Archive for ‘Downtown Market’

YUMMY! Crew Spotlight: Richard Willis

Posted in Downtown Market, News

With a warm, kind nature that makes everyone feel welcome, Richard works as a Customer Service Specialist in our hot grille downtown. He enjoys a simple life that began in Cincinnati, and after a few detours, brought him to Texas.

One of those detours was a move to Flint, Michigan, in 1977. After attending a friend’s wedding, Richard decided he liked the area and was going to stay. With only the clothes in his suitcase and $10.00 in his pocket, he never looked back as he began to carve out a life in a new city.

Richard quickly landed a job with General Motors, and in short order, met the woman of his dreams. He was introduced to his future wife, Terry, through a former girlfriend. They were married in 1979 and started their family. While his family was thriving–blessed with one son and two daughters–things were winding down at General Motors. Richard and his family moved to Atlanta, where they lived for several years until Terry became homesick for her family, who was beginning to settle in Texas. They made the big move to Texas and Richard decided to explore his passion for cooking.

Newly arrived in Houston, Richard worked for Pappadeaux and after a two-week training period, was placed in one of their busier restaurants. He decided Pappadeaux wasn’t for him and longed for a better place to work. He had driven by Phoenicia several times and had left an application, but had yet to hear back from anyone. He was becoming anxious. Once while driving by Phoenicia, he pointed out to his wife, “I interviewed there and they never called me!” Then, as Richard fondly recalls, divine intervention stepped in and changed his life. No sooner were those words out of his mouth than his cell phone rang. Phoenicia called to ask if he would like a job!

With that foretelling phone call, Richard knew Phoenicia was where he needed to be and started working right away. He recalls how different the environment was from any job he’d ever had, and embraced his diverse surroundings. He learned to appreciate different cultures and is thankful for the friends he made from all different walks of life. Now an eager ambassador, Richard helps people step out of their comfort zone to try food with which they may not be familiar. His boundless energy and exuberant personality make him a shining star at Phoenicia!

Richard loves the Tcholakian family and counts them among his blessings. Very proud and honored to work for them, he glows when he talks about his encounters with each family member.

Hands down, Richard’s favorite dishes are Arpi’s salad with chicken shawarma and BREAKFAST. He especially likes our grits and eggs and encourages everyone to come visit him early for breakfast downtown.

The only flaw Richard seems to have is a love for the Cincinnati Bengals. Maybe a Texans’ winning season will sway him?

Valentine’s Week at MKT BAR

Posted in Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR

With unbeatable dinners, scrumptious desserts, specialty wines, nightly live music music and plenty of love in the air, MKT BAR will make your heart skip a beat! It’s chic, convenient and Cupid’s favorite hangout. Bring your special someone, friends or family and enjoy three times the YUM with these enchanting specials! Available Thursday through Saturday, 2PM to kitchen close.

MKT Appetizer

MKT Curry Crab Cakes $10
with mixed baby greens and avocado, grapefruit relish
Suggested Wine Pairing $6
Castillo De Jumilla Macabeo, Spain

MKT Entrées

Spaghetti all’Amatriciana $13
Prosciutto, onions and tomato cooked into a rich sauce w/ shaved Pecorino Toscano
Suggested Wine Pairing $7
Curione Primitivo, Italy

Parchment-Roasted Salmon $14
with confit byaldi, gold potatoes and champagne vinegar reduction
Suggested Wine Pairing $7
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Grilled Medallions of Beef Tenderloin $16
with roasted sun-chokes, fried shoestring asparagus and porcini butter
Suggested Wine Pairing $8
Consentino Cabernet Franc, Lodi

MKT Desserts

The Lover $7
Almond chocolate sponge, milk chocolate caramel ganache, strawberry mousse, decorated with fresh strawberry and white chocolate
Suggested Dessert Beer Pairing for Two $12
Buffalo Bayou Red Velvet Stout 22 oz, Houston

