Zimm’s Little Deck is the brainchild of Mark and Dan Zimmerman. No stranger to the Houston dining, hospitality and social scene, they are the sons of Becky Zimmerman, owner of the Houston popular wine and martini bar, Zimm’s and the fine dining restaurant of La Colombe d’Or. It is a unique combination of French café, Cajun cuisine, and Icehouse located at 601 Richmond Avenue, convenient to Rice Village, the Medical Center, Downtown and 59.
Entering Zimm’s Little Deck you are greeted at the door, but no “standing” on ceremony with a stand or podium in the way. Have a large party (and we did of 8) that’s ok, the staff quickly pushed tables together to form one large table of a couple of four tops. Or you can sit at the bar, read a magazine, visit with the person next to you and watch a little bit of the magic happen.
The menu may be considered by some to be “small” but Chef Jeramie Robison, with 11 years experience in both New Orleans and some of Houston’s most popular dining establishments makes sure there is nothing small about the portions or the taste. Choose from appetizers that include Oysters on the half shell, Ceviche, (one of my personal favorites), or Crawfish Claws. Of course no menu that boasts Cajun cuisine would be without Gumbo or Po’Boys of which there are several choices. There are also Rich Boys, with servings so large you may want to share them.
My personal favorites: the Ceviche, Gumbo and a tie between the Roast Beef Po Boy and the Carolina Pulled Pork. It’s hard to find a good ceviche with firm and tender seafood, fresh and piled high. The gumbo was made from sausage and chicken, but look for a seafood gumbo sometime in the future. It was thick and rich, spicy and delicious. The Roast Beef is piled high with tender and juicy meat, lettuce and tomatoes. It was my 4 year olds sandwich of choice. My youngest daughter enjoyed Zimm’s Little Deck version of Peanut Butter and Jelly (Hazelnut and Jam) but she loved even more the Sticky French Bread Pudding – putting us all to shame with the portion she ate. The Carolina Pulled Pork is “dry” no wasted sauces on this sandwich wish appears to be slow roasted and pulled/chunked and honestly was mouthwatering all by itself, no sauces or other condiments needed but the slaw convinced me I was eating vegetables. Homemade pickles and chips come with every sandwich; actually the only thing not homemade is the bread.
Choose from a selection of “cheap, decent and good” wines, cocktails including hurricanes, and Brandy Milk Punch. My husband was especially surprised by the beer selection that was actually good, better and best and not anything like Miller, Bud and Coors.
The interior is unique, cozy and close. There are one or two televisions, making it easier to keep the gentlemen happy because they could watch the football game (both indoor and outdoor). While it was busy when we walked in on a Sunday at noon, it became standing room only around 1:15 as those enjoying their lunch were lazing back on a Sunday afternoon while others were hoping to get a delicious meal. The several sections of French doors means you can watch the world go by, or enjoy the game of Petanque as it is played. The vaulted ceilings and crown moldings brought an “old world” ambiance to the building.
Not only is there a comfortable outdoor seating area but you can either watch or participate in a game of Petanque. What is petanque? It is similar in nature to Italian bocce or English lawn bowling where two teams compete against each other to roll a ball closest to the “goal” both through direct rolls and those that knock the ball of the opposing team away from their goal. Brothers Mark and Dan Zimmerman admits to learning to love this sport from a young age as they first learned how to play it while visiting family in France.
Unique truly is the word to describe Zimm’s Little Deck, from dining and drinking to entertainment. You can choose from icehouse/seafood bar to “home cooked” Cajun cuisine; visit with friends or dine alone there is something here for every taste and age.
Interview with Dan Zimmerman
Zimm’s Little Deck