Phaedra Cook

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2014

    A Sanctuari For More Than Cocktails

    More often these days, when I'm looking for a happy hour or a hangout, my thoughts are turning to Triniti. More accurately, I'm seeking Sanctuari, where the food is atypically luxurious for a bar setting.

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2014

    Why I Love Greenling

    It's always lame to hear about people talk about how busy they are. We're all busy these days. With that being said, as someone who's currently juggling a dual career as a writer and as an IT consultant, I'm probably busier than most. My days usually start between 4 and 6 a.m. I get up, write for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Samuel Beier of Tony Mandola's

    When we left off in Part 1 of our Chef Chat with Samuel Beier, he had just completed a long stint under Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Spice Market and Market restaurants in Atlanta. It was his second time to work for the world-renowned French chef. The first time being at the defunct Bank in Hotel Ic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Samuel Beier of Tony Mandola's

    Chef Samuel Beier has a tricky mission: update Tony Mandola's cuisine to attract a younger clientele while still satisfying customers who have patronized the family's restaurants for over two decades. I don't envy him the task, but it is needed. Cuisine inside the 610 Loop isn't what it used to be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2014

    Pico's Reveals Its New Logo and Plans For a Holiday Tamale Stand

    It's about to get easier than ever to pick up tamales from Pico's for the holidays. The news came during the rollout celebration of a bigger, bolder Pico's logo yesterday. The tamale stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on November 28-30, the weekends of December 6 and 13 and then again from D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Frédéric Perrier of Aura, Hoggs N Chicks and Coco Pazzo

    When we left off on Part 1 of our Chef Chat with Fréderic Perrier, he'd just relocated Aura from a small, quaint, New England-style shopping center to modern, bustling, trendy Sugar Land Town Square. While all the old favorites menu items are there, the experience is different now--not better or wo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Frédéric Perrier of Aura Brasserie and Coco Pazzo

    Chef Frédéric Perrier has owned, co-owned and cooked in Houston area restaurants for more than 20 years. He developed a fan base and garnered critical acclaim with his inside-the-Loop restaurants Grille 5515 and Perrier Café. In time, the rigors of driving to his home in Missouri City night after ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Kevin Naderi of Roost and Lillo & Ella

    Kevin Naderi has the daunting task of running not one, but two independent restaurants that each have a unique identity. Roost has been a mainstay of the Montrose neighborhood for almost three years and has scored national recognition on more than one occasion. He dad to a new "baby" now, too. Lillo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Erin Smith of Main Kitchen at JW Marriott

    Yesterday we did the first part of our interview with Erin Smith of Main Street Kitchen. EOW: Why did you end up leaving Plonk? ES: Plonk was the first restaurant I worked at when I moved back to Houston and I had no idea what the food scene was going to be like. Not having lived here for 10 year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Erin Smith of Main Kitchen at JW Marriott

    Erin Smith is one of only a handful of female executive chefs in Houston. She first caught attention for the menu that was tailored for the extensive wine focus at Plonk! Bistro. She made headlines when she joined Clumsy Butcher group to conceptualize the initial menu for the newly opened Blacksmith ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Randy Evans

    After last week's Chef Chat with Chris Shepherd, the next person that we wanted to talk to was Chef Randy Evans. As best friends who met on the first day of culinary school and went on to work for years together at Brennan's of Houston, the two are part of each other's stories. Evans was the forme ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2014

    Openings & Closings: There's A New Doner Kebap in Town

    Early in the morning on Tuesday, September 23, Spanky's Homemade Pizza's kitchen caught on fire, causing enough damage to close the 7210 South Loop East pizza shop. No one was injured during the fire and the owner plans to reopen Spanky's. The southeast Houston restaurant posted this statement on Fa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2014

    First Look at Museum Park Cafe

    It's been four years since chef Justin Basye was a semifinalist in the James Beard Rising Star award category during his tenure at Stella Sola. In the interim, he spent time at Revival Market honing his considerable skills, co-hosted several pop-ups called Les Sauvages and did a long stint behind th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2014

    Openings & Closings: Enjoy Sorrel While You Still Can

    If you enjoy Sorrel Urban Bistro, you might want to get over there for their last few months of service. Greg Morago of Houston Chronicle reports that Ziggy Gruber, of Kenny & Ziggy's, is taking over the space at 2202 West Alabama on January 1st to convert it into Dubrow's New York Grill, a Jewish-A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2014

    This Week In Food Blogs: Go Fried
    Chicken-Crazy at The Bird House

    Culturemap Houston: Eric Sandler posted the lowdown on The Bird House and it's especially worth mentioning now. H-Town StrEATs food truck chefs Jason Hill and Matt Opaleski have opened what's essentially a long-term fried chicken pop-up. It's in the space that normally houses Boil House at 606 East ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2014

    The 5 Best Washington Corridor Happy Hours

    If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced win ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2014

