Gourmet Selections Abound at Phoenicia Specialty Foods

I have been shopping at the Randall’s on Milam in Downtown Houston for quite sometime. In my quest for gourmet groceries, a fellow downtowner suggested Phoenicia. What is it? Where is it? “Across the street from the Houston Center on Austin Street.” You’ve gotta be kidding me! I’ve been at that location three times in the last two weeks. Had I bothered to look behind me, I would have seen it. Hidden in plain site!

Exterior of Phoenicia Specialty Foods in Downtown Houston.

Exterior of Phoenicia Specialty Foods in Downtown Houston.

Don’t Shop Hungry

First, with my reuseable shopping bag in hand, I marched over straight away to find their carefully curated selections of products that I probably could have lived without, but I am a sucker for two things: package design and gourmet items. This place is as close to New York’s Zaabar’s as I’m going to find anywhere in the south. Next, into my small bag I snap up a generous package of sundried tomatoes, a couple of bars of imported chocolate and some kitchen gadgets from their second level. I cannot wait to use all of these things. Every selection I make is a tough one as I carefully weigh my options. The cheese section alone is not for the faint of heart.

Back For More

The only corner of this energetic and aromatic place that I didn’t manage to squeeze into was their attached MKT Bar. Due to the fact it was brimming with customers spilling out into their outdoor seating, I will plan another visit and soon. The clanking of silverware and plates, the buzz of the staff and the heady smells from their busy kitchen – oh yeah, I’ll be back.