le grand comptoir – houston

Fatboy and I decided to take a small vacation to Cancún, seeing how it is somewhat off-season, pricing for really good hotels would be cheap. In order to get the cheapest flight, there had to be layovers, which I was completely fine and excited for. Getting to spend couple hours in a new city – even though it’s just their airport, you’re able to experience different types of restaurants and styles of the cuisines you thought you were familiar with.

Our first layover out of YVR was in Houston – George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Though we had a red-eye flight, we were well rested during the ride, and then again food was calling for us. We walked around the airport trying to look for a place to dine, we must have looked like tourists as we kept on going in circles. IAH is huge! With so many terminals and ongoing traffic, I wasn’t able to make sense of anything, we both just kept on walking and hoping to see something of interest soon.

Luckily, we chanced upon a wine bar in Terminal C, Le Grand Comptoir. I’m sure we must have walked past this place a hundred times, we just weren’t looking.

It was an open restaurant, meaning that there were no doors or proper ‘entrance’. With shelves upon shelves of wine lined up behind their bar, we thought we hit the jackpot. The restaurant was pretty full, so we had a good feeling about the food and the wine. We were seated with an extremely tall and good looking waiter, with an accent you can never forget, even Fatboy agreed.


240ml White Wine

Comptoir had a fairy vast selection of wine, serving them in 90ml, 150ml, 240ml or the whole bottle. We didn’t want to get too buzzed before our next flight, and spend too much since we’ll be drinking till no tomorrow once we land in Cancún we went for the 240ml. We both went with different types of whites, I forgot which ones were chosen, but I’m pretty sure I got a Riesling and Fatboy a Pinot Gris of some type since those were our favourites. The winelist was a bit difficult to understand at first, as it went by the flavour profile of the wine, and not organized by the region. So for true wine connoisseur, they will be needing to browse through the entire menu, going back and forth to find that perfect glass.


Roasted Beet Salad; fresh mixed greens, succulent tomatoes, slow roasted beets & crumbled goat cheese tossed in a tangy, balsamic vinaigrette

Since we were just looking for a light snack, we ordered our usual appetizers. The beet salad came to a disappointment, as shown in the picture, that’s all you get in the beet salad. It was just simple lettuce greens, there wasn’t any arugula added to give it any peppery flavour. Dressing was extremely light, we had to ask for more on the side.


Traditional French Onion Soupclassic recipe served housemade crostini & gruyere cheese

Despite what the menu says, maybe because I took it online, it was not served in an onion. It was also served at the same time as our salad, which begs the question; was this already pre-made? Which doesn’t seem like a surprise, being at an airport, not everyone has a luxury of more than 30 minutes between flights. The soup not only looked sad, it tasted it. It was not rich, with barely any cheese on top of stale bread. By then we were already worried about our last appetizer.


Beef Carpacciothinly sliced center cut beef filet flavoured with olive oil, fresh pepper & capers, accompanied with arugula & housemade toasted crostini

They do have arugula! So why wouldn’t they use it in their salad? I will never know. This dish looked somewhat decent, except for their so called ‘housemade toasted crostini’, which was the same stale baguette found in the french onion, only this time lightly toasted to mask its staleness. The carpaccio was alright, the beef was tender, but i couldn’t get over the fact about the brownish ring that was forming on the outside. Usually that happens if the beef was seared, but this doesn’t seem to  be the case as there was on indication of it. The second reason is that the beef has started to turn bad, hoping that it is just our imagination, and that there would be a third reason for this.

Overall, good service and nice wines. If I were to ever have another layover in Houston, I would come check out this place again and sit at the bar, but just stick with the drinks and nothing else.

le grand comptoir
george bush intercontinental airport – terminal c
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One thought on “le grand comptoir – houston

  1. Pingback: pappadeaux – houston | ms.chubbs

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