Chef Chat

Where the Chefs Eat: Anita Jaisinghani, Elouise Adams Jones and Erin Smith

Two weeks ago, we started talking to chefs about where they eat during their time off. You can read what they said here and here.

Today, we continue our Where the Chefs Eat series with a female perspective when we chat with Anita Jaisinghani, Elouise Adams Jones and Erin Smith.

Anita Jaisinghani James Beard Nominee, Best Chef Southwest 2012 Chef/Owner of Pondicheri and Indika

Standard go-to: I don't really have a "standard restaurant," since I usually eat at my own, but if I had to name one, it would have to be Feast. I could walk there from where I live and love going there, sometimes even by myself with a big stack of newspapers on Saturday for lunch -- my quiet personal down time. I love all the soups they do -- they do this cold almond soup with grapes that I would run there for.

Cheap eats: Laredo Taqueria -- barbacoa and nopales tacos. Breakfast has now become my favorite meal of the day, and on the rare occasion that I do not feel like cooking, we will pick up tacos from here. They are also one of the few restaurants open early in the morning.

Another fave: Hugo's -- I love their duck mole. I go there every few months just for that.

Elouise Adams Jones Chef/Owner of Ouisie's Table and The Bird and the Bear

Standard go-to: Au Petit Paris. I love the setting in the old house, and the owners did a wonderful job of preserving the charm yet making it functional. The snapper and the sea bass are favorites, but I'm all over the menu. Escargot is definitely a favorite.

Cheap eats: Los Dos Amigos. It's always a toss-up between the Carnitas Rancheras and Chicken Fajitas.

Other regular haunts: Uptown Sushi for the snapper and halibut; Shade, where it's hard to pass up the quail or the scallops; and Da Marco (no particular dish).

Erin Smith Executive Chef of Plonk

Standard go-to: I love Giacomo's Cibo e Vino! It's around the corner from my apartment, so I go there for lunch on my way to work. I recommend ordering several antipasti (the involtini di melanzane alla parmigiana is my favorite) and a pasta like the tagliatelle alla bolognese.

Cheap eats: Tacos Tierra Caliente food truck at the West Alabama Ice House is my obvious answer for a "cheap eats" spot. I can walk there. Everything they make is delicious, but I recommend you try the lengua tacos. 

Vegetarian: I fell in love with a vegetarian restaurant, Shri Balaji Bhavan, a few weeks ago and have been back several times since.

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Mai Pham is a contributing freelance food writer and food critic for the Houston Press whose adventurous palate has taken her from Argentina to Thailand and everywhere in between -- Peru, Spain, Hong Kong and more -- in pursuit of the most memorable bite. Her work appears in numerous outlets at the local, state and national level, where she is also a luxury travel correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.
Contact: Mai Pham