New Bakery Offering Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Brunch Opens in West Houston
For many, fresh-baked bread is comfort food and Houston is about to get more of this needed solace. White Elm Café Bakery is opening on August 11 at 14079 Memorial Drive. This joint effort from Christopher “Chico” Ramirez of Dinner Table Investments (formerly a partner in Field & Tides and The Boot), Tasos Katsaounis of Bread Man Baking Co. and Chez Nous owners Scott and Stacy Simonson will be offering freshly made Breadman Baking Co. breads and pastries, as well as serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The bakery is named for the street where Katsaounis learned from his mother how to bake bread and make other family recipes. Rounding out the team for daily operations are executive pastry chef Jamie Orlacchio, general manager Richard Brown and chef de cuisine Jesus Salinas.
The 3,445-square-foot space, which includes an outdoor patio, will offer seating for up to 100 guests. There will also be a 35-person private dining room with a view of the pastry kitchen. In the morning, visitors can stop by the counter and order coffee and baked goods such as croissants, scones, tarts and muffins, as well as a selection of other sweet and savory offerings — that might include some forthcoming Greek dishes as Katsaounis taps into his culinary heritage.
The Simonsons will also be bringing their experience from Chez Nous to the French and Mediterranean lunch and dinner menu. The dishes are subject to change daily, but examples for the summer menu include Charred Octopus with Muhammara, Vadouvan Curry Chicken Salad, Duck Confit Pizza and Bistro Filet with Bone Marrow Butter. There will also be vegan and vegetarian dishes, cold pressed juices and elixirs. Scott Simonson also curated the wine and beer list. While the wines are often French (and the Champagnes always are), the beers are local, and include some familiar offerings from Saint Arnold, Karbach and Austin Eastciders.
It sounds like there might be plans for additional locations. “We are excited to open our first White Elm Café Bakery in this Memorial neighborhood,” said Ramirez via press release. “We look forward to becoming an integral part of the community by not only offering a chef-driven, dine-in menu but also a grocery aspect for quality baked goods and the perfect place to grab a pastry and coffee on-the-go.”
The space was designed by Wyndy Ramirez of Wynne Design Works to complement the menu. Ramirez selected a Mediterranean inspired color palette of blues and greens, and structural elements inspired by French cafés, such as brick accents, gilded mirrors and warm wood finishes.
A representative for White Elm Café Bakery says that it is following the Texas Restaurant Association and government guidelines for sanitation and social distancing. Also, all menu items will be available for to-go orders.
Hours will be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.