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[Houston] Beaver's


jscarbor
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It's called Beaver's because it's going to be in a re-furbished Ice House that used to be called Beaver's. She's keeping the name (tho I wouldn't).

It's one block south of Washington, on Taylor St.

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What's really the scoop on this chick? I have reservations to eat at T'afia next week. I called yesterday to make them, and the machine at T'afia picks up with a recording saying, "Welcome to Monica Pope's T'afia. Monica Pope was recently nominated for Best Chef Southwest by the James Beard Foundation".......Blah blah blah. Can the food not just speak for itself? She plasters her name and awards on EVERYTHING!

I have heard sooo many mixed reviews about this place that I'm not sure having her name so married to it is such a good idea at this point. I've also heard some things from other chefs around Houston regarding her "charming" personality. :hmmm:

What is the consensus on her and T'afia and this new BBQ joint she's opening?

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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Beaver's, Pope's, whatever.

If Monica is running it there are two things that are dead certainties.

1) The food will be delicious

2) It will be an entertaining place to go and you'll want to go back

That woman is a dynamo and deserves one hell of a lot more recognition than she gets. I was in Houston in early July (stayed at the most bizarre hotel I have been in for a long time, Hotel Zaza! . Yikes!) for some meetings and we had dinner on Friday night at T'afia. For the record, it was one of the best meals that I have had anywhere, New York, New Orleans, San Fran, Chicago, you name it, in a very long time. Awesome. And at my table were a couple of chefs who have won Beard Awards and a well known reviewer, food writer, Southern gadfly goofball. All of us felt the same way about the meal.

Then next morning I went back for the farmers market that she kind of sponsors/hosts and got a chance to spend some time with her. She's a remarkably funny and well spoken woman and I look forward to eating there again. Oh, and as an added bonus, she does a kind of carryout/standup breakfast during the market that is a great value-and there is really good coffee to boot. It's kinda hard to beat.

As for the Beaver's thing, she said, "that's what it was already named and that they thought it was kind of funny, so, well, what the hell? Let's just keep the name."

If you are in Houston, whatever she is running, you should go there. She has an amazing talent that has to be experienced to be believed.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I think Mayhaw Man's endorsement is worth much more than that of many published restaurant critics. The one time I went to T'afia I loved it. See thread on T'afia.

On the other hand, I doubt Beaver's will be a true Central Texas-style barbecue joint. The culture around these places is completely different. In my eyes, the only way to start a great Central Texas-style joint would be to poach one of the pitmasters from one of the existing places and give him carte blanche.

I doubt Pope is striving for this. It's more likely to be well-executed barbecue, though not in the Central Texas-style, priced in the mid-range (well above traditional joints). I bet the sides will be awesome, especially the potato salad.

While I'm skeptical, I'm still eager to see how this will turn out.

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For some reason, I think this is almost a capitalization on the success that Max's Wine Dive has been, bringing people-friendly foods that've been gussied up a bit, in a setting that people are comfortable with (and a bbq joint is probably the most comfortable that you'll get)

I've never really had a good experience with her food, the one time I did go to t'afia I had the tasting menu. Iit started off well, but then dipped quickly with the main course bordering on wanting to send it back. For some reason, also, I just have a thing about eating off of ikea plates. If I'm going to pay this much money, why are they sending me food on plates in which I have better quality at home, it's not even like I looked, the knives had the logo on it, as did some of the plates. I like their happy hour, but mostly because there's a lot of free appetizers to be had with the ordering of one drink. Monica is a very engaging person though, even though her farmer's market has dropped off a bit, but I love her concept-- I just wish the food were better.

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I'm actually more excited about a sign that I passed on White Oak just before Studewood. It said "Opening Soon. Fried Chicken and Soul Food." Wow, real fried chicken would be awesome.

Back to the Pope. I'm concerned.

1. The name is dreadful. 'Twould be better just to name it "The Barbecue Place". Regardless of the history of the name, it makes me think of the smell of burning beaver fur. Or worse. It isn't Pope's fault but it's a strip club name, not a barbecue restaurant name and she should know better.