Truffle Trio $6
House-made chocolate truffles: dark hazelnut , milk caramel , white pistachio
Suggested Dessert Beer Pairing for Two $12
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout 22 oz, Oregon

Select Wine Flights $13 (3-oz pours)

Matiz Tinto, Spain
Curione Primitivo, Italy
Consentino Cabernet Franc, Lodi

Castillo De Jumilla Macabeo, Spain
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Bila Cote Roussillon Blanc, France

Sparkling Specials
Moletto Prosecco $6 glass, $32 bottle
Sierra La Crusette Cava $7 glass, $36 bottle
Ruelle-Pertois Champagne $13 glass, $70 bottle

Musical Line-up

Thursday, Feb. 13 – DJ Baohaus 5-8PM | Eric Bustamante Trio 8-11PM
Friday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) – Love Tracks by Vinyl Ranch 5-8PM & Shellee Coley 8-11PM
Saturday, Feb. 15 – SOUL SESSIONS w/ DJ Tempty 8-11PM

ALL MONTH: Enjoy in-store sweetheart treats at Phoenicia, too!

Twinkie Wedding Cake
Sweeties Candy-Land
Pomegranate Cocoa

Heart-Shaped Pita
Chocolate-Dipped Baklava
Heart-Shaped Baklava
Homemade Truffle Crunch in Mason Jars
“Be Mine” Heart Sugar Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Heart-Shaped Raspberry Mousse Glazed in Ganache
Artisan Chocolates by the Piece

Coffee House
Berries and Cream Cappuccino
Raspberry Mocha
Nuts for You Latte

Gift Baskets w/ Chocolates, Seasonal Beers and Select Wines

New Year’s Day All-Day Brunch

Posted in Downtown Market, MKT BAR, News

Wednesday, January 1, Noon – 10PM

Make one of your first meals of the New Year most memorable! Join us on New Year’s Day and enjoy brunch all day long. In addition to serving our full MKT Brunch menu, we’re featuring delicious $14 specials to celebrate the arrival of 2014:

-Rib Plate: Half Rack of Ribs, Black-Eyed Peas & Aleppo Pepper Cabbage Salad
-Hill Country Chicken & Waffles + glass of house Prosecco
-Bottle of house Prosecco
-Sharing is Caring Special: 2 cups of Darn Good Hot Chocolate & Bonbon Beignets

Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney.

Happy New Year!

Celebrate Our 30th Anniversary with a Week-Long Bash!

Posted in Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR, News

We’re celebrating 30 years of business this year by hosting a week-long bash at both our West Houston and Downtown locations. November 4-10th, we’ll host an anniversary fete or two, have customer giveaways, feature Armenian-inspired dishes and baked goods at Phoenicia and MKT BAR, and serve YUMMY! in-store samples. We’ll take you back to the 80s with morning-to-night jams from the era and also celebrate artfully at our Downtown location with a little help from GONZO247 in the commemorative mural department.

We’ve got a whole list of fun things to do. See for yourself below.

Wednesday, November 6th, 7-9PM – We’ll honor Mama and Papa Tcholakian during Friends & Fam Night at MKT BAR. Enjoy a traditional Armenian-Lebanese buffet and music by Guest DJ Craig T. Brown of Heights Vinyl, playing eclectic beats with international flair.

Friday-Sunday, November 8-10 – Treat yourself to free cupcakes at our Downtown and West Houston locations. Valid while the YUMMY!-NESS lasts!

Saturday, November 9 10AM-3PM – Special Anniversary MKT Brunch at MKT BAR. We’re serving a new menu, whipping up new cocktails and will feature live music by Nick Gaitan from noon to 3PM.

Saturday, November 91983 Grocery Get Down at MKT BAR

Sunday, November 10, 10AM-3PM – If you miss Saturday’s Special Anniversary MKT Brunch, stop by on Sunday to enjoy the new brunch menu, cocktails and live music by the Thomas Helton Trio from noon to 3PM.

