This week Houston Press critic Katharine Shilcutt reviews new Oak Forest pizza restaurant That Pizza Place on Ella. Meanwhile, CultureMap's Sarah Rufca pays a visit to the new juice bar at vegetarian-oriented Roots Bistro. On the blogs, the creatively named HTownFoodie gets his jerk chicken on at Jamaica House, and Urban Swank heads to the Galleria to sample White Oak Kitchen and Drinks.
Shilcutt thoroughly enjoyed her visits to That Pizza Place. In a space that used to be a Double Dave's, owners Kelly Weddel, Brett Robinson and Kirk Robinson have created a space so devoted to its neighborhood that they let their customers submit ideas for the restaurant's name. The only traces of the old restaurant are the wooden booths, pepperoni rolls and pizza buffet. Most importantly, the owners improved on the Double Dave's crust and sauce, which Shilcutt finds "bore no trace of the sickly-sweet red sauce so often found on Double Dave's pizzas." Another winning addition is That Pizza Place's selection of craft beers, which numbers up to 90 between bottled and draft selections. In an accompanying blog post, Shilcutt notes that's even more variety than Petrol Station, the Oak Forest bar known for having one of the city's best beer selections. The only demerit comes from "oddly sweet pepperoni rolls," which may be a holdover from the Double Dave's days.
Although it just opened, Rufca seems fairly impressed with Roots Bistro's new juice bar. Since the restaurant doesn't serve lunch, the juice bar is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. While the juice bar tries to maintain the restaurant's commitment to locally sourced ingredients, items such as pineapple come from a little farther away. Despite many ingredients appearing in multiple drinks, Rufca writes that she "was impressed how divergent the final products were." She cites the Liquid Sunshine and Cuke as two favorites. She even liked the hemp seed-laced It's Legal. Although she finds the smoothies a little pricey at seven bucks each, she passes along chef German Mosquera's assurances that the health benefits are worth the expense.
THE BLOGS: HTownFoodie visits Jamaica House on Westheimer past the Galleria, where the chef once worked for Jamaica's Prime Minister. The blogger finds the Jammin Jerk Chicken to be "truly inspiring" with a "velvety sauce [that] starts off lightly sweet and finishes off with a well balanced spice level." The only negatives are a staff that isn't trained to recommend sides and a chocolate cake that should have been served warm rather than cold in the middle. Urban Swank pays a visit to White Oak Kitchen and Drinks, which they find to be that rare restaurant located inside a mall that's worth fighting the Galleria's parking nightmare to patronize. Although the menu was "a little on the pricey side" and she didn't enjoy her mac and cheese, blogger Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones appreciated the menu's diversity. She gives a special nod to both their margaritas and the pad thai she sampled.
All The Week In Reviews on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]
White Oak Kitchen and Drinks: The Food Court Alternative [Urban Swank]
Jamaica House: Keep on Jerkin' It [HTownFoodie]
Who needs Starbucks? New juice bar looks to transform the way Houston looks at drinks [CultureMap]
Carbs and Karbach at That Pizza Place on Ella [Houston Press]
Creative Pizza and Crafty Pints at That Pizza Place On Ella [Eating Our Words]
The Patio at That Pizza on Ella[The Pizza Place on Ella/Facebook]