Across the street from Discovery Green stands Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown Market, a stately eight-month-old addition to the family-owned grocery store’s original Westheimer location. Inside the store, blinding white walls are lined with shelves holding ethnic foods and goods, while freshly baked pita bread puffs work their way down a conveyor belt and into an employee’s waiting hands. Walk down what employees call the “runway,” and you bump into the store’s adjoining Market Bar, an intimate brick space that offers dishes culled from Phoenicia’s own aisles, a nightclub atmosphere and art-lined walls — like artist GONZO247’s Yummy! 247 exhibition, which opened to a hip crowd Wednesday night. (“Yummy” is, not-so-coincidentally, Phoenicia’s slogan du jour.)
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It’s summer, and many of you have a bit more free time on your hands. Houston’s heat often comes with a magnetic pull toward the couch — but don’t let yourself fall into that lecherous trap. Here’s a checklist of all things fun-n-local to jumpstart your brain next time you *think* you’re bored.
3. MKT Bar: MKT Bar is like a hip downtown loft wrapped inside a bar nestled in a specialty food grocery store surrounded by downtown skyscrapers that serves wine, beer and gelato, and puts Niceguy DJs and live-music quintets from New Orleans in your life.
Lots to swallow? More like lots to groove to and indulge in. MKT, boasting exposed brick walls draped in black and white photography shone with precision lighting, is located inside Phoenicia Market Downtown. (If that discourages you, get past it)
On a recent Friday night, Rocks Off was pleasantly surprised to see that DJ Yves of acclaimed Houston underground group The Niceguys was at the helm of the ones and twos, inducing nostalgia with Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, just before genre-bending New Orleans band Hazy Ray had everyone head-bobbing and very much in awe with a “where in the hell did these guys come from?” live performance.
This experience said two things about MKT: 1) Their Thursday-through-Sunday 1-2 punch of DJ and live band is an unrivaled happy-hour scene in downtown, and 2) every musician worth a stage should want to perform here, as it puts them front and center before a pretty and attentive crowd hungry for good music.
The pizza will make you slap your mother’s mother, and the atmosphere is such that you can have your kids accompany you and no one would judge you. Check out their music events calendar and experience the damn thing. You won’t regret it.
Check out the full article here: Rest of the Best: Houston’s Top 7 Downtown Bars
When Phoenicia Specialty Foods announced its plans to open a grocery and restaurant on the first floor of a downtown highrise, there were doubters. What about parking? skeptics asked. And could downtown support the level of business generated by Phoenicia’s landmark ethnic grocery on the westside, with its mind-boggling array of Middle Eastern foodstuffs, its bakery and deli and expansive cafeteria-style restaurant just around the corner?
See the full article: Phoenicia Blooms into a Downtown Staple
See full article here: Collection
When “Eating Our Words” food blogger Katharine Shilcutt makes a recommendation, Houstonian stomachs growl. Now you can curb your artisan pizza cravings with her newest addition to the Houston Press’ “100 Favorite Dishes 2012” List. Salty, savory and sweetly balanced, our Farmer’s MKT Pizza is a tasty medley of kefalograviera cheese, spinach, red peppers, and roasted shallots, garlic with green onions, pears and apples–all atop your choice of four available crusts. Following Katharine’s lead? Then try our hand-tossed olive crust. Come in to MKT BAR, order a fresh one from the oven and we’ll bet this pizza makes your favorite dish list, too!
See full article here: International Foodie Destination in Houston