Phaedra Cook is eating her way through Houston and counting down her 100 favorite dishes of 2015. It's a collection of personal favorites that is also indicative of Houston dining. It's a scene where a vast range of dishes coexist: highbrow and lowbrow; local and international; cheap and expensive; modern cuisine and beloved tenets — and everything in between.
Revival Market’s charcuterie has been a draw since the day it opened. It started as a small store featuring local produce, dairy items, select dry goods from small producers, a top-notch espresso bar, and counter-style breakfast and lunch service. Gazing at the big, glassed-in case of cured hams and dry sausages is the meat lover’s version of window shopping.
Earlier this year, Revival Market went from counter service to full-service restaurant. It added dinner hours. and while it still sells some retail products, including meat, dairy milk, maple syrup and cheese, the market area takes up a lot less of the real estate. There are a lot more tables and chairs now.
The Revival Market web site describes how serious the restaurant is about knowing where its meat comes from:
Everything is pasture raised, antibiotic free, smoked and butchered in house. We’ll tell you where the animals were raised what they ate, and cut and grind the meat to your specifications.
The Cured Platter is the full expression of what Revival Market does with meat. Revival wastes as little of the whole animal as possible, making head cheese and salami, coppa and pepperoni from meat and fat. Lardo is whipped with fruit, which makes it a fine substitute for fancy butter. The fatty skin is fried into puffy chicharrones.
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The head cheese is especially tasty, with the same kind of rich, salty gelatin you might find on a country ham after it’s been chilled in a refrigerator overnight. A dab of gentle ricotta and sour cucumbers is the yin and yang needed to balance all the rich fattiness.
As the saying goes, waste not, want not, and diners won’t be left wanting with the Cured Plate.
The List of Top 100 Dishes of 2015 So Far:
No. 59, Simply Grilled Fish at Ibiza
No. 59, Tonkotsu Black Ramen at JINYA Houston
No. 60, The Rancor Burger at The Petrol Station
No. 61, Heritage Sampler Platter at Rudi Lechner's
No. 62, Oxtails at Le' Pam's House Of Creole
No. 63, The 420 Slice at Pi Pizza Truck
No. 64, Frenchy's Fried Chicken On Scott Street
No. 65, 3 Pig Mac & Cheese at Urban Eats
No. 66, Pucchia Pugliese Foggia at Sud Italia
No. 67, Triple-Smoked Pastrami On Rye At Kenny & Ziggy's
No. 68, Fume Pizza at Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana
No. 69, Banh Mi Thap Cam at Café TH
No. 70, Caramelized Onion Soup at Mockingbird Bistro
No. 71, Milk Chocolate Stout Malt at Fat Cat Creamery
No. 72, Pork Ribs at Roegels Barbecue Co.
No. 73, Carrot Pizza at Weights + Measures
No. 74, Jalisco Wings at El Big Bad
No. 75, Mussels at Cafe Brussels
No. 76, Cresta di Gallo at The Pass & Provisions
No. 77, Beef Fajitas at El Real Tex-Mex
No. 78, Chicken Tikka Masala from the Tandoori Nite truck
No. 79, Chocolates at Cacao & Cardamom
No, 80, Hummus Supreme at Al's Quick Stop
No. 81, Red Oil Dumplings at Mala Sichuan
No. 82, Tex-Cajun Fries at BB's Café
No. 83, Mac & Cheese at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
No. 84, The Principal Burger at Bernie's Burger Bus
No. 85, Hunter's Honey-Roasted Duck at Brennan's Of Houston
No. 86, Fish & Chips at Good Dog Houston
No. 87, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit at Blacksmith
No. 88, "Saucy Balls" At Brooklyn Meatball Company
No. 89, Perry's Steakhouse/Perry & Sons Pork Chop
No. 90, General Tso's Chicken from The Rice Box
No. 91, Eggs, Refried Beans, Hash Browns and Hugo's Sauce at 59 Diner
No. 92, Shipley Do-Nuts Plain Glazed
No. 93, Housemade Bologney at Public Services Wine & Whisky
No. 94, Bo Luc Lac at Cheno's (formerly Chino's) Fast Food
No. 95, Combo #5 at Soto's Cantina
No. 96, Carnitas Salad At Chipotle
No. 97, Pickled Shrimp At Punk's Simple Southern Food
No. 98, Lobster Roll At Maine-Ly Sandwiches
No. 99, Chili-Cheese Coneys At JCI Grill
No. 100, Corned Beef Hash And Eggs At House Of Pies