A small, mostly residential street just outside the Beltway sits a mere 2 miles away from Houston’s Chinatown, where some might say the city’s international culinary stars shine brightest. 

Less than 9 miles south of Spice Lane is … Spice Lane, a Sugar Land kitchen and bar that opened last year and offers “a modern take on traditional comfort food with Asian-inspired flavors,” according to its website.

Happy hour at Spice Lane in Sugar Land runs from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily, which made it rather easy for me to overcome my notorious indecisiveness and fear of missing out on something amazing. 

Selections from the happy hour bites menu are $6 apiece: Boudin balls, popcorn shrimp, loaded fries, calamari, Brussels sprouts or oysters (served raw or Rockefeller style). 

I went with the latter two, and opted for the Oysters Rockefeller, which are topped with a rich sauce of butter, parsley and breadcrumbs, then baked or broiled and garnished with lemon wedges. 

I’m no oyster connoisseur, but I can’t imagine a better way to consume this seafood delicacy, so delicate that it practically dissipated on my tongue. The Brussels sprouts were cooked to a point of ideal softness, with a crispy texture at the edges and drizzled with a sweet maple syrup glaze. 

Then came the Uncle Phil ($9), Spice Lane’s take on a Philly cheesesteak. I heeded my server’s suggestion to substitute my side of fries for the loaded fries, and I am glad I did. This is a proper Philly, with green peppers, mushrooms and melted provolone — not Cheez Whiz. 

The loaded fries were only an additional $3 tacked on to my sandwich, but cost $8 from the starters menu. It was an absolute steal. Choose from chicken or shrimp (I had the former) and you’ll get your protein dolloped with garlic aioli, Sriracha, garlic butter and green onions.

I would have been thrilled had I only tried one of the aforementioned Spice Lane staples. But getting enough food to share with another person for $25 feels almost too good to be true.

One simple and much-appreciated innovation Spice Lane had that made my experience even more enjoyable was a layer of plexiglass atop the table to cover its menus, so they are available to you at all times. There is also a QR code, if you’re interested in looking at the menu on your phone. 

Among the many reasons I enjoy dining out is the opportunity to briefly escape from looking at screens. This, in addition to Spice Lane’s quality food, friendly service and overall positive vibes, makes it easy for me to envision making another visit in the near future.  

Spice Lane

Address: 3355 State Highway 6 Ste. A, Sugar Land

Dining Options: Dine-in, curbside pickup, delivery via DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday,  11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday,  11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

Entrée prices: $9-$22

Kid-friendly: Yes

Senior discount: No

Alcohol: Yes

Healthy options: Kale Salad ($11)

Star of the show: Oysters Rockefeller 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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