2. Will it be pit barbecue or will they use one of those god awful Southern Pride gas units?

3. Will she fancy it up with more expensive cuts of meat, making it not cost effective on a regular basis?

4. Is this just an excuse for her to present lots of sauces that she has created?

5. I, too, have never really enjoyed Pope's food. I admire what she is doing, and she is a real sweetheart (she shared samples of her favorite smoked salts with me years ago before the gourmet salt thing got going) but I seldom go to t'afia to eat.

Edited by Jay Francis (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I was able to sample some brisket while at the midtown farmers market(1 freaking person selling vegatables!) and the brisket was really good. All I had was a sample because they were selling it for $18 a pound but it was really good nonetheless. The smoke ring was 1/4 inch. I could see the brisket being near the best in town. The sauce on the other hand was not so good, it seemed liek they were going for "gourmet" to me but IMO gourmet should not be in que.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Robert, sounds good, I'll go with you on this. I was just guessing because it seemed ike they might be having some construction woes? November would be great, I will give it a try. If the que is as good as it was at the farmers mrkt then its going to be worth it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

so here's the menu. any opinions or impressions other than the obvious tongue in cheekers like "Beaver Nut Burger" or "Beaver Balls"?

http://beavershouston.com/centeredmenu.html

seems to me like they might be trying to hard. i'm looking forward to checking it out, though my expectations aren't the highest....

oh and that background makes me want to dig my eyes out...hello web design.

edited for grammar issues.

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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Well, maybe I anticipated wrongly about Beaver's. The door's open today. Here is a quote from a friend of mine's blog. He just took a job there bartending. I spoke with him yesterday and he's very excited about the place. It sounds like they're taking the food and the drinks extremely seriously.

"I have been very busy lately (note the lack of posts) because I am bartending at a new bar/restaurant called Beaver's. Funny name, but very serious food and drinks! There are countless examples I could provide of the quality, but just to name a few, here we go. We've got 9 different bitters (2 made in house), we only use Vya vermouths, and there are at least two, count them one-two, bartenders who can make you just about anything you could come up with the way it was made 100 years ago. I can't believe it, but there actually is another bartender in this city who loves classic cocktails just as much as myself. Combine that with one of the city's most respected chefs as a co-owner, Monica Pope, and one of Houston's next great chefs running the kitchen, Dax MacAnear, and you've got a great meal and outstanding drinks. I haven't been this excited about a place in a VERY long time. I hope that if you are in Houston, you will come in and see us. Our doors open today, so try and get in here some time this week. I will post more as soon as I get some free time (opening a new place is very demanding) and give some more details about the place."

-Bobby Heugel

http://explorethepour.blogspot.com/

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so, maybe i am biased because the chef and sous chef are friends of mine, but this place will be pretty darn good. i went to the preview party and helped in the kitchen on sunday, and i can tell you this, they are staying true to texas bbq. they have a huge smoker back there in that little kitchen and the brisket is quite tasty! both guys have "studied" the masters in lockhart and surrounding towns that have great bbq. give them a chance, they have to work out those opening quirks, but i think they will be a hot spot in town soon!

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Maybe they will open tomorrow because I went today and it wasn't.

Just to let everyone know, Beavers is open to the public as of today. I am not sure if you had the wrong location or went before we opened, but we opened today at 5:00 and had a very successful opening day. Perhaps, you went for lunch. We are not doing lunches currently, and not being in charge of those decisions in any way, don't know if we will or plan to in the future. I might try and find out for everyone, but as of now we open at 5:00PM seven nights a week. Please come in and see us and introduce yourself to me at the bar (ask for Bobby). I really think you will enjoy yourself and have some great food.

By the way, our address is :

2310 Decatur

Houston, TX 77007

I found Mapquest directions to be confusing (maybe I am navigationally challenged) when I was first trying to get there back when. Take Washington to Sawyer, and go South, two blocks and you cant miss it. If coming from Studemont, which is what Montrose turns into right after Buffalo Bayou, go east on Washington and Sawyer is just a few blocks down. Area landmarks include the Pig Stand and Sunbeam Bread Factory.

Edited by Robert Heugel (log)

Robert Heugel

Anvil Bar & Refuge - Houston, TX

http://www.drinkdogma.com

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