Balancing Food and Mood at RedFork, the Subject of This Week's Review

Would you hang out in a terrible space if the food proves worthy of a sonnet? I do it all the time for good tacos and barbecue.

Would you put up with an over-cooked steak because your server dotes on your table through the evening?

These are the thoughts that flooded my brain as I sat my final meal at RedFork, the Knox-Henderson gastropub, before penning this week's review, which you can read on the restaurant page today or pick up in print tomorrow). I'd taken two guests, both around my age, both soft-spoken. The room was filled with a raucous party of football fans, and eventually a lone singer, strumming out Tom Petty chords on an acoustic guitar. With the game on we had to shout to talk to each other. When the music started we were reduced to forced smiles.

To clarify: I was at the Katy Trail Ice House a few days earlier and had a great time. I love sports, and I like sports bars. I don't even mind Petty in certain situations. But some evenings I like good food and the conversation of close friends better, and RedFork could only provide the former -- and even that only sometimes.

The same RedFork that pummeled my eardrums one night proved a quiet space filled with romantic dates another. On my first visit I was convinced the four-top to my left was a young couple introducing new love to apprehensive parents. I wonder how that would have gone with Texas Tech football playing in the background a few nights later.

Tastes aside, no one wants a crap shoot when they walk through the door of a restaurant. What I want most when making a reservation is knowing what I'll get when I go to a restaurant. RedFork is a lot of things -- too many things -- but the one thing it isn't? Predictable.

Read more here.