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Houston Chef's Table: Jenni Tran-Weaver can't get enough hot pot

Houston Chef's Table: Jenni Tran-Weaver can't get enough hot pot

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:

Lee Ellis loves Les Givral

Sugar hooker Rebecca Masson can't get enough of Catalan's Cake

Beachy L.J. Wiley digs the special occasion simple flavors at Dos Brisas

David Grossman goes for Vic & Anthony's crab cake, Yelapa late nights & some Bootsie

Jeramie Robison appreciates Kata Robata's sushi, Beaver's bangin' meatloaf & foodie chicks

Tony Mandola finds breakfast magic at Sunrise Taquitos

Philippe Schmit craves a Picnic romance & Stella Sola's French toast

Benjy Levit is torn between Indika's salads and Hank's Ice Cream

Flora & Muse's David Luna likes to hang with his fishing buddy and hit the Blue Nile

Asian Bistro's Gigi Huang seeks out spicy fried chicken at a Dive

Hugo Ortega believes in a Goode tradition

Soma Sushi's Jason Hauck is anti-brunch, pro-Feast

Jenni Tran-Weaver loves her food. Courtesy of Photo courtesy of Jenni's Noodle House
She's turned Jenni's Noodle House into a three-restaurant empire. Courtesy of Photo courtesy of Jenni's Noodle House