002houston August 10:002houston 7/21/10 2:28 PM Page 66
A NEW ERA 1. Pancake Breakfast served with 2 eggs and bacon 2. Byrd’s market interior 3. Grilled Salmon 4. Byrd’s market order window
dine write By Beatrice Valencia Photography by Michelle Watson
Byrd’s Market & Cafe 420 Main St. (main at prairie) Houston, TX 77002 | 713.225.0100 www.byrdsmarket.com
HouRS: Monday-Friday 7am-9pm Saturday-Sunday 8:30am-6pm
sample menu selections
appetizers + snacks • Queso!- gooey melted cheese topped with gua camole and served with homemade tortilla chips • Sweet Potato Fries- served with a selection of dipping sauces, BBQ, plum balsamic, apple molasses aioli and white cheddar cheese
salads • Avocado Salad- crisp romaine with roasted anchovy avocado dressing, queso fresco and toasty garlic croutons • BBQ Salad- rotisserie chicken, radish, red onion and mixed greens in a BBQ vinaigrette
HIS MARKET/CAFÉ IS NO DELI OR CAFETERIA! ALTHOUGH ORDERING IS COUNTER SERVICE STYLE, YOU’LL FIND THE QUALITY OF DINING IS SUPERB GOURMET RESTAURANT QUALITY. IT’S CHEF DRIVEN, CASUAL DINING BUT THERE’S NO REASON THEY SHOULDN’T BE ON YOUR RADAR. IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN (OR NEED AN EXCUSE), THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN THE NEED FOR SOMETHING NEW.
Many of you dine downtown, whether it’s during the workweek for lunch or for dinner before the theatre. There is no doubt that your dining options are mundane. This is usually where I would name a few but why draw away from the diamond in the rough. The charming historical space has seating on its second level, street level and patio seating along the sidewalk. The Market is set up with wire metal racks holding various household items downtown dwellers need from washing detergent to olive oil to freshly baked breads, pastries, wine and specialty items.
• S.P.L.A.T.- sprouts, Portobello, avocado and tomato with a touch of pesto • Join the Byrd’s Club- turkey, ham, homemade bacon, fried green tomato, arugula and white cheddar piled strategically between 3 slices of bread slathered with creole honey mustard
At the helm of the kitchen is CHEF MARLIES WASTERVAL. Her creations are gourmet, delicious. The quality of produce, meat, fish is beyond what you would expect from this market and café. It’s surprisingly, delightfully good. Almost too good to share!
I stopped in for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon and found myself on their patio, a couple hours later, sipping delicious chardonnay and enjoying an outstanding skirt steak. Naturally, my visit began with lunch dishes and ended with dinner entrées. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone on this visit.
• Half Rotisserie Chicken- with grilled pear, romaine hearts and goat cheese drizzled with a light pesto sauce • Grilled Salmon- served with apple pancetta crumble and lemon scented orzo
66. august 10 | www.002mag.com
After scanning the menu, the smoked tuna club sandwich caught my attention. I had no idea what to expect so I figured this was the way to go. Would it be a filet of tuna or ground tuna like what you find in canned tuna? No clue, but I was intrigued. But to start, we went with the hummus of the day, sweet chili hummus. We settled into our table outside and took in Downtown when we were served this deep bowl of yummy goodness. The sweet chili hummus was subtle so it didn’t stray far from the original. Little specks of chilies peppered the hummus that came in a smaller bowl nestled in the center of mini fried bread triangles. Yes, fried bread! In olive oil nonetheless – it was awesome! The crunch and flavor is crazy. Never would I have imagined frying bread but with the hummus it was an inventive twist to pita bread. Not wanting to overindulge on this pleasant appetizer, I put the fried bread goodness down and waited for my sandwich. And then it arrived. FOUR TRIPLE STACKED SANDWICH TRIANGLES WITH THE UNCANNIEST FLAVOR I’VE EVER TASTED. The smoked tuna is made in-house, as are most meats. They grind it, so it resembles canned tuna in texture, and
Health + Fitness Issue