Houston >Food & Dining > Lemon Tree Restaurant
12591 Whittington Dr, Houston, TX | Directions 7707729.746242 -95.603628
Mon. CLOSED;Tue. - Sat. 11am - 3pm;Sun. 12am - 4pm
Neighborhoods: Westside, Briarforest
I went to this place, because it was recommended by a friend. I had mentioned to him that I visited Cuzco some years ago and enjoyed the Peruvian cuisine while there. I cannot recommend this place however. It is very small and the tables are placed too close together. My elbows kept hitting a chair from another table. I am not a very large person either, perhaps average height and weight, 5'11" and 190 lbs. The food is standard Peruvian fare. That being said, I LOVE Peruvian food, so that is a plus. I especially enjoy the mussels "Choros a la chalaca". I recommend that you try them, just not here. The service is not good. It took a very long time to get my food, from the time I placed the order, till I received the food, was no less than 50 thumb twiddling minutes. Never mind trying to get some dessert, forget it. Trying to get the attention of the wait staff is impossible. I tried everything short of firing of a signal flair. Common sense would dictate that if you have limited staff and seating, you should allow your customers to pay and get the heck out of there quickly, if nothing else. Getting the check was nearly impossible. It is incomprehensible how it can be so difficult even to give them money! I was ready to leave without paying, simply because they would not even bring the check! I love Peruvian cuisine, just not this place.
Delicious Peruvian Cuisine – The Lemon Tree is known with good reason for its inventive ceviche, served so fresh it's almost still wriggling. Get the traditional raw-fish blend ($13) or the mixto variation, with raw fish, shrimp, calamari, and mussels, served with corn and sweet potatoes ($13.50). Other deep-sea delights include paella ($13) and seasoned rice with scallops ($14.50). Some equatorial specialties include fried fish in onion sauce with a side of yucca ($12.50) and lomo saltado (sautéed beef tenderloin) topped with two fried eggs and served with french fries, rice, and beans ($15).
The Lemon Tree has two locations in Houston, the original near George Bush Park and the newer establishment in Midtown. The new Midtown joint features the same sizzling Peruvian delights as the home-base eaterorium and is complemented by live music Friday and Saturday nights; the Whittington Drive location has live music on Friday nights. No matter which one you choose, you'll be steeped in the flavors of history, which does not at all taste like dusty and yellowed manuscripts, but rather yucca, fish, and Simon Bolivar.
Need to improve many things to be a good restaurant – I loved peruvian food and usually try to go often to this restaurant. Last January our family and a relative were in the mood for a Ceviche , so we made a reservation and arrived at this restaurant, the table was waiting for us, we order our drinks and ask for water too, this water must be holy because after the first glass , we needed to ask the waiter several times for it. We placed our order after waiting for the staff about 15 min. We waited like 20 minutes and finally the food arrived. the portions had been reduced. I guess is the economy!!. The ceviche was not cooked by the lemon yet and did not taste good, the lomo saltado (2) arrived cool, the jalea de pescado was cool also, aji de gallina was ok, the staff never came to ask how was the food and offer any refills, we have to follow them to the kitchen to ask for drinks and water!!, the dessert that we ordered was pionono and lucuma which were good. It is very dissapointing to see that they are not doing an effort to change the way his customers are treated, while all of this was happening not only to us, but to others in the restaurant , one of the chef's son was talking to some friends or people he knew in a different table and we could see the difference in the attention. Here in Houston there are so many restaurants that care about their customers that I prefer not to go and leave my money where I am not treated with appreciation.
