Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hurricane Food: Houston's Biggest Asset on the Ike Diet


Poor Houston. This Friday will mark two weeks without power and while Centerpoint is saying over 75% of service has been restored, there are many people and businesses in our area that are still getting by on generators, extension cords, or nothing at all. As I sit on my porch writing this, the street is dark and quiet save for the neighbors generator humming in the night.

For the first couple of days I used what was still in the kitchen and came up with a decent stove top eggplant parmesan. Then it was my famous 'macaroni and cheese dogs' and finally peanut butter and jelly (thank God for jelly). When I went to Fiesta on Dunlavy to try to find more groceries they had no lights, only a generator running the registers and all of the cold foods had been removed from the store. People were walking around the aisles with flashlights, shining them around the picked over shelves. It was an eerie setting.

On a bike ride later that day I caught the odor of food wafting through the air. El Pueblito was open but running off a generator and though they had 86'd half the menu, there was a line out the door of people putting in to go orders. Down the road, Chapultepec was also filling to go orders, and they only had an extension cord and a gas stove to work with, but for many grateful customers it was the first hot meal they had enjoyed in several days.

I have to commend these businesses for opening their doors and especially the cooks who showed up to work in the overwhelming heat to make our meals. One employee from Rudyards told me that while he really appreciated that his boss had kept them fed on barbecue for the last week, what he really wanted was a salad. It has been very hard on many business to get the simple mainstay produce ingredients they need so they are serving what they can until they can get their orders filled.

For those restaurants who haven't been able to reopen, consider their employees who haven't been able to work, and the owners who still have pay the lease at the end of the month. Servers only make $2.13 an hour so it isn't their paychecks they will miss, but your tips that they depend on. The next time you sit down to eat at a restaurant, skip dessert or that last drink and leave them the cash. They'll really appreciate it and you could stand to lose a few anyway, right?


Question to the reader: What was your most memorable hurricane Ike food experience?

1 Comments:

At October 5, 2008 7:15 PM , Blogger Nate said...

Pardon my tardiness but we got power back about a week and a half ago and been trying to get back to normal in the meantime. Finally got caught up on my FPH reading and came across this article.

So, my memorable IKE food experience would probably have to be last night. After Ike, and almost 2 weeks without power; my cousin got married, which meant a week with family from out of town. WHich is great.

Long story short. Last night was the first night I've been able to cook at home in almost a month. Not to brag, but I like my cooking, and making food at my house with power on is quite relaxing

 

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