening, took a walk on the plaza, had dessert at Barnes & Nobles and came home.

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