Meet the cutest, quirkiest couple! They met at a friend’s birthday party, where Nikki Machacek was taking photos and Chris Dunaway was playing in the band. While photographing the band Nikki noticed Chris. She thought he had a cute smile and was wearing braces, which she loved. They talked throughout the night and discovered they had a lot in common, but their fate was sealed when she put a cartoon aardvark “Arthur” plate on her face and Chris thought it was hilarious! Even though they were both dating other people, they felt a connection and soon after began to date. Their first date was an outing to the movie Slumdog Millionaire, and since they both have a passion for indie movies, it was followed by many more movie date nights.
They found a great place in the Heights and moved in together, not knowing that it was owned by her grandmother’s arch enemy! Even with an antagonistic landlord, they managed to “become adults together,” Nikki says with a sweet smile. They adopted a kitty named Slinky, and then another baby kitty named Pumpkin. Nikki convinced Chris to quit smoking and become a vegetarian, and Chris taught Nikki how to parallel park. Even though they have broken up and gotten back together, the love and support they have for each other has brought them back together and made them even stronger. (Of course it may also be a shared passion for music and comic books!)
Nikki and Chris eventually moved into a larger house with two other roommates, and Chris finding himself the only guy in a house full of women. The move allowed them to escape their landlord and gain the space to explore their talents. Nikki is an aspiring artist and Chris plays bass guitar in several popular bands. When they aren’t at work or practicing, you might find them at home, making dinner together. They love to make YUMMY! dinners side by side, as neither wants to cook an entire meal.
Because Nikki and Chris are from small Texas towns, Dickinson and Santa Fe, respectively, they have a deep compassion for a simple, shared life. Nikki declares they are engaged to be married and that they may want to adopt children someday. “First, we’ll probably start with a dog, and then maybe a monkey,” she says with a luminous laugh.
Their love of all things brings them to Phoenicia, where they enjoy many epicurean delights. When pressed for a favorite item, carb love wins out. They can’t live without a MKT BAR pizza.
Come to MKT BAR this Valentine’s and like Nikki and Chris, celebrate all that is love, friendship and pizza!
Phoenicia Pastry Chef David Berg will teach kids ages 3 and up how to bake and decorate cookies. After class, kids will prepare personal artisan pizzas and enjoy a pizza party, goody bag, and more fun. Includes complimentary MKT BAR cocktails for parents. $40 per child, per class. Limited space available.
WHAT: Kid’s Pastry Classes and Pizza Parties WHERE: Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown
1001 Austin Street (across the street from Discovery Green)
Houston, Texas 77010 PARKING: Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney. CONTACT: (832) 360-2222
On Saturday, February 14th, all of Cupid’s single and hitched friends can enjoy Cuddle Fest Karaoke at MKT BAR. From 7-10PM, DJ Tempty will spin soulful love tunes, followed by cuddly karaoke emceed by local music man and internationally-known lover, Mark Austin & the Superstars. In addition to stardom on the stage, participants will be treated to YUMMY! Snickerdoodles.
Dinner Specials at MKT BAR Available Thursday, February 12th through Sunday, February 15th.
Brunch Specials at MKT BAR Available Saturday, February 14th and Sunday, February 15th from 10AM-3PM, with live music from Danielle Reich’s Gypsy Jazz on Sunday from noon-3PM. Specials include:
Half off Pomegranate Mimosa carafes and Sangria carafes
Half off Chicken & Waffles with the purchase of another entrée
Half off select bottles of reds, whites and bubbles
ALL MONTH: Enjoy in-store sweetheart treats at Phoenicia, too!
WHAT: Valentine’s Celebration WHERE: MKT BAR and Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown 1001 Austin Street (across the street from Discovery Green) Houston, Texas 77010 PARKING: Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney. CONTACT: (832) 360-2222
On December 31st, we’re ringing in 2015 with a New Year’s Eve Soul Celebration! Partygoers will be greeted with the live funky sounds of The Journey Agents as well as ’60s soul, pop and rock 45s spun by DJ Tempty. Delicious MKT BAR bites will be on hand throughout the night, and at midnight, goers can expect Hill Country Chicken & Waffles and artisan pizza paired with a champagne toast. VIP tables will be available and include champagne bottle service, chocolate-covered strawberries and New Year’s Eve party favors. Ages 18 and up.
