April Showers

Those May flowers had better be bringing their A game after this week is what I’m saying. I expect brilliant colors, great fragrance, and zero allergens. Anything less and I’m taking the weed wacker to ’em.  All of them.


How come these major weather events always happen in the middle of the night? Historic storms never take place in daylight so we can actually see how bad an ass whipping we are taking. We are always left with discovering the carnage in the morning on zero sleep.

  • April Showers 2016 – up all night (did this storm get named yet?)
  • Memorial Day Flood 2015 – up all night
  • Hurricane Ike – up all night
  • Tropical Storm Allison – up all night
  • Hurricane Alicia – up all night (but to be honest, I just got home from a hurricane party and slept right through that one.)

Tomball had 15″ of rain in about 8 hours overnight. That is not good. When I looked outside around 2:00 am, I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly rain harder. It was as if a waterfall was running out of the sky. They said there were times it was raining over 3″ per hour. It felt like TS Allison all over again.

Many of us asked our GPS to recalculate our morning commute. Siri was asleep at the wheel on road conditions. Had I actually listened to her, I would have been floating past the Galveston Jetties by Friday.


I would have given good money for a vehicle tall enough to pull the Allstate Mayhem dude water skiing down Cypresswood Drive. It would have been incredibly satisfying to wrap that band-aid suit wearing destruction causing sausage around a street lamp.

All of us know someone who had their home flooded. Our cousin Chip & Kathy spent the night in the attic and were boat rescued out of their neighborhood on Monday. Chef Greg’s daughter Madison had 4′ of water in her Meyerland apartment. Lot’s of folks had a rough night and are still dealing with it all. I feel terrible for them.

Turn on the news that Monday however, and there were plenty of images and stories about neighbors helping neighbors. We see strangers helping strangers in times of need. It’s in these times that we by and large see the best in us all. That is one thing about a historic storm to be grateful about anyways.

The Craftory didn’t take on any water, but we had some power problems to deal with.


Partial power in the building had us scrambling with extension cords everywhere it seemed.

Our issues were minor compared to many area restaurants. Some of which are going to be closed for weeks or months. We would be toast if that had happened to us, so we are feeling fortunate indeed.

We simply had some cleaning up to do.

Late in the day on Tuesday, I literally stood in front of a Centerpoint truck coming down Elm Street. The driver shot me the stink eye, I offered chocolate, and our power was restored to full strength. Chocolate is power.

On Tuesday, Chef Greg turned 50. We had an impromptu gathering regardless of road conditions. Earlier that day Greg was being a good dad in helping Madison with her flooded apartment, so he came late to his own birthday party not knowing there was a party for him. We started without him anyways because that’s the kind of support group we have here at The Craftory. We figured on saving him a taco if need be.


Kris made potato au gratin, and Michelle made a nice salad to compliment the barbecue taco bar.

Kris went home to change into party attire before chopping brisket.


About the only time a man can be comfortable being near a gloved woman in a cocktail dress holding a meat clever is when she is hovering over a cutting table chopping brisket.

Kris is pretty handy with the chopper indeed. If I were Alex, I’d keep some brisket around the house.


There was cake too. Big thanks to Joann for making that happen.


The moment finally happened when we filled Carnivores Hall with a seriously out of tune version of “happy birthday”. I always felt like you should do something you’ll remember on your 50th, so that part looks covered for Greg.


Wednesday was slow. Schools everywhere closed again. Lake TC Jester was still at pool level.


There was a rippling current running down Cypresswood Drive. I saw guys kayaking in a street and more guys fishing on Kuykendahl. Working mom’s began to express their feelings about having kids home from school for another day or two.

I was feeling good early Thursday morning. It seemed like perhaps things were going to return to normal until a storm showed up about an hour before we were opening for lunch.


More rain. Sahweeet.

The ground could no longer drink any water. Our seasonal dock side dining area was back just in time for lunch.

IMG_5800There was; however, a special treat for those who braved the weather, or could not handle another day stuck at home.

We cleverly introduced our pastrami on Thursday. Surprise!

We got some high fives for this effort. Then we sold out of it in about an hour.



Pastrami with smoked brisket made for a great looking tray of barbecue.


We’ve been working on this for awhile and Chef Greg nailed it down. Wet brine a brisket in a salty spicy solution for about a week and smoke it for a day and you have Tejas Pastrami. It’s tender, juicy,  flavorful, and beautiful. Chef made fresh house mustard for sandwiches while others simply enjoyed the pastrami on its own.

Pastrami Rueben Tuesday’s is coming folks. Stay tuned.

While we were serving pastrami, we got word from our neighbors at home that one of our pine trees fell into the street during the Thursday morning storm.


Michelle told me about a month ago that she thought this tree was leaning more & more. At the end of our evenings, we would pour a whiskey drink and go out front with the dogs to discuss the degree of leaning the tree was exhibiting. Not leaning more was my bourbon based opinion on the matter. Michelle claimed victory in the end proving what I surely know to be true. I am wrong, and she is right, but we do like to argue for sport.

A good neighbor cleared the street for us so we could keep slinging barbecue and chocolate.

A welcome sight came to us all on Friday morning. Our old friend the sun claimed the day.


A warm sunny glow was just what the doctor ordered.


We felt like a big release of pent up barbecue eating energy was coming, so we loaded up the Black October.


By the time Stewart rode over sporting his Ambulance Racers team jersey people were happy and ready to enjoy some good food & beverage.


Back to back sell outs on Friday and Saturday were fueled by-

Bird & Bacon sandwiches.


And breakfast “Tejacos”.


And churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce.


And burnt ends.


Friday and Saturday were special days. Everyone had earned a relaxing day. I’m glad we were able to help make that happen. It was truly a week to remember.

For the last two weeks, the first quarter food porn picture contest has been taking place on our Facebook Page. With nearly 30,000 views and more than 1,000 votes cast, the quarterly winner is Nick Rama with his Bird & Bacon sandwich picture.


Chris Clements, Shelly Parker, and Bryan Norton each had early leads, but Rama’s cyber ground game was too much to over come. Nick leveraged a strong Facebook campaign into a name plate on a chair in Carnivore’s Hall. Congratulations Nick!

The picture winner for this week is a heaping pile of pastrami sandwich by Heath Parker.

heath pastrami

Heath braved high water conditions just to capture this picture, so you can see that effort will take one far in the weekly contest. There’s $10 coming to you Heath and an entry into the 2nd quarter finals. Well done!

It was a challenging week for so many of you. Our community continues to amaze us. Thank you all for making your way out to support us.

IMG_5861 (1)

A very special thank you to Tomball’s Police and Fire personnel. We were delighted to help you take er easy heading into the weekend. You earned it.

See you all around the hood.

Cheers! Scott



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