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Talking About Tex-Mex in Old Mexico

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I’ll be attending the Foro Parallelo Monterrey this week. I’m giving a talk on chili con carne and its role in Tex-Mex to the gastronomic conference. Should be amusing! Come see.

Chili Americana: Landmark Chili Parlors

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Opened in 1958 in a former theater at 1213 U Street, Ben’s is a Washington D.C. landmark and an icon of the golden age of chili parlors. Ben’s signature dish, the original chili half-smoke, is a quarter-pound link of the griddled sausage on a steamed bun, with mustard, onions and chili sauce. The [...]

A Food Lover’s Guide to Food Lover’s Guides

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While we were working on the Food Lover’s Guide to Houston at Houstonia Magazine, I fondly recalled my first purchases of Patricia Wells’ Food Lover’s Guide to Paris (1984), and Food Lover’s Guide to France (1987). Those two wildly successful guidebooks created a genre that inspired dozens of “Food Lover’s Guides” to various places [...]

FTX Symposium

[View the story "Recap: FM 2014" on Storify]

FTX Symposium

[View the story "Food and Thought: FM 2014" on Storify]

Juneteenth

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From Juneteenth at Mama Sugar’sGastronaut blog at Houstoniamag.com

The food is one reason why the Juneteenth BBQ at Mama Sugar’s little horse ranch just south of Pearland on Trammel-Fresno Road is one my favorite parties of the year. This is where I first met photographer O Rufus Lovett while we were both working on [...]

Shipley’s Boudin Kolaches

Homespun Houston: Robb Walsh from Contemporary Arts Museum Houston on Vimeo.

Praise for Texas Eats!

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A new review of Texas Eats by Mick Vann appeared in the Austin Chronicle today:

Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook by Robb Walsh Ten Speed Press, 304 pp., $25

“For 20 years or more, food writer and culinary historian Robb Walsh has branded himself as the culinary expert on all things [...]

The Ramen Tsunami: Tatsu-ya Austin

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Tatsu-ya Ramen has taken Austin by storm. Rumor has it the owners will soon launch a second location in Houston. Here’s a few impressions from a recent visit to the Austin ramen hot spot.

Saturday Ramen

By  Katie Walsh

Early on a Saturday night, the line at Tatsu-ya is manageable. We seem to [...]

Dining with Dad: The Pass, Taste-By-Taste

By guest blogger Katie Walsh

I spent some time in Houston with my dad On A Meat Mission, to learn about meat and how it’s cooked. Over the next several weeks we’ll be sharing recipes and tales from our meaty adventures.

A few weeks ago, I was oblivious to the French-style “tasting menu” trend sweeping the restaurant scene. Riding around Houston with Dad, he broke it down for me (as he does in this month’s Houstonia review of his birthday dinner at Tony’s); its degustation origins, its surge in popularity, its delights, and the outcries it’s inspired. On this night, he’d made reservations for just the two of us at the tasting menu half of Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan’s The Pass & Provisions.

 

As we walked through Provisions to get to The Pass, I couldn’t help noticing that the former seemed like the place to be. Big groups, lots of laughter, colorful outfits and characters. The hostess pushed all of her weight into the far wall as we followed and it gave, an entire solid section sliding back like a hidden passageway, revealing the entrance to the quieter, dimmer, intimate dining room of The Pass.

The first morsel to hit our table was an off-menu amuse-bouche, a wildly shaped dehydrated shrimp chip served in a rough stone pedestal, like an artwork. Translucent and flecked with bits of Japanese shichimi togarashi spice and black sesame seed, it burst with flavor and then almost melted in the mouth.

Then the tasting officially began. We each went with the full eight-course menu.

1. “Snacks”

Oyster on the half shell, simple and clean with a vibrant mignonette and small sprig of fennel; Old Fashioned cocktail “foie gras” (“It’s like a jello shot!” said Dad) and a Pocky stick coated in white chocolate and dehydrated black olive, which worked way better than I expected, sweet and salty and crunchy.

The standout of this course was a warm, pureed shot of green soup topped with a hearty dose of orange foam, made from nasturtium—all the way from its green leaves to its orange flowers. Herbal, floral, beautifully spiced and a lovely taste of comfort next to all the snacks. I took baby sips of mine, savoring every bit.

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