The Cookie Jar and Be-Wiched, Thyme Table Cafe

"She's the sweet one, and I'm the savory," says David Gerst, describing his wife and partner, Robin Pacholder, and himself. The two share adjacent spaces and a common entryway in a two-store restored property on Westheimer, where they recently opened The Cookie Jar, and Be-Wiched (1846 Westheimer).

Already the lunch lines are growing in the ten-table space at Be-Wiched, which features minimalist décor with smooth concrete floor and bench seating. "The idea we had was to create a casual environment reminiscent of a 1920s Parisian bistro, with high-quality ingredients, reasonable prices and items you can't find elsewhere. We're also offering customers the ability to combine just about anything on our menu — for example, half a panino with a salad or soup," says David. And the food is bewitching indeed. Try the chicken artichoke soup and the pumpkin lobster bisque. Right now the place is only open for lunch, but David says that due to customer demand, they're looking into opening for breakfast.

And no matter how stuffed you may feel from lunch, there's absolutely no escaping through the exit door without passing all of the homemade baked goods at The Cookie Jar, including chocolate truffle cake and homemade fresh fruit pies...

"Houston is great," Youncheal Kim says in broken English. "I love it, especially the weather, because I don't like winter." Kim is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who arrived in Houston some four years ago from Korea via Canada. In Houston, he trained under Tim Keating at Quattro (1300 Lamar), in the Four Seasons and then decided to branch out on his own.


The Cookie Jar and Be-Witched, Thyme Table Cafe

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In December, he opened cutely named Thyme Table Café (11660 Westheimer, suite 115). The result is a French-trained Korean chef serving spectacular French/Euro/Asian dishes in a strip center on the far west side of Houston. Kim's right: This city is great.

When Dish asked Kim who his customers were and what they ordered, he said, "Most of my customers live nearby... They like the grilled hot Korean-style chicken breast and the bul go gi, which is a traditional beef dish of thinly sliced beef marinated in a Korean BBQ sauce." The menu also has some sushi dishes. When asked why sushi's on the menu of a French-Korean restaurant, Kim says, "I love sushi, especially the temptation roll made with fried shrimp and crab. And sushi is also Asian!" Got it... — Paul Galvani


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