Alison Cook, the Houston Chronicle’s restaurant critic, on the destruction of a Houston landmark:
When I pulled up to the restaurant and saw the second-story windows gaping blankly at the sky, I finally believed Brennan’s was gone. Yellow plastic tape cordoned off the building, gawkers shot pictures on their cell phones, inebriated shrieks echoed from the apartments across the street, where a hurricane party was in progress. I wanted to cry.
So did Alex Brennan-Martin, talking grimly into his cell phone. His eyes looked as blasted out as those charred windows. A manager and his 3-year-old daughter who had been riding out the storm at the restaurant were hospitalized, as was another man, and Brennan-Martin was too choked up to talk about any possible future for the restaurant.
Still, his family has become part of the warp and weft of Houston. After Hurricane Katrina, Brennan-Martin sprang into action, taking in staffers from Commander’s Palace (a New Orleans sister restaurant to Brennan’s Houston), setting up a job referral system for Louisiana chefs, and raising money. I remember talking to him in those awful days after the storm, and he sounded like anything was possible.
Maybe it still is.
It may take time but I believe that Brennan’s will be back.