    Openings & Closings: More Tex-Mex, Please

    Anthony Calleo, owner of Pi Pizza Truck and Sandy Witch Sandwich Company, announced this week on Twitter that his sandwich shop has officially closed. Sandy Witch, located inside Grand Prize Bar, was Calleo's second food endeavor. Calleo tells Phaedra Cook in part two of this week's chef chat that r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Mark Holley of Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

    In Part 1 of our Chef Chat, we learned about Mark Holley's extensive experiences at some of the best restaurants in the United States, including Brennan's, Commander's Palace and his prior restaurant, Pesce. In Part 2, we'll learn more about his latest endeavor, Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyste ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Lynette Hawkins of Giacomo's Cibo e Vino

    Chef Lynette Hawkins had already made a name for herself in Houston years before opening her casual Italian restaurant, Giacomo's Cibo e Vino. Hawkins' prior endeavor was La Mora Cucina Toscana. She operated it for 16 years before shutting it down for some very sensible reasons. (We'll cover those d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    Susie Jimenez Announces Trenza Will Close Saturday, July 12

    In a surprising turn of events, Susie Jimenez, owner and chef at Trenza, has announced that her West Avenue restaurant's last service will be Saturday, July 12. The Houston Press received this statement from Jimenez: "It's with great regret that I am announcing the closing of Trenza at West AVE. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2014

    The 5 Best Brunch Spots in River Oaks

    In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 9, 2014
  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    Where To Get Your Fix on National Guacamole Day

    We understand that there are a lot of silly national food holidays; indeed, there is something food-related to celebrate just about every single day of the year. But, if there is one you should take seriously, it's National Guacamole Day, and that day is today. Houston is blessed with an overabunda ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 29, 2013
  • Blogs

    August 21, 2013

    The 10 Worst People in Houston Restaurants

    Houstonians love food. Dining out is one of our favorite pastimes, and we embrace it like it's the official sport of Houston. We are a city of "foodies," and thanks to us, the restaurant industry is thriving. Unfortunately, this insane love of food has also spawned a culture of restaurant monsters ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Coppa

    What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Coppa has a Houston Restaurant Weeks menu available for dinner that reads like a Greatest Hits list. I was able to have several of the dishes they are known for in one meal and was thrilled. The cost is $35.

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Backstreet Café

    What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Backstreet Café is taking a beverage-driven approach to Houston Restaurant Weeks and there's something for everyone. They have developed specific, three-course dinner menus for red wine, white wine, beer and cocktails. Pairings are an additional cost, but y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    This Week In Food Blogs: The Gastronaut Has Landed

    Houstonia: With the unveiling of his first review for the newly launched Houstonia magazine, it's officially time to stop referring to Robb Walsh as "former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh" and instead as "Houstonia food editor Robb Walsh." Read his first review of Tony's and help Walsh decide ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    The Eating... Our Words 100: Bobby Heugel

    Bobby Heugel has probably received more press and started (or taken over operations of) more small food and beverage businesses in the last 12 months than any other Houstonian. He, along with partners Kevin Floyd and Steve Flippo, started Anvil Bar & Refuge in 2009. Today, Bobby also is a partner in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 2, 2013

    This Week In Food Blogs: Quails and 'Que

    Urban Swank: What were your favorite meals of 2012? The Urban Swank girls -- along with fellow food bloggers Hank On Food and our own Carla Soriano -- round up their own magical meals, including the spaghetti carbonara from Coppa, jar-jar duck from Uchi and foie gras torchon from Brasserie 19. Eate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2012

    The $20 Trader Joe's Challenge

    Editor's note: We asked five Eating Our Words bloggers to head to Trader Joe's with $20 and write about what they were able to get. We've gathered their stories together here. Katharine Shilcutt: Objective: Two meals for two for $20 My boyfriend and I hit Trader Joe's a little before 5 p.m. on a ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 13, 2012

    Yum, Fried Bubble Gum

    Top 10 State Fair of Texas foods

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    $7 or Less: Smashburger Tempts with New Dishes

    Just in time for the throes of August, Smashburger is rolling out some new items that just might help finish out the summer with a bang. Best of all, the base price of everything on the menu is $6.99 or less. (Of course, there are plenty of add-ons, so feel free to create that $10 burger if you want ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2012

    The Landry's Empire Showcases Its Holdings with a Swanky Shindig

    I returned a week ago from San Diego Comic-Con, but when I walked into the Landry's Showcase event at Inn at the Ballpark, I thought for a minute I'd been magically transported back. The first thing my eyes landed on were three big, colorful mascots. There were dozens of people milling about. There ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2012

    Underbelly's Underpriced Wine List Gives Us More Reasons to Love It

    Because there is so very much to discuss when it comes to Underbelly, the subject of this week's cafe review, I found myself having to trim back significantly in certain areas of the review in order to get a broader point across (which, TL;DR, is that Underbelly is where it's all happening and you s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2012

    STRAITS: A Fine Dining Establishment or a Place to See and Be Seen?

