What with the recent menu overhaul at Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co., we here at Houstonia figured it was the ideal time to issue an updated directory of the city's Provisions—the preferred suffix du temps for restaurants who've chosen to employ an ampersand in their name but perhaps got a bit stuck when it came to figuring out what should come after The Pass, Tavern or Panini. Anyway, it's better than the Squat & Gobble.
Below, a handy field guide to Houston's various Provisions (not including Stag Provisions for Men, because you can't eat pocket squares or suede jackets).
The Pass & Provisions
807 Taft St., 713-628-9020, passandprovisions.com
Date opened: September 2012
Chef(s): Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan
What are the provisions? Provisions is the more casual end of this dual-sided restaurant. The Pass offers a nightly tasting menu in its starkly elegant confines, while Provisions offers a more leisurely experience in its adjoining dining room, patio and bar.
What about the sandwiches? The "ham o' the day" is not a sandwich; do not be fooled. It's a plate of delicious ham, but not in sandwich form. You want the pulled pork sandwich with tomato jam or the lobster roll, both served at lunch.
Where does the arugula come in? It's in the meatball sub that's also served with hot pickled peppers and plenty of parmesan cheese.
What about blueberries? They're in the peach-lavender soft-serve that comes with chunks of tasty pie crust.
In its former life: it was the original Antone's Po-Boy Deli, the historic import warehouse and sandwich shop that closed in 2004 after over 40 decades in business.
Quirky restroom fact: The chipper, Muppet-like cadence of Julia Child's voice, narrating her classic TV show, plays over the speakers in this unisex set-up hidden behind a false door.
Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co.
1221 W. 11th St., 832-649-3601, witchcrafttavern.com
Date opened: December 2012
Chef(s): Jordan Asher
What are the provisions? We honestly still haven't figured out what the Witchcraft is.
What about the sandwiches? Among a menu with dishes such as Vietnamese crab pancakes and sunchoke fries, you probably shouldn't expect something as pedestrian as a sandwich. Yet you can come pretty darn close with an open-faced sweet pea toast (topped with both raw and cooked peas), street tacos (with roasted chicken) or the duck baloney burger (which comes on house-baked brioche with fig jam and egg yolk cheddar sauce).
Where does the arugula come in? It's served atop the potato rosti along with smoked white anchovies and a sauerkraut cream.
What about blueberries? It's in swirl form in the coconut icebox pie, which comes with peaches and candied hazelnuts.
In its former life: it was Dragon Bowl, a fast-casual pan-Asian joint from Delicious Concepts owner Ken Bridge, who closed and renovated the corner space at 11th and Shepherd Dr., reopening it as Witchcraft in the span of a month.
Quirky restroom fact: The last few times we went, a Frank Sinatra playlist was on repeat in the two individual bathrooms.
Houston Panini & Provisions
1727 W. 34th St., 713-681-4500, houstonpanini.com
Date opened: March 2014
Chef(s): Alexander Colby, his brother David Colby and their friend Charles Martin
What are the provisions? Local products ranging from Bravado Spice Co. hot sauces, Honeychild Sweet Creams frozen custard and Java Pura coffee to the popcorn that Houston Panini & Provisions makes on site based off an original recipe from the Colbys' grandfather. (You can even buy the local art hanging on the walls.)
What about the sandwiches? They're all panini, as you may have guessed from the name. We like the venison-pineapple with venison sausage, aged cheddar, caramelized onions and pineapple jam and the Oaxacan, which pairs smoked chicken with black beans, pico de gallo, crema and tomatillo sauce.
Where does the arugula come in? It's tucked into the HPP Chicken Club along with tomatoes, bacon, avocado, honey mustard, mayonnaise and, well, chicken.
What about blueberries? Have you ever tried blueberry popcorn? You should.
In its former life: it was the former location of Popcorn Plus/Nuts Etc., which opened in the 1970s and had been closed for several years before Alex Colby received a $5,000 loan through the University of Houston's microfinance program to turn his popcorn side business into a full popcorn-and-panini shop.
Quirky restroom fact: There's only one, it's in the kitchen and you have to ask the guys if you can use it. Trust us, though, they're friendlier than the dudes at the surf shop next door.