R.I.P.: A Toast to the Restaurants We'll Miss the Most
While toasts are usually reserved for happier events or for New Year's Eve, we thought it appropriate to toast the dearly departed restaurants which closed this past year, wishing those who had to close them future successes and the wind at their backs:
Photo by Robb Walsh Alas! No more salchi-burgers from Brisa Cocina Mexicana.
To all we love who are not here, to them we drink this Christmas cheer.
Without further ado or sappiness, here are the restaurants that were gone too soon, those that we'll miss the most in 2011 and beyond. Please leave your own remembrances in the comments section below if we missed any of your favorites.
7668 De Moss Drive
There are only a handful of Ethiopian restaurants in Houston, far fewer than, say, Dallas or D.C. And it's a damn shame, as it's one of the best cuisines on earth, even if it's criminally underappreciated. You heard me. When Addisaba closed, it was a blow to the small Ethiopian dining scene, but the silver lining is that another great place opened to fill the void: Sheba Cafe.
Bailey's American Grille
2320 NAZA Parkway, Seabrook
The spectacular implosion of Bailey's American Grille and the ensuing news coverage was probably the most salacious restaurant news story of the year. Owner Brad Bailey was accused by employees, customers and contractors of mishandling money and failing to meet financial obligations of just about nearly every kind. And during all of this brouhaha, Bailey had the chutzpah to announce plans for a brand new restaurant on the Kemah waterfront.
Brisa Cocina Mexicana
5161 San Felipe
The recipient of a spot on Robb Walsh's 100 best Houston dishes list for its majestic salchi-burger, Brisa sadly closed in July. Both the burger and the fabulous Sunday brunch will be mightily missed.
800 West Sam Houston Parkway
Although I was usually one of the only people inside the extraordinarily beautiful Cafe Rose, enjoying a cappuccino and a baked good of some variety (and, yes, this should have been a sign), I adored the cozy cafe that was a little sister to Bistro Alex upstairs. Even coffee king David Buehrer approved of the place and its lattes. It closed last month to make way for Bistro Bar, a cocktail companion to the upstairs restaurant, which is a shame. West Houston -- and City Centre -- has plenty of bars, but hardly any elegant nooks to enjoy a well-crafted cup of coffee.
512 West 19th Street
This lovely little bakery in the Heights was the product of two sisters -- Sara and RaeMarie Villar -- who were fourth-generation Heights residents that had always hoped to open a neighborhood sweet shop. Sara, a pastry chef who graduated from Houston's Culinary Institute LeNotre, had previously worked at Rao's, and her desserts were a hit in the Heights. Sadly, it closed after being open less than a year.