Awful Service - Do Not Waste Your Time Here – Never in my life have I experienced customer service that was so bad in any restaurant ever! First, my friend and I show up.....and they tell us to wait for a table even though there are many empty tables waiting. Finally they seat us and then it takes about 10-15 minutes more to even order something to drink. I order iced tea and they bring me a plastic lipton bottle of tea and they do not open it for me or pour it in my glass and there is no ice I might add. Next my friend ordered a diet coke and some water and she never receieved the water until she had to ask a second time. Then we wait 15 more minutes and we finally get to order some food. By this time our lunch hour was almost over and we were still waiting for our appetizer. Meanwhile there were several other people in the restaurant that had already received their dessert. I will say honestly that the food is good, but the waitstaff have a thing or two to learn about customer service. Finally we stuff our food into our mouths as fast as we can because we are already late getting back to work. We ask for the check and have to wait another 10 minutes and then we have to ask for it again. The woman at the cash register is having a long conversation with another customer and not even bothering to check us out. The waitress then asks us for our IDs at this point for our credit card when absolutely no one else in the restaurant got IDed. I felt extremely offended at this point. I left no tip because no tip is deserved and I will never step foot into this establishment again no matter how good the food is.
Socializing is more important here than running a restaurant. Don't WASTE YOUR TIME HERE literally!
Such a treat! – Some friends took my boyfriend & me to the Lemon Tree recently, and we were greatly impressed by our experience. The food was fabulous, the prices were very reasonable, and the atmosphere was friendly and authentic. It's always great to find smaller restaurants like this that cater to a specific type of food, and our entire experience was just lovely. The desserts, particularly the lucuma, were to die for. We are looking forward to inviting our own friends and family to the Lemon Tree to enjoy the cuisine and atmosphere.
Best Peruvian Restaurant in Houston BY FAR – I have been to every Peruvian restaurant in Houston and none of them compare to the Lemon Tree. Yes, the parking isn't that great but the food makes up for it. The food is GREAT and the portions are pretty large. I love the desserts. They even have desserts with lucuma. I highly recommend this place if you love food like I do.
Great Peruvian FOOD – My boyfriend & I decieded to celebrate our birthday here I am Peruvian and he is Mexican. .I usally can be disapoint in peruvian restuarant but this was not the case here. We had a great time and all our friends enjoyed it too. I had the lomo saltado which is what i recommend if you don;t want to be so daring. I loved it. He had jalea which is now is favorite dish. I read some other remarks about this place and about the service. They were really nice with us.Maybe cause we had a lot of people. No complaints here. I liked the fact that they let us bring our own drinks but we still ordered chicha morada and inka cola. I was a little disappointed that the chicha morada was not fresh but i got over it. Great food and I was happy all my friends who are not Peruvian and some who never had Peruvian food enjoyed it.
Great ceviche but not impressed by staff – The food is delicious and the portions are fair. I don't mind waiting for food as long as it is fresh and tastes good! I agree that the staff is cold, almost rude (nothing like your typical relaxed latin atmosphere).
Great Restaurant – The Lemon Tree is our family's favorite restaurant! Over the last few years we have celebrated many special occasions there ( birthdays, Mother's Day, family get-togethers, etc). They have live music on Friday nights which is a lot of fun. The food is excellent and considering we are of Peruvian descent, we should know. The Peruvian cuisine is very varied, there is seafood , meat, chicken, poatoes, rice ,etc, something for everyone and lots of it. The place is small, but that is what gives it the"family owned" feel. The service is not the fastest, but then latins don't believe in eating in a hurry, it is a relaxed, "take your time mood' (NOT A FAST FOOD PLACE!) Reservations are recommended. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the Chef (owner) and his wife usually come out to greet their guests. We have taken many friends and business people with us to The Lemon Tree and they have all loved it. I would recommend it to anyone who is not afraid to try new things and has an open mind. WE LOVE IT!
DELICIOUS PERUVIAN FOOD!!!! – I want to address the ignorant "nberlanga" who wrote a bad review. FIRST of all, its a small family owned restaurant. Its by reservation usually, and you cant just stand there like an idiot American waiting to be seated if you dont have a reservation, specially if you have been there before, you should know that. The staff is very very friendly. They speak mainly spanish, as most of their clients are latin. If you talk to them in English, be nice and respectful, as you wish they would be to you. I bet you didnt though. And being from Peru myself, they have very authentic and delicious food. Its not a LUBY"S or RED LOBSTER like you Americans are used to. Its a GREAT restaurant, and we know all the staff and owners. ITS DELICIOUS, and EVERY single person I have recommended it to, has gotten hooked on going at least once a month. Including my whole family!!!!!!!
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