Hated this place!!! Ugh. I have reached a new low. I always pride myself on picking exceptional restaurants, and here I faltered horribly. Here is what happened at Lemon Tree:
The night started at 8:30pm on Friday night – dinner with a friend. The website claims BYOB so that’s what I did. As soon as we march in with our bottle of wine, we are informed (by the very sweet hostess, mind) that they are not BYOB anymore since receiving their liquor license 2 weeks ago. Not a problem, I understand, but could you send the manager over? Maybe he will make an exception this one time since the BYOB part was 75% of the reason we chose the place AND the website says so. The hostess comes back over to apologize, and delivers the message that if you look at the website, the restaurant on the west side is still BYO, while the midtown one claims otherwise.
Alright. Irritated that the manager did not come over himself to tell us. And upon further investigation after arriving home, I discovered that there is not a separate website for the Midtown location, it only mentions the one on the west side. And it claims BYOB. There is nothing on the site stating that there is a new location in Midtown nor suggesting that they do not let you bring your own wine. Strike 1.
Our food – not good. I ordered the lomo saltado which tasted like cheap Chinese stir fry. The meat was cheap and overcooked and the sauce was bland. My friend ordered the ceviche (a Peruvian specialty!) and it was horribly fishy and not fresh at all. We barely touched our meals. The only saving grace were the Pisco sours we were dutifully sucking down to fill our bellies somehow. Strike 2.
About 2 hours into our meal, our waiter comes up and says that they still have enough Pisco sours left in the machine for 2, and since they are closing soon they need to get rid of it. Did we want some more? We were working on our 3rd glass of water by this point and conceded to his nice offer. He brings them over and we are slowly sipping and chattering away. Bad food doesn’t interrupt our conversation! Then 20 minutes later, he brings over a bill. We had already paid. I open it up, and he was charging us for the drinks! Hell. No. No sir. No way no how. We put our feet down, so to speak. My friend went up to the bar and politely told him that we thought he was offering the drinks on the house, and had we known that they were not free, we wouldn’t have accepted. We had barely touched them and didn’t really want more in the first place. Well, he wasn’t happy about it because that wasn’t what he meant, but he took the bill back and we didn’t have to pay. Strike 3.
Bottom line: don’t go here. You’ll get more authentic food by befriending a Peruvian and having them invite you over for dinner. Hell, I make better ceviche than what was on that plate. Awful service, awful food. 1 out of 5 stars. For the Pisco 🙂
If you want Peruvian food, just splurge and fly to Lima for dinner. You won’t find it in Houston.