COST: Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase online until December 31st at 6PM.
VIP Table Pricing (purchased online, in advance only, priced per table, doesn’t include general admission)
*2-3 seat table (1 bottle of bubbles, chocolate-covered strawberries and New Year’s Eve party favors): $100
*2-4 seat table (1 bottle of bubbles, chocolate-covered strawberries and New Year’s Eve party favors): $100
*5-8 seat table (2 bottles of bubbles, chocolate-covered strawberries and New Year’s Eve party favors): $200
*9-12 seat table (3 bottles of bubbles, chocolate-covered strawberries and New Year’s Eve party favors): $300
Please note: VIP Table guests must also purchase general admission tickets separately. Tickets for entry are not included in the VIP Table price.
General Admission per person
$45 in advance; $55 at the door
New Year’s Day Brunch Brunch will be served from 10AM-3PM on January 1st and half-priced Chicken & Waffles will be available all day from 10AM-8PM.
Got a Phoodie on your gift list this year? Put down the ugly Christmas sweater. That’s exactly what they don’t want! Indulge the lover of food with a YUMMY! Gift Card or choose from our plethora of gourmet gifts.
YUMMY! Gift Card
The perfect stocking stuffer, hostess gift or peace-offering for a meal-gone-wrong, the YUMMY! Gift Card is sure to put a big smile on any Phoodie’s face. Pick one up in any amount!
Gourmet Gift Baskets
Designed with that special person in mind, our gift baskets are fun, festive and filled with favorites to fit any theme you select. For the hospitable hostess, favorite teacher or as a simple thank you, a gift basket of freshly-baked cookie creations or gourmet chocolates is sure to spread holiday cheer.
Our impressive selection of quality cookware will inspire the creative juices of your favorite cook. One-of-a-kind ceramics from Bulgaria, Spain, Poland and beyond are perfect for anyone with a flair for innovative design and timeless functionality.
Whether you need to find a fun sparkling for a holiday party, a perfect match of red or white for dinner, or a liqueur or dessert wine to cap the night off, you can find it at Phoenicia. For those who prefer hops to grapes, our coolers are filled with a healthy selection of brews that come from Texas to anywhere between Brazil, Spain, Russia and Japan.
Za’atar Dusted Lamb & Sour Cherry Demi-Glace
Succulent lamb chops get a zesty punch with fragrant za’atar seasoning while pairing well with the sweet tartness of sour cherry demi-glace. Try it out here.
Ginger Crème Brûlée
These rich and creamy gingery custards will make any food-lover sing. Break out the mini blowtorch for this one!
Top YUMMY! Picks
Dry Sour Cherries
Yes, there is such a thing as a sour cherry tree! Although the true origins are unknown, the sour cherry is thought to have originated in Western or Eastern Europe. The tangy fruit is best when cooked or baked. P.S. Don’t forget to try our Zergut brand sour cherry in light syrup–a perfect complement to both sweet and savory dishes.
Wonderfully aromatic, this Middle Eastern spice has its own house blend at Phoenicia. Look for Zohrab’s MidEast the next time you come in. It’s great for seasoning meats and vegetables, dipping with olive oil, and can be baked to produce a tasty herbed bread. Try it sprinkled on pita or toast drizzled with olive oil, too!
Phoenicia Lamb and Butcher Shop Meats
We pride ourselves on using the best meats in our butcher shop, and can guarantee they’re all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free. Keep in mind that our butchers can prepare most any cut for you, so special orders are welcome!
Find crystallized ginger, saffron, vanilla and beyond when you wander into our extensive spice and baking goods sections. We promise sky-high value at down-to-earth prices!
Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
For a delicious twist on a traditional favorite, try this recipe for a moist, melt-in-your-mouth turkey that never fails to impress.
Duchesse Pressed Cookies
If you’ve been searching for an easy and versatile cookie to add to your holiday baking this year, this is it!