Give 5% to Conserve Houston

Posted in Arpi's Deli, Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR, Westheimer Market


April 20, 2013

Celebrate Earth Day! Join us in showing love for our city’s green spaces by helping us donate to Houston’s Give 5% campaign. Shop at either of our market locations or dine with us at MKT BAR or Arpi’s Phoenicia Deli on Saturday, April 20th to contribute to the cause. We’ll be donating 5% of our gross revenue that day to our favorite Houston-area conservancies who are collaborating to make the Houston area a better place.

Bayou Land Conservancy
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Galveston Bay Foundation
Houston Audubon
Katy Prairie Conservancy

We look forward to seeing you and sharing our love by Giving 5!

Easter YUM!

Posted in Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR

Hoppy spring! Join us for an eggsceptional Easter menu and a special selection of holiday treats.

MKT BAR Easter Weekend Menu
Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20, 2014 | 10AM-3PM
Live music from the Pelayo Parlade Duo on Sunday | Noon-3PM

Fried Catfish $12
with jalapeño grits

Pecan Praline Waffles $11
with fresh peaches and whipped cream

Seafood Frittata $12
shrimp, crab, tomatoes and artichoke hearts with fresh herbs

Add a cocktail for a perfect holiday pairing:

Basil Rita
fresh basil steeped in simple syrup & lime juice, finished with sparkling wine, seltzer & chopped basil, with a salted rim           

Raspberry MKT Mojito
raspberry simple syrup & mint, shaken with apple juice & our house rosé

Sangria Blanca
seasonal berries, fruit & citrus marinated overnight w/ our sommelier’s white wine blend
Carafe offered                    

Pomegranate Mimosa
light & effervescent pomegranate juice with Prosecco sparkling wine
Carafe offered


Dea + Carlos = <3

Posted in Downtown Market, MKT BAR, News

It’s a well-known fact that Phoodies pursue their passion at Phoenicia, but for one charming couple, the passion has grown beyond pita, pastries and pinot. What began as a chance meeting on a simple night out with friends, later transformed this pair into starry-eyed passengers who had unknowingly sailed aboard the Phoenicia love boat!

A friend of Dea Chincuanco and Carlos Go Boncan introduced them at MKT BAR during Valentine’s Week 2012. A short time later, the two become Facebook friends and chatted regularly. They eventually started dating and ultimately kindled a blossoming romance.

With the holidays approaching and a big celebration planned with Dea’s family, Carlos was extremely busy at work and confessed to Dea he had been unable to get her a Christmas present. Dea understood and the Christmas Eve celebration proceeded as planned. After everyone had opened their gifts, Carlos escorted Dea outside to a magical backyard setting, orchestrated with the assistance of her family. Carlos got down on one knee, presented a ring and proposed to an unsuspecting Dea. He professed that she had made him the world’s happiest man and in return, he wanted to make her the happiest woman. Completely surprised and delighted, Dea accepted. On behalf of the entire YUMMY! Crew, we congratulate the happy couple on their upcoming spring wedding and wish them a lifetime of delicious happiness!

The Legend of Gianduia

Posted in Downtown Market, News, Westheimer Market

By Madame Cocoa

Lovers in Italy and around the world exchange chocolate-covered hazelnut Baci Perugina “kisses” for Valentine’s Day. The chocolate-hazelnut combination is rooted in the history of chocolate production in Italy, and is full of tall tales and intriguing characters. No character is bigger in that story than Gianduia (pronounced zhan-DO-yuh). We know it as the irresistible, creamy smooth, spreadable combination of chocolate and hazelnuts (think Nutella). But in the mid-1800s, Italians knew Gianduia as a marionette of the Commedia dell’Arte theater.

Signifying good humor, honesty, and the pleasures of food and drink, Gianduia the puppet was a source of huge civic pride as a peasant of the Piedmont region, specifically the town of Turin in Northern Italy. In February 1865, at a time of much political upheaval, local citizens banded together and made their favorite character, Gianduia, the King of Carnival. In the excess and indulgence of these pre-Lent celebrations, the first chocolate and hazelnut confection — the gianduiotti, appeared.

