Renowned Houston restaurant quietly opens up its own bake shop: A second story treasure?
One of Houston's most well-regarded restaurants has launched its next evolution. West Ave Indian restaurant Pondicheri very quietly opened its second story Bake Lab + Shop on Thursday.
The overall appearance matches the restaurant's modern industrial look. Spices and cookware greet patrons as they walk in. Behind them, a juice bar offers a selection of beverages. The heart of the space are the cases containing a variety of ready-made baked items and ingredients for use in cooking. Chutneys, curries and jars of ghee will add pizzazz to any dish.
Limited seating options include a counter with bar stools and some benches.
The cases aren't nearly as full as they will be, but more than a dozen items are already available.
Still, it's chef/owner Anita Jaisinghani's takeaway pastries and savory items that are the main draw. Although it's clear that the cases aren't nearly as full as they will be, more than a dozen items are already available. All are helpfully identified as gluten-free and/or nut allergy-friendly.
An informal sampling at the CultureMap office revealed deep affection for a chai-spiced pumpkin pie, gluten free brownie and an almond-topped samosa filled with Brussels sprouts, avocado and spinach.
It may only be two days in, but the results are very promising.
Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 1, when its hours will match the downstairs restaurant's.