100 Favorite Dishes: No. 78, Melon and Texas Feta Salad at Beaver's

Beaver's Melon Salad 001.jpg
​This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

People accustomed to salting their watermelon would do well to try this version of adding a little salty flavor to a summer favorite: feta with honeydew melon, courtesy of the kitchen at Beaver's (where, folks will be happy to know, things seem to be swimming merrily along despite Chef Jonathan Jones's attentions being fixed on Xuco Xicano currently).

The honeydew melon is at its greenest and sweetest right now, perfectly accented with fat white peaks of Brazos Valley raw feta. But although those two ingredients work wonderfully together, Beaver's didn't make a name for itself based on simplicity. The salad is also topped with roughly diced bacon, thin slices of fresh jalapeños, pumpkin seeds and pickled red onions that pack a tart little punch with each bite.

Finished off with a serrano-based vinaigrette that tastes bright and citrusy, the salad fires on multiple cylinders like a finely tuned machine: salty, sweet, spicy, meaty, tart, soft, crunchy, hot and cold all at once. You'll want to spend time over this salad, constructing every bite as such. This isn't a throwaway salad, a mere pit stop before the real show begins. This salad is a main event in and of itself.

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe
No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria
No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats
No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe
No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella
No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic
No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo
No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's
No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA
No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño
No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil
No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys
No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio
No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19
No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's
No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy
No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe
No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House
No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III
No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia
No. 79: Goat pepper soup at Peppersoup Cafe



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Location Info

Beaver's

2310 Decatur St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

That looks interesting but tiny.  Is that really enough for a meal?

iMidget
iMidget

Interestingly enough, the last 2 dishes at Beaver's that received attention were not of Chef Jonathan Jones.

Christine
Christine

This salad is amazing. In my experience, the serranos have been much more thinly sliced than pictured .... yum.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Nice! We rocked a watermelon, onion and feta salad this weekend at home.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

The only tiki bar in Gothenburg, Sweden (which, naturally, I visited) has a melon and feta cold soup I've been trying for years to replicate. It's topped by spicy sprouts and is so refreshing and TO DIE FOR. But I just can't get it right at home. Sofa king good.

Incidentally, I had XX's spicy/cool/sweet jicama, cuke and chile-lime salad this weekend. Beaver's iteration also sounds great for summer hangovers.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I noticed that too. My previous salads have had the serranos thinly sliced like they were done with a mandoline. Was disappointed to see the thick slices in this salad, but that was the only day I had my camera with me.

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