Hot!Original Antone's in Houston closed

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hermitt4d
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2004/01/01 13:01:26 (permalink)

Original Antone's in Houston closed

This one caught me by surprise this morning . Antone's was Houston's first 'import grocery,' made most famous by it's signature po' boy.

I used to love to shop here when I lived near downtown more than 25 years ago. The smells were so enticing I could spend a long time perusing the shelves, wondering what some of the foods were used for, and I tried more than a few of them just out of curiosity. Their in-store made Creole mustard was my first venture beyond plain, yellow, ball-park mustard, and is still the best I ever had.

Impulse items at the check-out included little baggies of imported olives, cheese stuffed jalapenos and baklava. I could never resist the olives and baklava.

As has happened to a number of longtime Houston food institutions in recent years, investors bought the Antone's name and recipes a few years ago and have been trying to franchise it and turn it into a chain. The founding family retained control of the original location and one other, I think. Antone's Po'Boys (pre-made) are available in the deli sections of Kroger, HEB and Randall's stores and at Exxon statons; there are also a number of franchise shops that will custom make one of their sandwiches for you, but it ain't the same as this funky old grocery store and it's crowded dining room.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2330268
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    signman
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/02 05:57:15 (permalink)
    Of all the gas station subs or po' boys, I trusted Antones as just a little bit fresher and better. I hope that doesn't change.
    #2
    JimInKy
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/02 06:59:04 (permalink)
    Thanks for sharing this article with us. I'm sorry for your loss down there. The article reminds one that change can be painful. Let's hope some earnest person or couple are right now building a great new food tradition for you folks.

    I was thinking about Houston yesterday. Our small city, Lexington, Ky. has a direct flight to Houston each day. No one knows exactly why.
    #3
    olphart
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/02 09:00:48 (permalink)
    My Antone’s was the one at Jester and the North Loop. They changed some time back from a deli to just a sandwich shop. I stopped in about a year and a half ago and got a few Specials, one to eat and some to freeze. The one I ate I didn’t finish and the rest found themselves in the trash. They were horrible.

    I know there was a split in the family sometime back, and I don’t know if this location is part of the original group. But I guess it’s a moot point now. It was sad that the quality of my location hit the skids, and sad that the original location is gone.

    It has been years since I was last in the Polk store, but I loved that place. The atmosphere there was delicious. Sad day indeed.
    #4
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/03 00:08:13 (permalink)
    signman - I was pleased, just because of the convenience factor, when they started appearing in supermarket deli sections, but worried when they announced they were going to be in Exxon stations. That was supposed to extend outside the Houston area and eventually be statewide, but I haven't heard if that's proceeding. I stopped in at a Kroger this morning on the way to work to pick one up for breakfast but they hadn't received the day's shipment yet .

    They're certainly better than Regal and Sandwich King, the others I am unfortunately acquainted with, but that ain't sayin' very much!

    olphart - they started with the outlying locations about 20 years ago, long before the investors moved in, but the stores never seemed to last. Something about that old store, or maybe the near town clientele as opposed to the suburbs . The other family owned location was in the Village on Kirby, I understand, and I'm hearing that may still be open. I'm not even really sure where that one was. I just found out today the franchise/chain locations were called 'Antone's Famous Po' Boys and Deli,' the family owned locations were 'Antone's Import Co.'

    BTW, olphart, welcome to Roadfood! It's very good to have another contributor from Houston aboard. I look forward to reading your posts.

    JimInKy - hard to tell what the trends are on the Houston restaurant scene. The growth is in ethnic eateries, what I call madre y padre places, especially Central American and South American and Far Eastern, and up-scale boutique restaurants. That and the relentless onslaught of the fast food chains.

    #5
    olphart
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/03 17:28:26 (permalink)
    Thanks for the welcome, hermit!

    I do recall a number of years back that there was a family split and that Taft and perhaps other stores were controlled by one side and the rest by the other side. Perhaps the “other side” sold out those locations.

    It seems the “suburbs” are moving back inside the Loop, now. The Heights is going crazy as are many other Inner Loop neighborhoods. Downtown is more active now that I can ever remember. Seems like the Taft location would have benefited from that.

    BTW, I am 55 and a native Heightsite. I just sold my house there and living with GF in Inwood Forrest until I find a place in Bastrop.
    #6
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/03 23:46:42 (permalink)
    You may be right that it was a family split rather than investors buying them out. I haven't seen anything about that in years and can't find anything on line. For me, the original location started going down hill when I went in to stock up on their creole mustard and the clerk at the cash register had never even heard of it. It was always much more than just a sandwich shop to me.

    There wasn't much to go down that street for other than Antone's when Fox Diner moved, too. And all those new townhouses and lofts in that general part of town have been accompanied by lots of shiny, trendy, new dining establishments. Some of my younger co-workers have never even heard of Antone's.
    #7
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/08 14:32:14 (permalink)
    Good news! The location in the Village is apparently still open and it is 'Antone's Import Co.' I swung by there after work this morning; it wasn't open at that hour, but doesn't look like it's being gutted or anything. It's on Dunstan at Kelvin, one block east of Kirby, 2 blocks north of Times. I was never even aware that location existed.
    #8
    Lone Star
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/08 14:58:31 (permalink)
    When my children were young, a trip to the zoo was not complete unless we went and "ate in the train" on those little train-style tables outside of Antones.

    My husband affectionately calls them "Antone Burgers".

    He used to bring me baklava and two containers of that wonderful pasta salad they made to help me make it through the 4pm-8am shifts I was working back then.

    I got the turkey and swiss kind at Krogers the other day, and it seemed like a mere shadow of the ones bought in the shop.

    Is the one in the Village going to keep the same menu items?
    #9
    Lone Star
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/08 15:03:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JimInKy

    I was thinking about Houston yesterday. Our small city, Lexington, Ky. has a direct flight to Houston each day. No one knows exactly why.


    Why because everyone loves the Bayou City!
    #10
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/01/08 23:21:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lone Star

    Is the one in the Village going to keep the same menu items?


    I don't know; I'm going to try to get over there soon just in case they're shutting it down. It was always the regular or the super for me.
    #11
    tlbartle
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2004/02/19 19:47:08 (permalink)
    Man, all you lucky people that can still get the "Super Po-Boy"!!!
    I live in houston over 30 years and now live in Missouri, whenever we go to visit relatives, there are two places I have to go....

    Neilsons Deli on Richmond and The Exxon on Mason rd for a Super Po-Boy (actually several!). Found out last visit that they had an actual little deli (just the sandwiches) off mason on the other side of I-10. As a youngster we lived in the apartments next to the old location I think a Piggly Wiggle used to be in.

    Does anyone have a recipe for their spread I think is called "Antoines famous Chow Chow"??? Would love to make close to the same if I can find a recipe!! Thanks in advance :)

    Thomas
    #12
    britt1610
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2007/10/28 18:36:05 (permalink)
    Wanted all to know there is still an Original Antones. Its located on Kirby still, across from Reliant Stadium. And the have the original cabouse!!!

    Antone's Import Co. Orginal 2
    8057 Kirby Dr
    Houston, TX 77054 Map

    (713) 667-3400
    #13
    eforman
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2014/08/17 14:41:40 (permalink)
    Hey olphart, did you ever find a recipe to approximate the Antone's chow chow?  Reading this thread has me pining...thanks!
     
    #14
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Original Antone's in Houston closed 2014/08/17 18:33:10 (permalink)
    Antone's is still alive in Dallas. I love their Tuna Po-Boy with Chow-Chow relish.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/antoines-foods-dallas
    #15
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