Our”My Top 5” showcases enterprising Houstonians, who share their own favorite spots and things to do in H-Town. This week we hear from Alyssa Dole, pastry chef at Corner Table in River Oaks, Houston’s first Paleo restaurant.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Alyssa Dole
- Miller Outdoor Theatre – I love the start of Miller’s season. It is a great place to see (free) productions of everything from dance, to opera, to movies. Bring a blanket, snacks from Revival Market, some wine (in a plastic container) and enjoy sitting outside while watching some incredible performances.
- Downtown – I am currently having a love affair with both Downtown and mezcal. Start off with the duck empanadas and an Oaxacan werewolf on the patio of El Big Bad. Then walk down to The Pastry War for a Mezcal education. I recently had the opportunity to meet Linda Salinas, who, if you are there on a slow day, will tell you everything you ever need to know about mezcal. But my favorite place in Downtown is La Carafe; what they lack in Mezcal, they make up for with ambience. Sip on some wine and peruse their amazing jukebox.
- Pho Saigon on Milam – I frequent pho Saigon a little more than I care to admit… Nothing can turn your day around like a big bowl of hot pho. The best time to go is around 2:30 when the lunch crowd is gone and the broth has been simmering all day.
- The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel – I used to live a block away from the Menil and fell in love with everything about Menil, Rothko and the surrounding area. A great place to go on a sunny day and sit under the beautiful oak trees.
- Savory Desserts at Uchi, Caracol and Underbelly – How can I pick just one? I prefer desserts that are not super sweet and all three of these fit that bill; Uchi’s Lime ash sorbet, Caracol’s strawberry rhubarb empanadas with rose ice cream, and Underbelly’s vinegar pie with salt brittle. The lime ash dessert is one of the more savory desserts out there. It is a beautiful combination of sour lime and chocolate. Caracol’s strawberry rhubarb empanada encases a slightly sour rhubarb and strawberry filling with a slightly savory pastry cooked to a perfect golden brown. What really makes this dessert sing is the rose petal ice cream. I am big fan of a rhubarb and rose combination. Last, but not least, is Underbelly’s vinegar pie. This fairly simple pie has a perfect balance of sour vinegar and sweetness.
About Alyssa Dole
Alyssa Dole is the pastry chef at Corner Table, where she helped develop the raw, vegan and Paleo pastry offerings that have garnered national attention for the New American restaurant. Raised in Houston, Alyssa received her culinary education at Cookstreet School of Fine Cooking in Denver and worked abroad in Melbourne, Australia. Upon returning to Houston, she became involved with Recipe for Success Foundation and is now a fully certified Recipe for Success Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Educator.