A Thanksgiving Wish: My Dee Dee's Pie Shop Still Needs Help

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by Mai Pham
Help is needed if more pies like these are to make their way into Houstonian hands.

Almost exactly a year ago, My Dee Dee's Pie Shoppe on West Gulf Bank burned to the ground. Owner Bella-Katherine Curtis's home was connected to the shop as well. It was not insured. Out of 8,000 square feet, 5,000 burned.

Looters quickly ransacked the place, taking anything they could that was portable and of any value.

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Triniti's New Seasonal Menu a Lovely, Leisurely Taste of Fall

Photos by Christina Uticone
Tomato soup with pimento kolache and eggplant jam is the opening dish on Triniti's new Vegetarian Tasting Menu.
Every meal at Triniti makes an impact. From a dinner with coworkers, to cocktails with girlfriends, to an anniversary brunch with out-of-town family, each meal exceeds the last in both beauty and flavor. We've never left the table at Triniti without a newcomer commenting on the lovely décor, and welcoming atmosphere. So when Chef Ryan Hildebrand added a seasonal tasting menu to the mix--one featuring fall's best vegetables--the invitation to preview the dishes couldn't be passed up.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Wine Fest, Tamales and Free Pizza for Life!

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Francisco Montes
Last year, Pi Pizza turned away more than 100 people looking to cash in on their tattoo/free pizza for life deal.
Cigar & Whiskey Dinner @ Sullivan's Steakhouse
Friday, 7 p.m.
4608 Westheimer

Enjoy a three-course menu perfectly paired with Herman Marshall whiskey and Padron's signature 1926 cigar this Friday at Sullivan's. The extravagant meal -- featuring whiskey-paired steak tartare and quail over jalapeño polenta -- is $75 per guest (plus tax & tip). Call 713-961-0333 for reservations.

Japan Food Festival @ University of St. Thomas
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
3800 Montrose

Feast beyond raw and rice as you celebrate Japanese culture through tastes from vendors such asKubo's Sushi Bar & Grill, Asahi Beer and Takara Sake alongside live music and dancing. Proceeds benefit the U.S. Japan Studies Initiative at the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies. Check here for more details.

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Upcoming Events: Christmastime at Texas Ren Fest and More

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Molly Dunn
Head to Ren Fest for turkey legs, pumpkin pie, and holiday cheer.
Rice Village's Café Rabelais will be hosting a Burgundy Dinner on Monday, November 24 at 7 p.m. The event will feature an elegant French-inspired meal paired with Burgundy wines from Domaine Manuel Oliver ($95 per person plus tax and gratuity). See caferabelais.com for more details and to make reservations.

It's almost Christmastime at the Texas Renaissance Festival! Every weekend, the fair takes on a new theme and on November 28 through November 30, that theme is the Celtic Christmas. In addition to holiday-inspired costumes, hot spiced mead, and festive fare all weekend long, there will be a Candy Cane Hunt throughout the festival grounds. On Sunday at 4 p.m., there's even a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest held at the New Market Music Gazebo. Be sure to come hungry if you dare to try!

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Openings & Closings: Is the Old Stella Sola Location Cursed?

Categories: Restaurant News

Thumbnail image for stella-sola-4.6530205.131.jpg
Photo by Troy Fields
At the rate things are going, Stella Sola may be the last restaurant name to grace the building at 1001 Studewood.

Will there ever be a restaurant at 1001 Studewood Street again? The building, which was originally constructed to house Robert Gadsby's Bedford in 2008, has sat vacant since subsequent tenant Stella Sola closed in May 2012. There were plans for a while for it to be a second Killen's Steakhouse location, but negotiations fell through. Now, Eater Houston is reporting that the folks behind Yucatan Taco Stand have changed their minds about using that space as well. Perhaps it's time to just rethink that building and start over?

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Doc's Motorworks Westheimer Offers Quality Bar Food and Drink in a Unique Venue

Photo by Kelli Durham
The outside of Doc's Motorworks Westheimer. This shot covers less than half of the spacious patio.
Doc's, a small chain started in Austin with three locations, has expanded to Houston. Last night, there was a soft opening at Doc's Motorworks Westheimer with food, drinks and a staff ready to answer questions about their new restaurant.