    The trendiness of CityCentre, where STRAITS is located, is becoming just about untenable. The first few times I visited, years ago, it seemed like the big multistory parking garage would be able to take care of all the visitors in perpetuity. When I visited last week for a media event, I drove all t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2012

    Secret Food Confessions

    No matter how well-educated one becomes about food, some cravings never go away. Some are born in childhood. My husband complained for years when Grape Tang was discontinued and gets bizarre cravings for the crime against nature called "circus peanuts." Supposedly, it's a candy; a mind-boggling, rub ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2012

    There Will Be Feasting at Indian Wok

    When I started questing for great restaurant finds in the Northwest Houston area, high on my priority list was a great Indian lunch buffet. I was used to being able to hit one up inside the Loop at least once every few weeks. The first place I found was a loser, but I struck gold on the second one. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2012

    Meal Snap: Bad for Counting Calories, but Great for the LOLs

    Last week, our editor asked if anyone was interested in evaluating an iPhone application called "Meal Snap." Since I both work in IT and write about food, this sounded like a perfect assignment for me. I love playing with new technology. Meal Snap claims that you can take a photo of your plate and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    DEFCON Dining: Moneycat Brunch

    Photo by Nicholas L. HallMoneycat Whole Fried Butterfish: Delicious, but disturbing to young children.​Justin Yu's Moneycat Brunch pops up over at Umai Japanese Restaurant">Umai Japanese Restaurant, every Sunday between 9 and 3, or until food runs out. It's been running for about a month now, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Top 5 Champagnes Under $60 for the Holidays

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Remember: Champagne doesn't have to be white. Rosé Champagne is often considered the more "muscular" expression of the appellation. Look for Bollinger Rosé, Ruinart Rosé, and our favorite, Billecart Salmon Rosé.​Okay, folks. There's good news and there's bad news. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    5 Gifts for the Coffee Snob

    Chuck Cook Photography​As a coffee snob myself, I am here to advocate for my people. Please, don't break our hearts. You know how much we love coffee, but since you're not a coffee snob yourself, you might think we'd appreciate one of those machines that make coffee by squirting hot water into ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2011

    6 Great Gifts For An Iron Chef Wannabe

    As seen in ScienceSlashFoodThe wonders of sous vide cooking​Are you the next Iron Chef? Are you bedding a Master Chef wannabe? Do you or someone you know take cooking very seriously? Here are a few must-haves sure to tickle the fancy of the Iron Chef in, or near, you. 6. Sous vide circulators ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Openings & Closings: Trouble and Tacos

    Photo by Chuck Cook​Blind Item of the Week: A Heights hotspot in a somewhat cursed location is rumored to be closing soon. Its intended replacement was said to have been a new Bruce Molzan restaurant, but the Ruggles owner's current legal troubles may prevent that from coming to fruition. What ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2011

    Keeping It Kosher: Top 5 Hanukkah Gifts

    ​I am not Jewish, but I sure like the food. (Kasha varnishkas haunts my comfort food dreams alongside macaroni and cheese.) And even though I probably won't be giving or receiving any Hanukkah gifts myself this year, I couldn't resist putting a gift guide together based on the pretty cool stuf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    The Modular: Blowing Up Boundaries with Big Bones and Burgers

    Photo by Chuck Cook PhotographyIt's just another night at The Modular​Some of the best food to be had in Houston is happening in a small kitchen at Grand Prize, and a trailer in front of Liberty Station. The Modular (as reported on previously by Minh Truong and Mai Pham) is the brainchild o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    Top 5 Gifts for the Baker

    Photo by King Arthur Flour​It's that time of year again - when we get give gifts to the ones you love. But what do you get for the baker who has everything? Check out our list for the top 5 gifts for that special baker in your life. If you play your cards right, you may even get some free dess ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    Sampler Plate: This Week in Food Blogs

    Each week, we put together a sampler plate of the most interesting links from both local and national food blogs. Know a blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below. Food Republic: Remember that trio of Pilot Light dinners from Seth Siegel-Gardn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2011

    Houston Restaurant and Bar Industry Rallies for One of Its Own

    FacebookLinda Salinas, before shaving her mustache.​Linda Salinas is a talented sommelier and bartender. She's worked at and with some of Houston's best bars and restaurants: Voice, Anvil, Branch Water Tavern, Bootsie's, Beaver's, 13 Celsius and Kata Robata. She is a fixture within the industr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2010

    Sampler Plate: This Week In Food Blogs

    Each week, we put together a sampler plate of the most interesting links from both local and national food blogs. Know a blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below. Feeding Curiosity: The main reason for following Chef Randy Rucker's blog? Anno ... More >>

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