The General Public in CityCentre Offers Comfort, Cocktails & Well-Designed Dishes
With its taxidermy, antique photos, and old-time artifacts, The General Public in CityCentre at 797 Sorella takes you to a British pub afar. Guests will find internationally-inspired dishes, intriguing mixology — and perhaps a shot at the end to call it a day. It’s owned by FreeRange Concepts, a Dallas-based hospitality group with five restaurant brands in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.
During our pleasant visit to The General Public, we expected standard pub fare, such as starters, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. but there is also an intriguing section of Houston specialities that piqued our interests.
We sampled the Crab Hushpuppies and Kung Pao Lettuce Wraps as appetizers. Hush puppies are a Southern staple, typically in the form of golden-fried balls of cornmeal. However, The General Public has its own take on the classics. The restaurant’s Crab Hushpuppies were airy, and the crab meat mixed in the batter added a touch of umami. Kung Pao Lettuce is a fun new take on Chinese lettuce wraps that are traditionally made with shrimp. The kung pao chicken was tender, and the addition of crushed peanuts added crunchy texture. Tip: steal a little bit of the Asian glaze from the lettuce wraps and use it on the Crab Hushpuppies.
For entrées, Seared Salmon and Beef Tenderloin sounded like predictable main courses. Nevertheless, The General Public surprised us by teaming the salmon with Asian coleslaw dressed with Thai vinaigrette. The crunch from the cabbage slaw created a nice contrast to the lightly seared salmon filet. Similarly, the beef tenderloin could have been paired with the standard mashed potatoes, but instead, the yucca fries alongside steered the dish South American instead of simply Southern. With the lightly crispy fries soaking in sweet bourbon sauce, the dish reminded us of lomo saltado (Peruvian stir-fried beef with French fries).
To end this gastronomic voyage sweetly, we had Lemon Mousse with Blueberry Compote and White Chocolate Luxardo Cheesecake. The balanced sweetness proved that desserts can be part of an elevated experience without feeling a sugar rush or food coma afterward.
The restaurant has a full bar program, with Southern-style cocktails, such as Ranch Water, Margarita and Peach Tea, that Texans are accustomed to. Purists can enjoy a cozy selection of popular whiskeys, along with beer and wine.
We tried the Pear Toki, which contains Suntory Toki Whisky, spiced pear liqueur, demerara syrup and lime juice. A house twist on a Kentucky Mule, it also gains fizz and spice thanks to the addition of ginger beer. The drink was refreshing and easy to drink despite the warm spices and whisky. The Pink Lady contains Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Jalisco 1562 orange liqueur, dragon fruit syrup and lime juice, which is a playful interpretation of this prohibition-era drink. The Barkeep’s Whimsy lives up to its name, as that’s when the bartender takes the creative wheel. All you need to do is pick your favorite “poison”, then sit back, relax, and be surprised with a unique cocktail made just for you. We definitely had fun with what the bartender created for us.
The General Public is a good fit for those who enjoy quality dishes with thoughtful touches that transcend the norms of American dining. Lone wolves will be comfortable here as they look for a quiet reward after a taxing day, whether it be with a whisky drink or a beer. During slower days, patrons may be treated to a complimentary Sundown Shot; a collective toast that fosters a sense of camaraderie. Amid the hustle and bustle of CityCentre, we are glad that this cozy corner of the neighborhood exists.
The hours of operation for The General Public are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Lin is a Houston Food Finder contributor with a natural affinity toward Asian food and desserts.