I kind of want to live at Adair Kitchen.
The interior is exactly how I would decorate my living space if I had the money and the time and decided I was old enough to outgrow my all-thrift-store-finds-are-great-décor phase. It's chic and classy without being unwelcomingly fancy or upscale. It's a little bit country and a little bit modern, but completely clean and organized. It's what my decorating skills aspire to produce.
I could probably sleep on one of the long booths up against one wall and do my makeup in the bright, well-lit bathroom that always smells like fruity candles. There's plenty of parking for me outside, and for entertainment, I could people watch from a perch behind the counter.
So long as I didn't grow tired of fresh, home-cooking style meals and stellar desserts, I would never have to leave.
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As I write in this week's cafe review, the food at Adair Kitchen is what I'd expect my mother or grandmother to make, could either of them cook that well. The menu is a mix of healthy salads and old fashioned southern comfort food like chicken and waffles and green enchiladas.
According to siblings and owners Nick Adair and Katie Adair Barnhart, the menu is inspired by their own mother's home cooking, which they wanted to share with hungry Houstonians. The food isn't fussy or exotic, and it won't be any sort of revelation when you eat it. But it's solid and consistent and pretty damn delicious.
If I lived at Adair Kitchen, I'd wake up to a steaming cup of fresh coffee for breakfast, followed by a mushroom, spinach and bacon omelet or, if I had a big day ahead of me, a big ol' waffle with bacon cooked right in and syrup on top. I'd be out the door with a cup of fresh squeezed juice to get me through the day and provide me with all of the vitamins that were maybe lacking in the waffle. I'd come home for lunch every day to a fresh shredded kale and quinoa or blackened shrimp and goat cheese salad. Then for dinner, I'd really pig out on chicken enchiladas, pesto salmon or penne with pesto. I'd end my day with a giant piece of warm, gooey bread pudding a la mode and go to sleep happy as a pig in mud.
Of course, if I lived like this, I'd probably yearn for some great sushi or cutting-edge Americana cuisine every now and then, but that's not what Adair Kitchen is about. In a city full of various ethnic cuisines and top-rated nouveau restaurants, Adair Kitchen is a comfortable alternative. It's a useful restaurant, just like a comfortable bed or a reliable car is useful in life. It's no Ferarri, but it'll get you where you need to be, and you'll enjoy the ride.