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  • Article

    Give Pita a Chance - Falafel can be awful. But not at Mama's Po-Boy.

    A friend from Chicago recently complained that he couldn't find a decent falafel sandwich here, nothing like the ones they make in the Windy City. Surprised, and a little huffy on Houston's behalf, I rattled off a dozen places that serve falafel with...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 29, 1999
  • Article

    Wot More Could You Ask? - At Awash, eating with your hands is a civilized pleasure

    Before eating at the wonderful Ethiopian restaurant Awash [1520 Westheimer, (713)520-9387], there are three things you really need to know: 1) You'll be eating communally, sharing food with all the members of your party; 2) You'll be eating with your...

    by Dennis Abrams on April 22, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Sweets sell by the seashore: Of all the wondrous pies prepared at Maddie's Gourmet Bakery [3204 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, (409)763-1483], my favorite is baker Jose Garcia's luscious key lime. A sweet, cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crumb crust cr...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 22, 1999
  • Article

    Stoli Moments - For Russians, eating out means more than just food

    Some time ago, an emigre from the post-Soviet nation of Kazakhstan described for me the Russian tradition of dining out: "When a Russian goes out to dinner, he goes to spend the whole evening in a big celebration with family and friends. There has to...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 22, 1999
  • Article

    Molzan in Motion

    Some observers of the downtown cafe melee were surprised -- but perhaps as many more were not -- by the abrupt disappearance of Kirk Graham and Leticia Guzman Graham from the management team of seven-month-old Staccato's [711 Main Street, (713)227-91...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 22, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate - By Margaret L. Briggs

    Crunchy creole classic: Never mind the ups and downs of the Creuzot family's empire; after 30 years the original and only remaining Frenchy's location [3919 Scott, (713)748-2233], midway between U of H and TSU, is still dishing out legendary fried ch...

    on April 15, 1999
  • Article

    Italian 101

    For too many people, I'm afraid, the phrase "Italian food" immediately conjures images of hearty, garlicky, long-simmered tomato sauces. But those standbys represent only part of the cuisine, and if they're all you know, you're missing the Italian re...

    by Dennis Abrams on April 15, 1999
  • Article

    The Hard Way

    Urban legend has it that Iyad "Eddie" Khalil, the owner of El Mirage restaurant [9350 Westheimer, (713)532-4900] won his start-up stake from the tight fist of the gambling industry, much like the Galvans of Jenita's Taco House. The often-repeate...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 15, 1999
  • Article

    Jackpot at Jenita's - The taqueria's owners got lucky and so do the customers

    Some aspiring restaurateurs turn to bankers or investors for seed money; others bet their family's life savings to open a small cafe. But John and Leticia Galvan, proud proprietors of Jenita's Taco House way out FM 1960 at Steubner Airline, have the ...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 15, 1999
  • Article

    Taking the Heat

    Crapitto's Luck: Last April John Crapitto hit the jackpot when his restaurant, the abysmally named Crapitto's [2400 Mid Lane, (713)961-1161], was mentioned on the Jay Leno show. This February, though, it looked as if Crapitto's luck might be taking a...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 8, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Lickety-split ribs: Backyard cookout purists may sniff at barbecue-in-a-box, but it's hard to fault the Honey Jalapeno Ribs served from spotless glass cases at Yapa Kitchen Fresh Takeaway [3173 West Holcombe, (713)664-9272]. Yapa slow-roasts thick sl...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 8, 1999
  • Article

    Plain Is Beautiful - JacQuisine isn't exciting, creative or hip. But it is good.

    Eating out has become strenuous. The chef of the moment unveils the exotic new ingredient of the week, working it into the fusion cuisine of his choice (Pan Asian, New Southwestern, Kosher Indian...). The menu needs a glossary. The waiter spends ten ...

    by Dennis Abrams on April 8, 1999
  • Article

    Backwater Bliss - If you'd been born on the island, you'd already know about Clary's

    Housed in a long, low bungalow tucked away on an inlet of Offats Bayou, across the shallows of Galveston Bay from the improbable pyramids of Moody Gardens, Clary's seafood restaurant has remained a well-kept secret for the better part of 22 years. Th...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 8, 1999
  • Article

    Death by Cash Flow

    February may be the unkindest month for Houston chef Greg Webb. This February, instead of celebrating the one-year anniversary of his first restaurant, the eponymous Gregory's, he was desperately wondering how many more days he could keep the doors o...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on April 1, 1999
  • Article

    Delhi-cious - Ashiana offers more than the same old dal

    On its answering machine, Ashiana brags that it's the best Indian restaurant in Houston. That's an audacious claim -- this city is blessedly full of good Indian food -- but Ashiana doesn't make it lightly. There are plenty of other signs that th...

    by Dennis Abrams on April 1, 1999
  • Article

    On a Roll - Sandwiches and sociability atthe Big Time Cafe

    Keith Coit's shiny silver diner on the corner of Washington Avenue and Waugh Drive reminds me more of a backwoods general store than a big-city deli. Inside, I expect to cross a creaky wooden floor under lazily twirling ceiling fans, past farmers gos...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on March 25, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Hello, Dilly: In the midst of the otherwise regulation Chinese menu at Hunan's Restaurant [3835 Bellaire, (713)666-2000] is a gem of a dish called Chinese Pickle Noodle Soup. Unlikely as it may sound, it's a tummy-warming bargain big enough for two a...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on March 25, 1999
  • Article

    Mom-and-pop, Thai-style

    There's a soft spot in my heart for small family-owned restaurants, the kind with Mom and Dad in the kitchen and the kids working out front. What those places lack in polish they make up for with the love and care put into the food. Downtown Houston'...

    by Dennis Abrams on March 25, 1999
  • Article

    Greenspoint Ho!

    Until recently, one of Houston's secret dining bargains was largely reserved for tourists: the monthly "Dine Around Houston" program sponsored by the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. For a reasonable $35, visitors from Newark or Natche...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on March 25, 1999
  • Article

    As Seen on TV

    March came roaring in for Houston chef Claire Smith, owner of the much-praised Daily Review Cafe in north Montrose [3412 West Lamar, (713) 520-9217]. By the end of the month's first weekend, Smith seemed to be everywhere at once. Her big-time me...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on March 18, 1999
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