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Traveling Table: Houston

Gulf Coast gastronomy goes global
Tasting Table
Ryan Pera of Revival Market | Pondicheri | Melange Creperie

It's time to reveal a secret: Despite its diverse and thriving food scene, Houston has largely flown under the national radar--but no longer if we can help it. Here are four new restaurants that offer clear proof that Houston is coming into its own.

El Real After months of anticipation, the old theater on Westheimer has reopened as a Tex-Mex throwback as interpreted by wunderkind chef Bryan Caswell and former food critic Robb Walsh. Stop by for a tomato-flecked bowl of queso, a stacked enchilada with chili con carne or a fully loaded plate of tacos al carbon. After dinner, head upstairs for a tour of Tex-Mex memorabilia.

Revival Market The new Revival Market is a temple of local eats. Find humanely raised meats, farmstead cheeses, seasonal produce and delicious prepared foods such as meat loaf and the Revival dog, a house-made Mangalitsa pork hot dog with chicharrones and green-tomato relish on a pretzel bun.
 
Pondicheri The team behind Indika, a Houston stalwart, is bringing classic Indian street food indoors at this new café. Enjoy menu items such as saag paneer samosas, goat biryani and a rotating daily dal in the gorgeous jewel-toned space. And soon, you'll be able to take it to go in a shiny stacked tiffin that's perfect for return visits.
 
Melange Creperie Sean Carroll, the man behind this roving cart, fell in love with crêpes while honeymooning in Paris. He then taught himself to make them with the help of YouTube videos. His ever-changing menu includes such recent specials as local strawberries with Meyer lemon curd, Bosc pear with goat cheese and chard, and ham and egg with Gruyère.
  • Traveling Table: Houston

    El Real, the new Tex-Mex joint from chef Bryan Caswell and former food critic Robb Walsh, is housed in an old theater on Westheimer Road.

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Dishes like chili con carne and cheese enchiladas (pictured) are must-orders.

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Chef Ryan Pera mans the meat slicer at Revival Market, a temple of local food products.

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Shoppers peruse house-made and local items at Revival Market; tables line the sidewalk in front of the store for those looking to stay for breakfast or lunch. (Photo: Debora Smail)

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Revival Market's pickled broccoli. (Photo: Debora Smail)

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    As part of the charcuterie program, Pera makes coppa from Mangalitsa pork. (Photo: Debora Smail)

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    At Pondicheri, the menu takes inspiration from traditional Indian street food, with dishes like this tikka masala wrap. (Photo: Gary Wise)

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Those looking to try multiple things should opt for a thali, which offers up to five small dishes. (Photo: Gary Wise)

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    Sean Carroll is a one-man crêpe-making machine: Stop by his roving cart, Melange Creperie, for one of his signature creations.

  • Traveling Table: Houston

    The crêpe menu rotates to incorporate seasonal ingredients, and features both sweet crêpes and savory options, like the one pictured here.

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El Real Tex Mex 1201 Westheimer Rd. Houston TX 77006 713-524-1201 Revival Market 550 Heights Blvd. Houston TX 77007 713-880-8463 Pondicheri 2800 Kirby St. Ste. B132 Houston TX 77098 713-522-2022 Melange Creperie 400 Westheimer Rd. Houston TX 77027
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