The Strange Saga of The Muffin Man
Sitting at home one August day in the Montrose, I watched as a young man walked up and down my street, rolling up flyers and sticking them into gates and doors up and down Hyde Park. He was chatting on his cell phone, seemingly excited as he dropped off one flyer after another. And when he left, I trotted out to grab it and see what it said. Another neighborhood meeting, perhaps?
The young man's face greeted me from the front page of the flyer, which turned out to be a press release of sorts for a new restaurant called The Muffin Man (or MuffinMan or Muffin Man, depending on which portion of the flyer you were reading). Knowing absolutely nothing about Jason Perry, the restaurant's owner, I was instantly intrigued by the idea of a new, late-night neighborhood restaurant that was located in a refurbished Victorian mansion off Converse. The menu was a bizarre assortment of crepes, chicken-fried steak sandwiches and a "fried okra/waffle fries" plate, all from a kitchen that promised to stay open until 5 a.m.
Unfortunately, I didn't make it over to The Muffin Man before it was shut down in October by the City of Houston for various violations including -- but not limited to -- having no certificate of occupancy, having no valid food permit, never having applied for a liquor license from the TABC and never having even been inspected by the City of Houston Health Department prior to opening. It was as if Perry had opened the restaurant on a whim without going through any proper channels whatsoever.
Perry didn't take this lying down and passionately petitioned City Council (as seen above) while taking to Facebook to vent his frustrations over the closure. Today, however, Perry finally capitulated and announced that The Muffin Man was "closed forever." In the brief eulogy for his restaurant, he mourned "the greatest penis shaped muffin restaurant houston Had."
But Perry wasn't done yet. Not by a long shot.
Who doesn't love cock...shaped muffins?
Last week, I received a box filled with tuna and a man's Speedo as a press release package. The press release that I received from Jason Perry this morning tops that in terms of utter outlandishness. I've reprinted it in its entirety below for everyone to...um...enjoy. Emphasis in bold is mine.
Beware: Slightly NSFW language ahead.
2310 Converse Houston TX 713 822 7660
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MUFFINMAN RESTAURANT CLOSES FOREVER NEW BISTRO TO OPEN IN FORMER LOCATION OF MUFFINMAN
(Montrose Area, Houston, Texas) MuffinMan the controversial Penis Shaped Muffin restaurant open till 5am is closed and will not be reopened. The restaurant that resulted in lawsuits agaisnt the city, shouting matches between the owner and city council members and other negative events will not be reopened. "We had a lot of momentum at the end (before it was shut down) we were packed on saturday nights and even had Houston celebrity Diane Jackson eating at the restaurant every saturday but there is just to much negativity associated with that concept so it had to die. We are planning on having the building cleansed by Wiccan Witch to get rid of the negative energy." Notes Muffinman owner Jason Perry.
A new restaurant is moving into the location Muffinman once called home know as "Bistro Valmont." The location is located one block from popular Montrose area bars such at TC's, South Beach, Jr's, etc. "The location is really amazing and its a large two-story space (a victorian home), the building is adorned with french empire chandeliers, tin ceilings, wood floors, so much art its just all such a visually stunning restaurant I knew it had to be used by some concept." Notes Jason Perry for the Buildings owner Carlyle | ULTRA.
Muffinman was a controversial restaurant that drew criticism from its inception when it posted a large billboard in front of the restaurant announcing its opinion that a "four inch muffin is better than an eight inch cock." The restaurant promised to "toss" customers salads and give an experience similar to going to grandma's (Gay slang for visiting the bath-House). The restaurant served penis shaped muffins at special events and was the target of complaints by local neighbors. "People either loved or hated muffinman it was a crazy restaurant, it was open after hours and we all had a lot of fun you would see anyone from elected officials to drag queens to even once a customer came in wearing just a cod-piece and leather boots. It was a wild experience and I am so sad that Houston has been robbed of this gem but it was time for Muffinman to go... but sometimes I look back and wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING did I really open a penis shaped muffin restaurant, did I really spend more than half of a million dollars on a restaurant that promised to toss peoples salad." notes Muffinman's 25 year-old owner Perry. "I need to re-think my career choice" Perry Jokes.
Details on Bistro Valmont are to be revealed later when the concept is closer to opening.
I can't wait. Really.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.