New Houston Fare at Jonathan's The Rub Reflects Houston's Diverse Community

Photo by Molly Dunn
The Andouille and jalapeno pepper kick things up a notch.

Levine's menu features dishes like the Red Fish on Shrimp Creole, a giant plate filled with rice, topped with Andouille, blackened red fish and tender baby shrimp. Another kicked up dish features two boneless quail breasts that are not only stuffed with spicy Andouille and a jalapeno, but are also wrapped in bacon, then topped with one of three sauces (cherry bourbon, sesame ginger mandarin or pomegranate mango).

One of the most popular items is the Hill Country Chicken & Shrimp which features fried jumbo shrimp and chicken breasts topped with sauteed jalapenos, red and yellow bell peppers, sweet onions, bacon crumbles and Sriracha cream sauce. Classic fried chicken and shrimp blend with southwest ingredients (jalapenos, onions and bell peppers), Texas bacon and Asian Sriracha cream creating a spicy, comforting dish.

"It's [The menu is] always in an evolutionary stage," Levine says. "There are items on here that weren't on here last week. I change the menu nightly. It's right off the computer. I go with what's fresh, what's available [and] what do I feel like cooking. I change up combinations of things I've done in the past. We don't do heavy research here. We try it out before service; if we like it, we go. Having so many years of doing this, I know what's going to work."

In fact, the bourbon-infused warm bread pudding is a brand new addition to the dessert menu. Firm, yet soft, bread combines with bourbon and cranberries.A side dish of mac 'n cheese offers five types of cheese and bacon.

Photo by Molly Dunn
Jonathan's The Rub is famous for its lobster tacos which combine Southwest and New England flavors.

Four years ago, Levine added the lobster tacos to his menu.. This highly popular dish is a "compilation of New England and Southwest food." Lobster meat is tossed with a spicy tomatillo salsa made of fresh tomatillos, and yellow and green bell peppers. Then everything is placed atop a grilled corn tortilla, and finished with an avocado mousse and Aleppo chile (Turkish chile pepper).

"It came about as a frustration that I couldn't build a lobster roll for the Northeast here because I couldn't get the bread. I was real specific about the type of roll that I wanted and I couldn't get it unless I brought it in from the Northeast," he explains. "There's a few people doing it, but not exactly how I wanted, so I kind of gave up on the lobster roll idea and went with the sliders, which comes on sweet Hawaiian rolls... That kind of took off. The next evolution was to 'Texafy' it. I guess it's fusion food; I don't think of myself as a fusion guy, but I guess it is. It just really works."

Location Info

Jonathan's The Rub

9061 Gaylord St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Love the label "New Houston" to represent Houston's food scene...but not seeing how his food actually represents "New Houston". Bacon wrapped quail? Lobster tacos? Blackened fish?? Pretty standard stuff. But then he disses pork belly? Weird. Ruggles called and wants their menu circa 1998 back.

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