Named after the patron of Turin’s Carnival, gianduiotti (zhee-an-DWO-tee) are plump, finger-sized soft confections of chocolate, hazelnut paste, and sugar, wrapped individually. Gianduia (the chocolate-hazelnut spread) and gianduiotti (the individual candies) were revolutionary for their smooth texture, given that chocolate manufactured at the time produced a gritty product. In fact, the chocolate bar as we know it had not yet been invented, and there was no such thing as a milk chocolate bar.

Today, choices of chocolate-hazelnut combinations abound, whether it is traditional Pernigotti Gianduiotti, in Italian sweet bread Balocco Panettone, or in the love-note-filled “kisses,” the Baci Perugina. The well-known modern version of gianduia, Nutella, came about more than 75 years after its invention as a luxury sweet on the streets of Turin. But unlike the original, the one we love today comes in milk chocolate.

Find all of these delectable chocolate-hazelnut combinations freshly stocked at Phoenicia. And for a legendary combo you’ll really love, pair these treats with a bottle of wine from Phoenicia’s extensive selection.

YUMMY! Crew Spotlight: Milly Aponte

Posted in Downtown Market, News

Quickly becoming everyone’s favorite reason to shop downtown, Milly always shows amazing enthusiasm and passion for Phoenicia, and possesses unrivaled product knowledge. She can often be found hunting down a certain spice or searching the shelves for a special food that the customer can only describe by appearance or aroma. She is truly a phenomenal Phoenicia Phoodie!

As she remembers fondly, Milly started eight years ago after first asking her brother, who was already a Phoenicia employee, if she could be hired. When he failed to get her an interview, she boldly walked right up to the owner and told him, “You need to hire me!” And we are forever grateful he did.

Milly was born in Higuey, Dominican Republic, a city known for its tourism and beauty. Growing up in Higuey gave her a passion for history and culture–both representing what she loves most about Phoenicia. Milly delights in the history behind the foods we sell and even though she is a self-proclaimed non-cook, she admires how dishes are made and what they represent to the cultures that enjoy them.

Heath, a resident of One Park Place, loves Milly’s energy and passion for the job. He recently stated, “Milly is the main reason I shop here. She has an amazing, positive energy and is one of the best things about Phoenicia.”

When she isn’t bustling through the store, Milly likes to relax by reading books, riding her bike, attending shows at Miller Outdoor Theater or zipping around on her cute scooter.

Milly was recently voted the “Yummiest All-Around Employee” by her coworkers and we wholeheartedly agree. Be sure to stop by Phoenicia Downtown and see all the products that make Milly’s heart sing!

YUMMY! Crew Spotlight: Fabrice Maraine

Posted in Downtown Market, News

Nineteen years ago in a small Parisian bakery, our Executive Baker’s sweet inspiration was born. Fabrice Maraine was just 12 years old when he began working in a small corner bakery, helping and learning amazing techniques that appealed to his artistic eye, creative design and boundless energy level. He loves all the moving parts in a bakery and while he doesn’t paint or draw, baking lends Fabrice the important ability to create beauty. Also using carpentry as an outlet for his artistic talents, Fabrice has built amazing tables and chairs for his home.

Five years ago, Fabrice and his wife moved to Texas, where they are raising a beautiful little girl, Lucie, who loves to cook with dad. Lucie tries to convince Fabrice daily that it is her birthday so he will bake a cake for her! When her parents try to let her down gently by telling her it is not her birthday, she steadfastly insists, “Daddy I THINK it’s my birthday!”

Fabrice loves living in Houston, a big city with a small town feel, and especially likes that Houstonians are so friendly and helpful. When asked what he likes best about Phoenicia, there was no hesitation. The music. He loves the eclectic mix of music and we believe to some extent it inspires him.

Come be inspired by Fabrice’s magical creations at Phoenicia Downtown, his favorite corner of the world.