Houston Power Outage Outrage — and How Houston Restaurants Stepped Up
There are Still Places to Eat Amid the Freezing ColdBY Chris Baldwin // 02.16.21
Winter Storm Uri and the power grid failure left many Texans in the dark and in debt.
B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
The Burger Joint in Montrose opened on Tuesday amid the Texas power debacle, taking to-go orders.
The Annie Cafe & Bar is Benjamin Berg and Robert Del Grande at their absolute finest.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon (shown) and Tiffany Derry's Roots Southern Table in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch receive James Beard Award semi-finalist honors for Best New Restaurant. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
The fourth largest city in America getting all but completely shutdown by a quarter of an inch of ice — and inept power system management and infrastructure — is a reality that should haunt Texas’ leaders long beyond this historic cold snap. Still, a drive around the city on Tuesday showed that Houstonians are doing what they can to deal with the horrific conditions they’ve been stuck with.
As usual, Houston restaurants were among the first to step up.
A select number of restaurants opened, providing a needed food source for some stunned and hurting residents. Pepperoni’s in Montrose had a line of people stretching across its parking lot, waiting in the cold to order. With many in the line just thankful they could do it. The Burger Joint in Montrose also had a line into the parking lot for to-go orders.
Downtown, the Subway on Main Street was open — and the two employees working dealt with the longer than usual lines efficiently with a good cheer that did not seem forced. This Subway even took online orders — a rarity in the first few days of this power disaster.
Over by Discovery Green, Hilton Americas-Houston’s had its lobby Starbucks open till 4 pm and its lobby bar open from 4 pm till close t0 midnight. The system was not as good here. Getting food from the lobby bar — the only hot food restaurant open in the hotel — required standing in a packed together line for close to two hours just to order to-go food. Then, after waiting for two hours in the enclosed space in COVID times simply to place an order, people would get their food another few hours later.
Still, this was one of the few places open at all on Monday night. Sometimes, spots deserve points for even trying.
Like the Target on Sawyer that blocked off its entire fresh produce and refrigerated foods area and shut off many of the store lights, but still allowed shoppers to purchase non-perishable snack items, extra blankets for their beyond cold homes, etc…
Thankfully, many more restaurants are planning to open on Wednesday and stay open. These include:
Tacos A Go Go
Both the TC Jester and Shell Plaza locations plan to open at 7 am if they can. If the weather is too bad, those opening times may be delayed by a few hours.
The Westheimer hangout will open at 11 am.
This Studewood spot has set a 3 pm opening time for its restaurant and bar.
The Annie Cafe and Bar
This Ben Berg reimagined iconic spot will be open for dine-in only.
Open for dine in and takeout.
The Montrose location of these pizza favorites will be open for carryout. There was a short line outside the door on Tuesday afternoon.
If you’re somehow craving an ice cream treat during an ice storm, The Heights’ Fat Cat will be there for you.
If sushi is on your mind, this restaurant opens at 11:30 am for takeout or delivery.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster Spot
For those who can easily get there, this San Leon seafood retreat is a somewhat unexpected yes. It’s even largely serving its usual menu.
This innovative Indian restaurant in Upper Kirby is open from 11 am to 4 pm for takeout only — with payment by cash only. Pondicheri is offering a limited menu, but you can get dishes such as masla grilled cheese and uppma and eggs.
More Open Houston Restaurants
Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys
Avondale Food & Wine
Christian’s Tailgate — Heights and Midtown
Cuchara — takeout only
Down the Street
The Fish The ‘401 Table and Tap — takeout only
Harold’s in the Heights
Houston Sauce Pit
Jasmine Asian Cuisine
La Calle Tacos
Liberty Kitchen — River Oaks
Millie’s Kitchen & Cocktails
New York Deli and Coffee Shop
Roostar Vietnamese Grill
The Union Kitchen
Toulouse Cafe & Bar
Turkey Leg Hut
Twisted Grilled Cheese
Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage — takeout only
Stay tuned for further updates. After all, no one should have to wait in a two hour plus line of cars for Burger King or Popeye’s. Unless they’re doing it to pass time while staying warm in their car. Then, any wait’s all right.