The decor was labeled as a "DYI" aesthetic: Much of the bar's inside is decorated in wood and tin; at least some of the wood, repurposed from an old barn. Some of the tables and seating in one section were handmade, the seats designed from old oil barrels, and the tables from spindles. It's a neat twist on the more wood-and-metal, industrial-throwback aesthetic seen in other relatively new bars and coffeehouses around town.

The seating available at the location that was formerly home to a Wendy's is surprisingly large. It's aided by a deceptively large patio that wraps around three (well, more like two and a half) sides of the bar. When the weather permits, the large glass doors can open to let fresh air in, similar to how the "indoor" space opens directly to the outside at, say, Cottonwood. Eventually, they'll be offering more bar games, such as shuffleboard and a life-size Connect Four.

For sports fans, televisions are plentiful and the sound system is set up in a way that different sections of the bar are supposed to be able to have sound from different games.

Of course, decor is nice, but it means little if the food and drink isn't of a piece. And Doc's is impressive in that regard, not only for the sheer variety of the options, but for their quality.

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Chef Chat, Part 2: Joe Cervantez of Killen's Steakhouse

Categories: Chef Chat

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Chef Joe Cervantez carefully places slices of Ronnie Killen's famous brisket atop a white bean cassoulet.

After four-and-a-half years at Brennan's of Houston, Joe Cervantez made a bold move, accepting an executive chef position at Killen's Steakhouse in Pearland.

Yesterday in Part 1 of our Chef Chat, we talked with him about his very early start in restaurants and what it was like to work in a hotel. In Part 2 we'll find out how that came about, his seasonal focus and one of the advantages of being in Pearland. Also, and perhaps most importantly, we'll discover how he plans to incorporate the seasonal, produce-driven perspective he learned at Brennan's into Killen's popular, meat-centric menu.

EOW: How did you end up coming to Killen's as an executive chef?

JC: I got a phone call one day. I wasn't looking for a job or looking to go anywhere. I was happy learning and continuing to build Brennan's up. I'd just come back from vacation and on my first day back, I get a text message from Ronnie Killen. It said, "Hey, call me when you get a chance." I'm thinking he needed a reservation for somebody, so I called him back and said, "Hey, how are you? What's going on?" He said, "Hey, how are you? I don't know if you've heard, but I have an executive chef position available. I've heard a lot of good things about you. I know you've been at Brennan's for quite some time. You're the man I want to come over and be executive chef. We can sit down and talk about this position I'm offering you." I said, "Absolutely," so we set up a date and time.

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A Sanctuari for More Than Cocktails

Categories: Bar Beat

Photo by Phaedra Cook
It's easy to see why this is named "Aquarium." A layer of Wagyu tallow supports tiny purple cauliflower florets, frisée, a few salmon roe and staves of in-house made gherkins, dividing them from the creamy, savory panna cotta of smoked Chilean sea bass at the bottom of the glass.

More often these days, when I'm looking for a happy hour or a hangout, my thoughts are turning to Triniti. More accurately, I'm seeking Sanctuari, where the food is atypically luxurious for a bar setting.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours Near Highland Village

Photo by Troy Fields
This handsome bar has all-American class.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week -- since many of these fell outside the scope of our neighboring lists -- we're moving on to the bars and resto's around Highland Village.

Honorable Mention: $8 happy hour pizzas at Capone's, which is moving to a new location in Upper Kirby soon (the last day in current location is November 29).

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This Week In Food Blogs: High Marks for Main Kitchen

Categories: Leftovers

Photo by Phaedra Cook
The guajillo short rib tacos at Main Kitchen got a perfect rating over at the CocoDijon blog.
During this week, where Houston has hit near-freezing temperatures night after night, a tray full of barbeque ribs looks very friendly indeed. But who wants to stand out in the cold and mind the grill or smoker?

Manuel de la Mora of "Where's My Gravy" comes to the rescue with his detailed instructions on making a tray full of barbequed ribs in the oven. Step-by-step photos are provided as well and it comes just in time for all those holiday potlucks on the horizon.

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