Top YUMMY! Picks
Phoenicia prides itself on stocking all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free halal turkeys that don’t contain animal byproducts.
Specialty Herbs and Spices
Just consider Phoenicia spice world! Come and explore our holiday budget-friendly extensive herb and spice section for all of your cooking and baking needs
Five Roses Flour
For the best baking results, our chef recommends Five Roses Flour. Find it stocked in the baking section.
Baked Show Goat Brie Stuffed with Fig Jam & Walnuts
Start your holiday celebrations by delighting guests with this wonderful French appetizer, full of warm buttery goodness paired with crunchy, rich sweetness.
Pecan Praline Waffles with Peaches
Stuck on what to make the morning of? Let the heavenly scent of vanilla waffles waft through your kitchen and greet sleepy eyes with pure deliciousness. This sumptuous treat will keep bellies satisfied and smiles on faces all day long!
Top YUMMY! Picks
Cortas Fig Jam
This exotic, aromatic spread is made by Cortas, a top-quality manufacturer of Middle Eastern food products based in Lebanon using in a centuries-old tradition. Figs of the Mediterranean and Middle East are considered some of the most flavorful in the world and that shows in this staple Phoenicia product. It is wonderful on our toasted pita and goes magnificently well with brie.
Show Goat Triple Cream Brie
We’re proud to be the first to carry Houston-based Show Goat Creamery‘s debut product, Triple Cream Brie. Sourced from pastoral Fairwoods Farm and top of the line Mill-King cows cream, its downy white exterior and buttery soft interior belies its simplicity of character. Clean and tangy, decadent and creamy, this cheese is the first Triple Cream Brie made in Texas and holds the flavors of this great state within its bloomy rind.
Phoenicia Packed Pecans
Many Phoenicia Phoodies fall in love when they gaze upon on our nuts section and often think we are “nuts” based on the quality offered for the value received. The pecans we carry are no different. Tis’ the season for pecan pie, homemade spiced pecans or candied pecans for winter salad topping!
Try this versatile fish for a holiday break from tradition. Unique recipe ingredients such as Aleppo pepper and the Syrian or Middle Eastern pepper pastes found at Phoenicia develop this dish into big flavors. The presentation is impressive and the taste is likely to become a family fave!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Preserved Lemon
Nutty and lemony, the recipe for this side will have you viewing Brussels sprouts in a whole new light.
Top YUMMY! Picks
Also known as Mediterranean sea bass, our bronzini is imported from Greece. Its mild, delicate flavor harmonizes well with a range of global cuisines featuring everything from spicy variations to more subtle flavors. Resembling the texture of red snapper, bronzini is a popular firm, white fish that holds up very well to a variety of cooking methods. Find it fresh at Phoenicia.
Chestnuts (Ponthier brand)
Convenient and high quality, these chestnuts taste like they came straight from the Italian countryside to be cooked by the loving hands of your Italian grandmother (aka Nonna).
Common in Indian and North African cuisine, preserved lemon is a condiment containing whole lemons or sections that are pickled in a brine of water, lemon juice, and salt with occasional spices included. The pulp of preserved lemon can be used in stews and sauces, but the peel (zest and pith together) is most valued. The flavor is mildly tart but intensely lemony, making dishes especially fragrant and lemon-scented. Phoenicia also carries a dry lemon omani that is used in other parts of the Middle East for the same culinary purpose of achieving a very fragrant dish.
Explore the painting, drawing, printmaking techniques and childhood images of artist Gissette Padilla as she constructs multi-layered images that evoke the experience of fragmented spaces. Her work addresses memory as a series of shifting views composed of the real, the distorted, and the perceived elements that make up a single recalled moment. She layers images and patterns to fill in the gaps of what is missing.
All artwork will be available for purchase. Exhibition organized by Megan Badger.
A native Houstonian who loves the city and its cultural diversity, Bria grew up the eldest of two brothers and two sisters. Most of her family lives in Hawaii, but her appreciation for Houston keeps her here, along with an immense love of food that leads her to call Phoenicia home.
