MsIndependent had the pleasure of hosting our first ever Tour, Tasting, and Brunch at the downtown world market, Phoenicia and MKT Bar, it's adjoining restaurant and bar. I talked about this grocery store and restaurant in another blog post Phoodie Blogger Tour Tasting and Yum, which I loved so much that I had to to go back and bring, oh you know, 16 other ladies with me. :)

Although I had taken the tour before I still learned so much more this time around. There were  fun firsts like seeing the pita machine in action and eating pita bread fresh off the conveyor belt. We sampled completely different foods on this tour, and best of all there was more time to do some shopping afterward, which we all pretty much took advantage of doing. That reminds me- do yourself a favor and get the Zohrab's Italian Olive Oil Dipping Mix. I have been putting that in and on everything, and it's absolutely fabulous on salads. 

 Best of all the tour was lead once again by Ann-Marie Tcholakain, the daughter of Phoenicia store owners, Bob and Arpi. She is such a joy to be around, and I felt like I got even more insight into her family recipes, spice blends, and snacks that make it on the shelves. I made mental notes of all the products she has personally tried or recommended,  including an olive oil based soap that I now use on my dog.  

Their brunch menu is equally as enjoyable and fascinating as the store. Everything has a bit of a twist to a traditional recipe like  Moroccan-spiced syrup ( which is magic by the way) , or cardamon whipped cream. There were Bugs Bunny cartoons playing on the big screens, cause what else would you watch on a Saturday morning, and the ladies were having all kinds of feels about the menu. There were so many intriguing options to choose from, and even with everyone making their selections we had to look across the table to see what our neighbor got, just in case we needed a redo the next time around. I ordered the Hill-Country Chicken and Waffles after much debate over getting that or the Brussels-Style Waffle that comes with spiced cream and fresh berry coulis. 

We all love, love, loved the tour, enjoyed the samples, the stories, and the southern hospitality of MKT Bar. This family-owned business gives you the since that everyone there is family. The staff seem to love what they do, they feed you like family with the very best ingredients and family recipes, it's just a wonderful place to shop and eat. I highly recommend that you take advantage of Houston Restaurant Week at MKT Bar that offers both a brunch and dinner menu to chose from.