Calliope’s is sure to be a go-to on your restaurant list for southwest Houston.
– Jeff Herman
Houston has long had a wonderful affair with our cajun neighbors, and the flavors that boil over from Louisiana and Mississippi are right at home here. Calliope’s New Orleans Style Seafood and Po’ Boys brings those flavors to the bayou city and is a hot ticket to good food.
The Calliope’s franchise actually started in Hattiesburg Mississippi seven years ago, before migrating westward through Louisiana and into Texas. Houston is now home to two Calliope’s restaurants and if you want that NoLo style seafood or chicken (or alligator, frog legs) you should get over there quick.
Calliope’s, which sits on the northwest corner of W. Bellfort and Fondren in the Brays Oaks Management District, has a casual neighborhood feel, all the way down to the good old red food baskets with checkered paper. Look for the wrought iron exterior, a nod to New Orlean, that stands out from the other shops in the area, and follow the smell of étouffée and fried shrimp that greets you like an old friend. We ambled up to the counter and ordered two customer favorites, the famous shrimp po’ boy and one sausage po’ boy with seasoned fries. Anyone from the South, from Georgia to Texas, knows a po’ boy is only as good as the bread it’s served on. Thankfully, Calliope’s gets it right. Their baguette is deliciously crunchy on the outside yet light and airy on the inside, reminiscent of a Vietnamese banh-mi. The battered shrimp is perfectly fried adding extra crunch, and is complemented with fresh lettuce, tomato, pickles.
When ordering the sausage po’ boy the Texan in me had envisioned links with mustard or bbq sauce so I was intrigued that it came with sausage patties instead. It held a good zing of flavor without being too spicy. I was pleasantly surprised by this sandwich and it is definitely unique to Calliope’s. Both po’ boys were served with thick-cut seasoned fries cooked to perfection. They have a definite cajun flare and, along with my fountain root beer, I was pretty much in comfort food heaven.
Other customer favorites include: mixed gumbo (shredded chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp), grilled fish platter (with choice of coleslaw, french fries or salad), and their Famous Fried Rice. Also, their frozen daiquiris-to-go will be welcome relief during hot summer days. On my next visit, I’ll take a cue from the young couple at the next table who were feasting on wings, shrimp, and étouffée. They said this was their regular order on their weekly visits. Repeat, loyal customers? Calliope’s is doing something right. Given all their menu options, I too plan on being a repeat customer! Put it on your list of options for great casual dining in the Brays Oaks Management District. You won’t be disappointed.