09/29/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I lived in Austin for two years, and I was lucky enough to live within walking distance of the original Central Market on North Lamar there. It may be unfair, but I only give 4 stars to the Houston Central Market, as I am comparing it to the one I frequented in Austin (which I would give 5 stars!).
Don't get me wrong, Central Market on Westheimer is great. They almost always have what I need, including a decent beer selection, and it is far cheaper in my opinion than Whole Foods or Rice Epicurean. However, Central Market has one major shortcoming compared to the original location: it does not have a cafe! I know putting one in would be a major infrastructure project, but they certainly have the room (my guess is that the Houston location is larger than the north Austin one).
My other complaint is that the parking, while there are always spaces, is awful. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have one-way lanes throughout was dead wrong. Recently I was stuck behind someone for nearly 10 minutes!
All that said, I believe Whole Foods and Rice Epicurean have nothing on Central Market, and I will definitely keep going back for the bread, bulk coffee, and Dinners for Two, but I won't be increasing my star rating until they decide to put in a cafe like the oustanding one at the Austin original.