Someone get Guy Fieri on the phone, because Houston Press critic Katharine Shilcutt may have hit upon a genius new television concept in this week's review of Facundo Cafe — the Car Wash Gourmet. Tiny Facundo is attached to and serves a car wash, but as Shilcutt describes, the chefs "rise above their location, rise above the low expectations and the shticky gimmick."
Though the burger patties are occasionally "tough around the edges and dry where they should be moist," the fries pre-made and the croissants "border[ing] on inedible," the housemade salsa is addictive, and it's "the combination of the roasted and fresh salsas that makes it so deeply flavored." Chef Danny Harper, a "caffeinated Buddha" with "a face like an open door," previously worked with the Mandolas and the Pappas family before taking it upon himself to create burgers, sandwiches and breakfast tacos that could easily be "bowling alley-style," but are decidedly better.
Over at Culturemap, Sarah Rufca believes that Kevin Naderi's new Roost is "everything good about foodie haunts, minus (most of) the pretension."
The wine list is probably the "best reasonably priced collection in town," while the bread service, a changing Slow Dough creation, is "somewhat brilliant in its simplicity" and best with foie gras butter. The roasted cauliflower "seems likely to become Naderi's signature dish," although the traditional entrees such as the flat-iron steak and seared scallops were weaker.
Ultimately, "combination of beautifully made, modern comfort food, global flavors, affordable wine and a warm, laid-back ambience" make Roost a huge draw.
· A Wash and A Burger [Houston Press]
·Foodie flavors minus the pretension: Buzzed over Roost [Culturemap]
·All Week in Reviews on Eater Houston [EHOU]