We’ll close out the year by looking at some year-end lists. The Press in particular ran a pair of lists that shows what a time of transition, and, if it’s not too grandiose a word, even growth, that we’re living through here in our food world.
The first was Katharine Shilcutt’s blog on the “Biggest Grocery Store” openings of the year. The list includes the remodeled Disco Kroger, the new HEB Mi Tienda, and the new HEB Montrose, which would have topped such lists in ordinary years. The fact that the game-changing downtown Phoenicia only came in second shows what a year this has been in local food culture.
Shilcutt chose Revival Market as number one. We suppose you can debate which is the “bigger” opening, Revival or Phoenicia. What’s really remarkable is how different the two are, and how each represents a different branch of Houston food culture. Phoenicia is international and cosmopolitan, while Revival is intensely local. A year which saw either one of these places open would be a happy one. To have both open within a few months of each other (with Georgia's downtown waiting in the wings) is simply remarkable.
But that’s only half of the good news locally. Another Shilcutt blog lists the most anticipated restaurants of the upcoming year. The names are already familiar. The list includes Underbelly, Uchi, Conāt, Oxheart, along with other restaurants; coffee houses Blacksmith and Southside Espresso, and the craft beer nirvana that Hay Merchant promises to be. This is without doubt the most exciting array of new restaurants that any single year has ever brought to the city.
We have a lot to look forward to. Happy New Year.