No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them, and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.
Jenni Tran-Weaver took the traditional noodle house and added a dose of irreverence to create Jenni's Noodle House. With her third location now open in the Heights (joining those on Shepherd and Post Oak), Tran-Weaver has become something of a noodle empress.
She talks to CultureMap about her late-night escape, her unconventional breakfast habits and the food that brings her closer to mom.
Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: It really depends on whether they're Vietnamese. If they aren't, I'd probably take them to places like Ibiza, Haven, and Yelapa. If they are I'd take them to Saigon Pagolac or Tan Tan for tabletop hot pot.
Favorite meal: I try to spread it around, but I have a few favorites. I really like Tan Tan, especially late at night — I can eat a hot pot for two. You are talking to a hot pot fanatic here.
Yelapa at midday, for ceviche when I want something refreshing. I also love Azuma because it's close to where I live. I love the red devil rolls, extra spicy and with extra imitation crab.
Breakfast/Brunch favorite: Pho. I'm not a traditional breakfast person. I like Pho Hoang — it's the closest to mom's. You really feel like you're at home, and it reminds me of growing up when my mom would make pho every weekend.
Dessert: The Fruit Palette in Rice Village. They have fresh fruit, popsicles and shaved ice with fresh fruit and juices. It's like the American version of an Asian shaved ice. I get the pineapple pulp with blackberries — it just wakes the senses up.
Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series: