Retired teacher Ingrid Syam and her husband Deep Syam recently opened fast-casual Blue Planet Cafe (1330 Wirt, 713-681-9800), which offers pizza, panini, gelato and coffee. "This is a simple, neighborhood cafe," says Deep Syam. "We have free Wi-Fi and a comfy area with sofas in the back of the place. Our customers keep telling us that the neighborhood needed something like this."
Although Ingrid Syam makes Indian at home, they decided Italian would be easier to do. "We started out talking about opening an Indian restaurant, since my husband is Indian, and for 30 years I've been cooking Indian food. But, you know what, I couldn't teach someone how to cook Indian, even though I cook it every day for him. So we settled on Italian, although I'm still thinking about introducing some Indian snacks as a special."
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When Dish visited at lunchtime, we tried the homemade hummus with sweet red peppers and chipotle – some of the best-tasting hummus ever. The second, equally tasty, dish was a salmon quesadilla served on herbed flatbread. A cup of gelato and a cappuccino was the perfect finish.