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French Boulangerie / Charcuterie / Boucherie in Houston

swhitt Oct 8, 2010 10:58 AM

Hey all,
I've been a lurker for a while and finally decided to create an account as I'm moving to Houston next week. Is there any chance I'll be able to get French-style baguettes, charcuterie and pâtés in Houston? I know they're available in NYC but I'd love to be able to enjoy them in Houston.

Thanks!
Steve

  1. b
    brucesw Oct 21, 2010 10:55 PM

    Have you checked out French Riviera Bakery on Chimney Rock, just north of Richmond, for baguettes? I've never lived in France so can't compare but theirs are not as crusty, dense and chewy as others I've had. I know they sell them but I mainly go for the sandwiches, my favorites being the mortadella with pistachio and the pate de campagne. I've never tried the baguettes at WF or CM; the idea of a great baguette at any sort of supermarket just doesn't compute for me.

    As far as banh mi shops, the baguettes also seem to vary from thicker, heftier, tougher crust, chewier texture to much less so. Two shops I like on the far west side in New China Town are Tan Ba Le Baguettes and Fast Food, Beechnut at Boone outside the Loop, and Paris Sandwich Cafe, on Bellaire 2 blocks east of Gessner, but try the banh mi shops closest to you before driving all the way across town.

    I know Tan Ba Le sells their baguettes (22', 6 oz, $1) separately but I'm not sure about Paris.

    As far as New Orleans Po'boy rolls, the best I've had are at Calliope, on Jefferson, East of 59, downtown.

    -----
    Paris Sandwich Cafe
    8282 Bellaire Blvd Ste 137, Houston, TX 77036

    Tan Ba Le Baguette
    11169 Beechnut St Ste L, Houston, TX 77072

    1. m
      MrTuffy Oct 11, 2010 12:44 PM

      Most places Vietnamese or not in Houston that have great sandwiches on french style rolls use a roll from a little bakery in River Oaks neighborhood called Royal Bakery. They make primarily one type of bread and make a ton of it every day packaged in brown kraft bags that get shipped out to delis and restaurants all over town. I think it's only available to restaurants, I'm not sure, but if you have a great poboy/banh mi/sub around town, it's likely Royal Bakery's bread.

      1. s
        superluckycat Oct 11, 2010 11:00 AM

        Chez Nous in Humble, which is right near IAH, so sort of not convenient to downtown but the food is worth it. Their charcuterie plate has delicious pate, duck rillette, some other cured meats, etc. And their french bread rolls and butter are delicious. That plate was the only thing I ever painfully craved when I was pregnant and would be one of the top reasons I could never be 100% vegetarian. That whole restaurant is a gem but the location keeps it off the radar. Monday nights the wine list is half off.

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        Chez Nous
        217 S Avenue G, Humble, TX 77338

        1. m
          mjust Oct 10, 2010 05:11 PM

          Not sure if you are more interested in restaurants or grocery-type places -- I tend to have this type of thing more when I am out at restaurants, so won't be much help on the latter.

          I had some really nice pâté (two kinds) recently at Bistro des Amis. Nothing out of the ordinary, but solid standards.

          Another great place for pâté, rilletes, and the like is Feast. The menu changes often, so you will have to check the website to see what is available on the daily menu, but I believe they have pork rilletes on the permanent part of the menu. Highly recommended.

          For charcuterie, I second the recs for Vinoteca Poscol and Stella Sola. Both are pretty fabulous and among my favorite restaurants in Houston. You pick and choose individual offerings at Poscol, whereas at Stella Sola you receive a plate with the chef's selection. There are actually quite a number of places doing their own charcuterie (someone mentioned the Grove, and there is also Catalan and others that I am forgetting), but these two are my faves.

          -----
          Bistro des Amis
          2347 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

          Stella Sola
          1001 Studewood, Houston, TX 77008

          1 Reply
          1. re: mjust
            r
            ryback Oct 11, 2010 10:46 AM

            Go to Hong Kong Market, any of them, especially the one on Scarsdale Blvd, for French bread. When France ruled IndoChina they taught the Vietnamese how to bake bread. Tree Banh Mi rolls for a dollsar.

