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BY LISA GRAY • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2021
Julie Soefer/Courtesy Bludorn
PODCAST: HOW HOUSTON SNAGGED AARON BLUDORN

City Cast contributor and food snob Marcus Carter loves the restaurant Bludorn so much that he made it a hashtag: #BludornMePlease. Here’s a small sample of today’s podcast – a conversation with Marcus, chef Aaron Bludorn and me:

Lisa Gray: Aaron, in New York you were the executive chef at Daniel Boulud’s Café Daniel – a place that’s a big deal, a place that has a Michelin star. Why would you leave that?

Marcus Carter: And why come to Houston?

Aaron Bludorn: I met my wife while I was working for Daniel. Her name is Victoria.

Lisa: Come on, say her last name – or what her last name was then.

Aaron: [Laughs.] Pappas.

Lisa: As in the Pappas restaurant family?

Aaron: As in the Pappas restaurants, yes. Pappasito’s. Pappadeaux. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Yes.

Lisa: Were the two of you set up by some restaurant-dynasty matchmaker?

Aaron: You would think! Actually, we were set up by our HR director. She was in operations in the main office, and I was the chef at Café Boulud. We were in love, we wanted to start a family and open a restaurant, and we were looking at where we’d do it. And she has this large Greek family here.

Originally we were looking at Texas in general. There was Austin, and there was Dallas, but after coming to Houston and understanding the culinary landscape, I was excited. I would come down, and chefs Chris Shepherd and Justin Yu would be like, “When are you going to move here?” 

In the back of my mind, I was always like, “Soon enough.”

🎧 LISTEN
NEWS-TON

🗳 Abbott has a big lead over Beto: According to yet another new poll, Gov. Greg Abbott leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by a large margin. Of the registered voters surveyed, 54% say that O’Rourke is too liberal – and even larger majorities favor Abbott on issues including the border, the economy and gun policy. (Quinnipiac Poll; Houston Chronicle

🍼 Correa’s kid: There’s a new baby for Astros superstar Carlos Correa, now the most coveted free agent in baseball, and his wife Daniella Rodriguez, a former Miss Texas. The family’s Instagram-announcement pic shows mom, dad and tiny Kylo all dressed in white, in an all-white nursery. No word on whether “Kylo” is a Star Wars reference. (Instagram; Culture Map

🚛 Lil Troy catches fire: In the late ’90s, on the hit “Wanna Be a Baller,” Houston’s Lil Troy rapped: “I hit the highway, making money the fly way.” These days he owns Birklett Trucking Company in Missouri City. On his way home from Arkansas, near I-10's Fry Road exit, he noticed smoke under his hood – and escaped before flames engulfed the 18-wheeler. (ABC-13)

🍕 Dude, I could use a pho pizza: Zalat, a pizza chain that proudly caters to partiers and stoners, has opened its first non-Dallas location in Houston's Midtown, at 510 West Gray. (Founder Khanh Nguyen has roots here.) Pies include Nashville Hot Chicken & Pickles, The Reuben, and Pho Shizzle. The shop is open until 4 a.m. (Eater Houston)

Dustin LeNorman, @raven_adventures
URBAN ALMANAC: FOG

Foggy mornings – like the ravishing one above, in Huntsville – are most common in late fall and early winter. Cool-morning fogs usually form at night, as the air cools, turning water vapor into tiny droplets that condense around particles floating in the air. It's a low-hanging cloud.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OUR BUY-LOCAL SHOW?

Got a favorite locally owned shop? Or know someone in Houston who makes a great thing, perfect for holiday gifts? Don’t keep it to yourself!

We’re working now on a podcast about last-minute holiday gifts – things you can buy locally, from a fellow Houstonian – and we’d love to use your recommendations. If you know of something great, please call (713)489-6972 and leave us a voicemail. Tell us, briefly, who you are, what you’re recommending, and exactly what makes it so excellent. 

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All money made the fly way.

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