Bria was a born foodie, raised by her mom, a chef. Her adventurous eating began when she was very young, tasting and sampling the many treats her mom made. Some of her favorite delicacies are the exotic pastries her mom creates, but her food adventure doesn’t stop there. On her many travels to Hawaii, she has enjoyed some of her most memorable meals from the food trucks that dot the island, always managing to find poi, a Polynesian staple made from the taro root. She’ll soon travel with her family to Laos and Thailand, where she is excited to try new foods and see elephants up close.
With a deep passion for animals, Bria is currently studying zoology. When she graduates from college, she would like to work in conservation, with a focus on elephants. She loves the “gentle giants” and becomes all smiles as she discusses her thoughts on coexisting with all things and maintaining the balance of nature for generations of people to enjoy.
When Bria isn’t studying or helping customers have the very best shopping experience, she likes to relax with a good book. She’s an avid reader of many different genres and her favorite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. A fan of the band A Perfect Circle, Bria listens to all genres of music with a book in one hand and a cup of tea within arm’s reach.
Tea is another passion for Bria, one she researches to learn about its natural holistic powers. While Phoenicia stocks so many healthy and amazing teas, Bria’s favorite tea is Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Mojito Mint, which she thinks is refreshing and flavorful.
Bria’s passions take her around the world, but she’s in her element in downtown Houston. She enjoys working downtown, loves the people, atmosphere and bookstores. She and her boyfriend often lunch at Phoenicia and explore museums, Discovery Green and all that downtown has to offer.
When asked about her favorite food at Phoenicia, there’s no hesitation. “Croissants!” Bria thinks our buttery, flaky pastries are perfect and she enjoys them whenever she can.
Come visit Bria downtown and explore everything that makes our city, our store and our employees unique.
For deep, rich red wines, explore the Priorat region of Spain. Here, Grenache and Carignan top the production charts, resulting in beauties that perfectly pair with fall steaks and stews. White lovers savor the Rias Baixas region’s Albariño varietals, and we especially love the story behind the Santiago Ruiz label. Read more about our Spanish faves and come find them at Phoenicia.
This region is known for its deep, rich red wines. Priorat is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as a Denomination of Origin (DO), the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside the more well-known Rioja. Grenache and Carignan are the top two red grapes in terms of production in the region, and are typically both blended with other grapes to produce Priorat’s powerhouse reds.
Our favorite, Rotllan Torra, is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Carignan and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair it with a beautiful rib-eye steak or hearty beef stew this fall.
Rias Baixas Region
Located near the Atlantic Ocean in the northwestern part of Spain, over 90% of the wines produced in this region are white, predominantly using the Albariño grape varietal. Blends with heavy concentrations of this grape represent Spain’s standard of white wine across the country.
Winemaker Santiago Ruiz is referred to as “the father of Albarino” as he claims to be the first to harvest it decades ago. His 2013 version is a lively white that offers lots of juicy pear and citrus fruit with a soothing mineral finish. We especially love the story of the label as it’s the exact drawing that Ruiz’ daughter had scribbled to direct guests to the winery for her wedding reception. Papa decided to use it as a memorable wine label.
Summer vacation time may be over, but the opportunity to travel the world and sample unique wines is a year-round luxury at Phoenicia! Before Phoodies naturally turn to drink more reds in the late fall and winter weather, we decided to highlight a few unique whites to pair with fall soups, salads and snacks made with fresh seasonal ingredients we all love.
The Wolftrap White – South Africa
Plum, apple and fresh green almond flavor come out clearly in this beautiful blend of grapes commonly used by South African vintners (Viognier/Chenin Blanc/Grenache Blanc Blend). Screams “pair me” with a seasonal salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds or delicious Italian-style fried zucchini slices.
Becker Family Pinot Blanc – Germany
Crisp, clean and refreshing with melon and stone fruit taste, finished nicely with marvelous minerals. Arugula, pomegranate and fresh goat cheese salad sounds like a nice partner for this gem.
Aegerter Chardonnay – France
Rich wine with pear notes rounded out with white peach. Classic-styled white Burgundy that is a joy to drink year round. Try a comforting bowl of butternut squash soup with this French trademark.
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