          2. w
            WtotheN Oct 10, 2010 06:57 AM

            Baguettes: Sadly, I haven't found a good one in Houston yet. You can get "meh" ones at the high-end markets (Whole Foods, Central Market) - sometimes a "meh" baguette is better than no baguette. I like some other breads at CM better than their baguettes (e.g., ciabatta), so give that a try. There are bakers at some of the farmers' markets around town -- haven't tried their baguettes personally, but would be worth a shot. I've also wanted to check if Kraftsmen has baguettes to see if they're any good.

            I believe Stella Sola, in addition to Poscol already mentioned, does their own charcuterie. I have a vague memory of Grove doing their own as well...but I'm not a charcuterie person, so I'm not sure.

            Welcome to H-town!

            -----
            Stella Sola
            1001 Studewood, Houston, TX 77008

            3 Replies
            1. re: WtotheN
              swhitt Oct 10, 2010 02:25 PM

              Thanks for the input! I'll be sure to check these places out.

              I wasn't a charcuterie person until one of my French friends made me try a bunch. Living here has made me a bit less averse to the foods that are typically weird to the American mind.

              1. re: WtotheN
                air Oct 11, 2010 08:35 AM

                Keep in mind that most banh mi shops are willing to sell their baguettes. May want to ask your favorite one if they'd sell you some. Personally, I like Les Givrals and Don Cafe.

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                Les Givral's
                801 Congress St Ste 101, Houston, TX 77002

                1. re: air
                  w
                  WtotheN Oct 11, 2010 12:17 PM

                  Good idea air -- the banh mi places do get better bread

              2. DoobieWah Oct 10, 2010 05:16 AM

                I've been watching this thread ready to bolt out of the door on a moment's notice.

                But alas, all I see is a business opportunity...

                :-)

                4 Replies
                1. re: DoobieWah
                  texasredtop Oct 10, 2010 05:56 AM

                  I have also been watching. It would be nice to have these here but I will get my fix during my trek to New Orleans in December.

                  1. re: DoobieWah
                    swhitt Oct 10, 2010 07:54 AM

                    I'm moving from France in 4 days. Looks like I'm going to have to go on a binge for the next few nights.

                    1. re: swhitt
                      texasredtop Oct 10, 2010 04:48 PM

                      WOW, moving to Houston from France. Welcome to Texas!! It may well not be what you are used to but it's a great place to live and dine. I hope you'll keep us posted on your experiences here.

                      While New Orleans is not so much authentic French food, there is a bit of good French food to be had both here and in NO. As far as cajun and creole, there isn't a whole lot of that in Houston that compares to NO. Thank goodness that NO is only a 5 hour drive or a 50 minute plane flight. We go a couple of times a year so I can have my cajun/creole fix (I am from southern Louisiana).

                      Bon voyage!

                      Added: I just remembered where I had some great crusty french rolls, not baguettes but close to that wonderful crustiness - Andres's on River Oaks Blvd and Westheimer. While the food isn't such great french food, it's good. Those rolls are excellent and I have to shake about a pounds of crumbs from the crust out of my lap when I get up. I don't know if they make baguettes but it would be worth checking into. Their pasties are excellent and very reasonably priced unlike so many other pastry shops around town.

                      http://www.cafeandpastryshop.com/

                      http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?i...

                      1. re: swhitt
                        w
                        WtotheN Oct 11, 2010 12:16 PM

                        Welcome swhitt! I also used to live in France -- there are things I miss (baguettes, good cheese that doesn't cost $$$, pain au chocolat, etc etc), but then I also have to remember that there are things I can get in Houston that I couldn't get in France. No great baguettes, but great tortillas. No moderately priced Epoisses, but a huge variety of cheap and delicious chiles.

                        Pros and cons, wherever you live. :-)

                    2. r
                      rrrich7 Oct 8, 2010 11:07 PM

                      Hi Steve, I'm not a charcuterie guy, but evidently this place Vinoteca Poscol @ 1609 Westheimer (in Montrose) has some buzz.................

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