On the corner of Brazos and Webster in the heart of Midtown, sits Maba Pan-Asian Diner. It’s the fourth establishment to set up shop on this corner in as many years.
Ghosts of establishments past
Four years ago, I spent many a Sunday enjoying $1 mimosas of all flavors on the patio thinking, the good life, indeed. And then one December day, it mysteriously closed, leaving a void in my Sunday routine. After nearly a year of vacancy, Gray’s Public House opened its doors. It floundered initially, struggling to find it’s identity. Eventually it developed a decent brunch with a build your own mimosa bar, but it was too little too late. My Sunday routine was restored for a moment, but less than a year after opening GPH closed suddenly.
Half a year later, Anju, an Asian fusion restaurant opened. But it closed so quickly, I didn’t even get a chance to try it. There were rumors multiple break ins were to blame for its quick demise.
Which brings us to a few months ago, when Maba Pan-Asian Diner dared to claim the seemingly cursed location. I’m not sure if my public declaration that I am a fan will be the kiss of death for this fourth iteration. I hope not, because the pho fries are heaven on earth. Crispy, golden french fries are topped with sriracha, hoisin, cilantro, onion, and some sort of pho magic. It’s taste bud overload in the most glorious way. And if fries aren’t your thing (huh?), then the banh mi on their in-house baked bread, the Grilled Chicken Summer Vermicelli, and the Chicken Satay are all worth the trip in. I indulge as often as I can, because while I hope Maba will survive, I can’t help but remember what befell the Good Life…and Gray’s Public House…and Anju.
Have you tried Maba? What were your favorites? Any predictions on Maba’s fate?