Roast Chicken with Bacon Spaetzle and Crispy Brussels Sprouts at Haven

Categories: On the Menu

Haven Roast Chicken.JPG
Chicken is usually the last thing on my mind when I go to a "nice" restaurant. I usually want to try interesting meat dishes I would never be able to replicate at home. I have come to expect, however, that even the most exotic establishments will usually offer a rather plain chicken-centric entrée specifically designed for more conservative and/or restrictive diners. The formula for said entree is as follows: white meat chicken, starch, and vegetable topped with unassuming sauce or glaze. It's a combination that is generally inoffensive, somewhat satisfying, and definitely boring.

The Roast Chicken with Bacon Spaetzle and Crispy Brussels Sprouts at Haven is the exception to this rule.

I admit I only ordered the chicken because of its accompaniments. My initial choice of entrée was the quail, but the allure of bacon spaetzle and brussel sprouts (which to me are like vegetable candy) was too strong to resist.

And, indeed, they were divine: buttery, hand-twisted noodles mixed with salty bits of pork meat and fat, and crunchy Brussels sprout leafs. I rapidly consumed half the serving, then finally turned to the chicken.

My poor abandoned roast chicken was still warm and, even more surprisingly, tasted good. Quite good, actually. The meat was juicy and tender, and the skin well-seasoned and wonderfully crispy. After a few bites, I was ignoring the side dishes in favor of the chicken and wishing I had been given two breasts instead of just one. (Hmm, that came out wrong. But you know what I mean.)

The take-home lesson of the night: I shouldn't be so quick to overlook "boring" dishes. If well-prepared, they might just steal the show.



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Haven

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
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Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I feel like you can really judge the overall skill of a restaurant's kitchen based on how well they roast a chicken. Nicely done, Haven.

Lveant22
Lveant22

Hard to find, I'm sorta glad. Haven is on my top five for Greenway/River Oaks/West U.Cool bar and patio scene! Food is Texan to the nth degree!

ChalfontD
ChalfontD

Brussel Sprouts as 'vegetable candy'? Now that's a new one. My mother would get us to eat them by calling them 'Indian skunk cabbages', giving them a little exotic flair.

Haven is wonderful and happily unpretentious. Glad you wrote about them.

Analog Girl
Analog Girl

This is one of my fav Haven dishes! I discovered the bacon spaetzle during Restaurant Week(s) last year & it's divine. And that was the first place I've EVER had brussel sprouts that I liked!! 2nd time was V&A's. I also agree with PM's comment re Zelko's fried chicken; both these dishes do their chefs proud.

PM
PM

Another exception to the Anti-Chicken Ordering Philosophy at "nice" restaurants: fried chicken at Zelko's.

Laurie
Laurie

I have had this before as well as other dishes at Haven and this is the best. Heaven! And I agree the sides are where its at!

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