5 Food Trends to Watch For in Houston

Categories: Top Five

108_2.jpg
F*** yeah, gourmet donuts.
Eater ran a list yesterday of 10 food trends that are -- at least in New York City -- officially dead. Among them included the obvious (the gastropub), the non-events (pie as the new cupcakes, which still hasn't happened) and the debatable (I'm pretty sure Houstonians will continue to eat banh mi like nobody's business).

What was more interesting was viewing the list through the lens of a Houston diner. Two trends on the DOA list -- American comfort food and gastropubs -- are alive and well at establishments such as BRC and Hearsay. And Tiki anything is just starting to make its way here; will the Tiki trend in Houston die on the vine? It's hard to tell.

Just as difficult to predict are the food trends that will filter down to Houston from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the world over. Houstonians are a finicky bunch, as Mai Pham just noted earlier today. And trends that might bowl crowds over elsewhere -- the emergence of Nordic cuisine, for example -- might never be more than a blip on the radar here.

Here are five food trends, in increasing order of likeliness, that we think might have a shot at making a splash in the Bayou City.

4810100660_087226b82e_z.jpg
Photo by Rosalyn Davis
Dessert from Bolat African Cuisine in Chicago.
5. African food

As recently noted in our post about brunch at Peppersoup Cafe, Houston has a massive African population. Although it's predominately West African, we also have a handful of excellent Ethiopian restaurants as well, which are finally becoming more and more mainstream as people discover the rich, full flavors of African cooking -- and discover that it's not as frighteningly "exotic" as they may have thought. Marcus Samuelsson is busy bringing upscale, haute African cuisine to New York City, much in the same way Anita Jaisinghani has successfully done here with Indian food. What Houston needs is someone to bridge the gap between our small-scale African restaurants and a big, powerful, creative yet accessible restaurant that could showcase Nigerian or Ghanian or Ethiopian food to the masses.

4. Gourmet donuts

This trend sounds stupid, and that's because it sort of is. It's just as faddish as the whole cupcake trend. But that doesn't mean it won't find some traction here. They're portable and inexpensive, like cupcakes should be. And gourmet donuts -- like the tres leches and peanut butter with blackberry jelly flavors at Doughnut Plant in New York -- are an even more expressive medium than cupcakes, as it's somewhat easier to accept a savory donut than it is a savory cupcake. It also gives our pastry chefs room to expand their offerings at restaurants and bakeries; I'd love to see a lentil flour donut with a samosa-type filling or a light lavender donut filled with lemon curd for the summer. And considering that Houston is already a focal point for kolaches of all types -- boudin-stuffed kolache, anyone? -- gourmet donuts aren't that much of a stretch.


My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Clumsy Plumsy
Clumsy Plumsy

Hmm didn't Marcus Samuelsson's pan-african Merkato 55 go bankrupt a year or two ago, going out as a total fiasco? Maybe I'm wrong... (and I'm not sure if it had to do with the cuisine or not)

Mike
Mike

I'm ready for the slider and cupcake trend to go away

CameronByars
CameronByars

Oddly enough, I've eaten at an African place in New Orleans of all places. It was quite tasty and interesting.

limb rushbaugh
limb rushbaugh

I've had Voodoo Dounts. They're not that great.And what about CAKE POPS!?

AlexanderF
AlexanderF

Tiki die on the vine? Paging Brittanie. 

laurenmacqueen
laurenmacqueen

Plonk is in Oak Forest. If you want to debate me on this, I will kick your Garden Oaks ass. (But seriously, it is.)

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I guess this is why they serve GOOF Balls. (Seriously, they're really good.)

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

I'm ALL for the Pop-up restaurants. I so want to get in on one!!!

Michael Enak
Michael Enak

I was intrigued by the slab of alligator ribs shown on MvF last night.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Love the Dinosaur BBQ shout out Katharine! I went to college in Rochester - yes, Dinosaur! (You can get the Dinosaur BBQ line of sauces right at HEB, people. Try the Wango Tango - yum.)

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I was so happy to see those sauces crop up here. I once took a carry-on bag home, filled with bottles of Dinosaur's BBQ sauces.

Stacy Zane
Stacy Zane

I was just in NY and saw that Doughnut Plant. But something else I saw was Baked by Melissa - quarter-sized cupcakes! I know the last thing we need is another cupcake trend but I was really into them! They're so teeny tiny and you can sample a lot of flavors without feeling like a complete fat ass. Check it out on my NY recap: http://cherriesjewbilee.blogsp...

Chuck
Chuck

I don't know if gourmet donuts will be, or need to be, a trend—just as we don't need a mediocre cupcake shop every other block...

But all you have to do is visit Gourdough's truck in Austin, and you will be a gourmet donut believer.

CameronByars
CameronByars

A friend of mine sent me pictures of Gourdough's when she went. Looked delish!!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...