I grew up eating southern cooking with a dash of Cajun — which means that Sarah’s Restaurant has pretty much my dream menu.
Fellow reporter Christopher James and I have wanted to try it out for a while, ever since we heard a new dining place opened in the space vacated by the Baytown Historic Café at 3321 Market Street.
There’s a superficial similarity to the menu the previous occupant of the building had in that it has a focus on home-style cooking, but Sarah’s homestyle definitely hails from the south or deep East Texas.
The special of the day when we went was beef tips.
I’ve found beef tips to be a risky choice at restaurants. When they’re good, they’re good — but I’ve been duped by cooks who dress up fatty meat with gravy.
Sarah didn’t let me down, though. The meat was lean but melt-in-your mouth and there wasn’t a heavy gravy, but I could tell it had been cooked in some kind of awesome broth and served over rice.
The green beans had a Cajun touch, being cooked with spicy sausage instead of bacon, and the corn bread had a touch of sweetness and was nicely crumbly without being too dry.
The highlight of the meal, though, was the candied yams.
I know there are people out there who don’t like yams (and they are not to be trusted), but I consider them to be the pinnacle of southern cuisine.
These were well cooked — soft all the way through without being mushy — and sweeter than Chick fil-A iced tea.
I had to ask Sarah herself what the secret was. I could taste lots of sugar and spices that taste like autumn, but something added a smoothness to the taste that was less familiar.
I suspected honey, but she told me that the secret was real butter. Inspired.
Chris got fried pork chops and they were huge — two of them about the size of a chicken fried steak.
Whether you consider that neighborhood the Historic West End or Old Baytown, Sarah’s Restaurant is a good reason to visit.
Sarah’s is open seven days a week. It is open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours change over the weekend. It is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Mark Fleming is a reporter for The Baytown Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com.