The Pass & Provisions

When John told me he was scheduling lunch at Provisions and dinner at The Pass, I almost choked. While he was there as an important magazine article writer, I would take my place as a quiet commoner. Since moving to Dallas, there is only one new restaurant in Houston that excites me beyond words, and this is it. John’s request was quite simple: Let me know a date that you will be in Houston and you are welcome to join me.

Do not get bored yet. This is the best invite of my whole life. I placed the date in my iPhone calendar before petting the page with abnormal glee. I couldn’t wait! What happened a week later hurt. While sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to be a housewife, all of the sudden, John text me. “Are you heading my way? Pass & Provisions await us… twice.” What? I put the wrong date in my phone? Unbelievable. This is just dumb. After realizing getting a flight to Houston was even dumber, I jumped in my car and started driving that way.

Missing lunch at Provisions still seems to sting more than it should. I arrived for dinner and sat at the bar. These people are probably mixologists, which means they do not have time to be called bartenders. I decided to gross them out and order Titos & soda. Mixologists think simple drinks are lame. Mixologists are too cool to speak to me on a friend to friend basis, so this is only an assumption. John ordered a technical drink, which probably made the mixologists feel some kind of pleasure.

Even though Pass & Provisions is the most important restaurant in Houston, as far as I’m concerned, I knew little about the details. I figured out there are two restaurants. One is fancy and the other is casual. There’s some kind of Julia Child theme going on as well. Most importantly, boys and girls use the same restroom. Gasp.

Going to the restroom is a secret at The Pass & Provisions. If you don’t have help, then you will think the restroom door is just a wall. It’s not a wall. There’s a secret door. There are way too many secrets going on here. It seems like I’m obsessed with bathrooms lately, but it’s not my fault. There’s no way I can’t talk about this one. After someone finally feels sorry for you, thus leading you into the secret bathroom, prepare for total confusion. Even smart people with lots of common sense are going to struggle with this one.

Julia Child is talking. I hear her, but don’t have time to compute her purpose. It’s definitely about food, so I just have to leave it at that. There’s too much occupying my brain right now. The sinks are in the middle. OK. The doors are along the right with different titles. These titles are for both girls and boys. How can someone not be confused? Boys and girls in the same restroom? Boys washing their hands beside girls. Wow. Have you ever heard a stranger-boy using the restroom beside you in a restaurant’s restroom? It’s a little freaky.

While reversing the brain ooze going on in my head, it was finally time to have a seat. Of course, there’s a secret door leading to The Pass. Walking past all the casual people at Provisions is the only option. This door is big and black. So many secrets. The guy seating us pushed and kind of pulled the wall, which was actually a door. What happened next almost sent me to the hospital.

It was like walking into another world. This dining room is quiet, with a fancy feeling. The walls are white without one piece of artwork. I expected everyone to be wearing a black turtleneck. It just felt right. The kitchen is a part of the dining room, but it’s not like sitting at a chef’s table. Maybe I don’t get out much. Maybe this is normal. Our table was directly in front of the kitchen. Seth and Terrence could be seen cheffing only a few feet away. Tons of others were busily prepping and preparing dishes around them. This overall scene is the most beautiful dining room moment I’ve experienced in my entire life. It’s better than Per Se. I’ve had dinner at Per Se. That’s right. Per Se can close shop yesterday because they’ve got nothing on The Pass.

nasturtium soup

truffles, kaeshi egg
nori bucatini, tofu, oyster, clams
french (onion soup) toast, onion variations
headcheese/bread (blood) pudding, candied apple
mussel-parsley-ginger soup/salsify
squash cake, white chocolate, dippin’ dots

Dinner was everything I’d daydreamed about and more. Being able to watch talented chefs go through the creative process took the experience to another level. It’s incredible. The entire experience comes together like no other. I would’ve eaten meat. Seth could have walked over and said, “We don’t have time for you to not eat meat, so eat meat or get out.” He could have. If he said this, then I would have bowed down to his greatness and eaten carcass on the spot. Who wouldn’t? I didn’t even get grossed out when John’s scary pork course arrived. As dinner came to an end and our dippin’ dots arrived, we reflected on The Pass and all its glory. Houston has been given a gift that’s beyond phenomenal.

FIVE: High 5!

FOUR: Please & Thank You


TWO: Double Wow

ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch


The Pass & Provisions
807 Taft
Houston, TX 77019

The Pass & Provisions on Urbanspoon

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