In one week's time, Houstonia will be welcoming its brand-new dining editor all the way from the great state of Vermont, where she's been the senior food writer at Seven Days for the past seven years.
Alice Levitt originally hails from Greenwich, Connecticut, and has written for publications as diverse as the Boston Globe, Eating Well and the sadly now-defunct WWE Magazine. Along the way, Levitt also co-authored the 14th edition of Vermont: An Explorer’s Guide and made regular appearances as a food correspondent on Vermont's biggest TV and radio stations. And as if that wasn't enough, Levitt was also named Vermont's best print/online journalist in both 2014 and 2015.
Levitt's cover letter caught our attention immediately, in which she described herself being "in a constant state of bulgogi and dosa withdrawal" (oh Vermont!). "My brand of gonzo reporting has taken me from an extended internship with a whole-animal butcher to learning the ins and outs of the immersion circulator from its inventor," Levitt wrote. "It's been an exciting time to see Vermont's locavore food and drink scenes gain international standing. I am proud to be a part of that little food culture that could. But I’m ready for the next challenge."
In addition to manning Gastronaut and our in-print food section, On the Table, Levitt will start eating her way through Houston—which, as luck would have it, is just a little bit smaller than Vermont—on November 18. "I'm excited to make the switch from the cheddar and IPA of Vermont to dining in the most diverse city in the country," Levitt says.
"Like my fellow Vermonter, Bernie Sanders, I'm all about the little guy. As dining editor at Houstonia, I hope to uncover the hidden treasures longtime residents may have overlooked or forgotten, something at which the magazine already excels. I'm not driven by trends, just culinary excellence. I'm already tying on my bib for an onslaught of all the puffy tacos, kolaches, and yes, fine dining, that I can handle."
In the spirit of helping Levitt tie on that bib, we're asking our readers to help us compile a list of the 10 essential Houston restaurants Levitt should try before any others. Keep in mind these don't just have to be long-time stalwarts or institutions; these should simply be restaurants that exemplify Houston's current food culture—a food culture about which Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema recently wrote: "Every eater who cares about creative cooking and innovative restaurants needs to make a trip to the fourth-largest city in the country and the ninth stop in my soon-to-conclude survey of the 10 best food cities in America."
Leave your restaurant suggestions in the comments section below and we'll post the results next week, for both our readers and our excited new dining editor to dive right into. In the meantime, be sure to give Levitt a follow on Twitter, where you'll find that she's already discovered the magical powers of the Pondicheri breakfast thali. You're going to fit right in, Alice!