Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

As an entrepreneur and real estate developer, Haidar Barbouti has certainly made his mark.His venture into the restaurant world leaves little to be desired either, as his dedication to real food and substantial portions have made his restaurant UP, popular with restaurant aficionados in Houston.

Barbouti’s restaurant specializes in good quality American food. Despite not having any experience as a chef or having a culinary degree he decided to open his own restaurant. He was inspired after traveling to Europe and visiting restaurants all over the world. His experiences taught him what he wanted and what he didn’t want from his dining experiences. He decided to use this knowledge to create the kind of restaurant he would want to eat at.

His restaurant focuses on American fare and specializes in simple homemade food like your grandmother used to make, but in a classier, more upscale atmosphere. The larger portions and simpler food compared to other top-notch restaurants are what makes UP Restaurant stand out from the crowd.

Barbouti used his experience in business to help build the restaurant so that it would be a profitable enterprise and attract the right kind of clientele. He knows how to run a business, as he has demonstrated in his past ventures, such as the successful Highland Village shopping center in Houston and applies that expertise and experience to his restaurant.

In addition to expertly crafted, yet simple food with ample portions the restaurant features a chic decor and a beautiful patio that attracts the kind of crowd that likes to see and be seen. The patrons come for the atmosphere and stay for the food. Barbouti takes a hands on approach to his restaurant and likes to make sure that everything is made from scratch. That means carefully selecting the best flour for the restaurants homemade Italian inspired pasta, and using fresh carefully pealed garlic and other ingredients in the restaurant’s dishes. Barbouti visits his restaurant
on a regular basis and makes sure that everything is up to his standards. If something is not up to his quality standards, he does not hesitate to tell his staff.

It is Barbouti’s dedication to quality, hands on approach and business expertise that make UP restaurant such a success.

Philadelphia is the poorest city in our nation. My friend Fersen told me that homeless number 185,000 people of the city. The staggering rate of homeless people inspired Philadelphian business owner Mason Wartman of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, to add pay-it-forward pizza to his restaurants menu. The idea of pay-it-forward pizza came from a customer who purchased a slice of pizza and left a sticky note to give it to the next homeless person who came in the restaurant. Soon customer after customer wanted to help. The restaurant has sold over 10,000 slices of pay-it-forward pizza since it began. This special menu item now accounts for 10% of the restaurants total sales. The restaurant owner, and every customer who buys a slice, now help make sure homeless that come in never go hungry. One homeless man who was a frequent of the pizza parlor returned after he was able to get a job and get off the streets to thank the restaurant owner for his kindness. He also made sure he bought a slice of pizza for someone else before he left as a way to pay-it-forward.

The Antique Wine Company (often abbreviated as just “AWC”) is a large global company that specializes in spirits and wines. The luxury merchant was created over three decades ago (in 1982) by Stephen Williams, who to this very day works as its CEO. The company is based out of Marylebone, which is a bustling section of Central London, England. The Antique Wine Company also has two sales branches located in Asia.

The Antique Wine Company provides spirits and wines to the international wine trade. They also provide spirits and wines to individual consumers, dining establishments and hotels all around the planet. They have 2,000 plus customers in 70 nations.

Most of The Antique Wine Company’s products are contemporary vintages. Despite the merchant’s strong enthusiasm for antique vintage wines, one of their main goals is to sell wines that possess the potential to develop into tomorrow’s antiques. At The Antique Wine Company, the aim is to trade spirits and wines that are extraordinary, regardless of age. The company presently has more than 10,000 bottles of the globe’s highest quality vintage wines secure in their cellars.

Not only does the company serve as a source for uncommon and high quality wines, but they also offer services such as cellar planning, wine storage, cellar management, cellar design and wine master courses. The Antique Wine Company is globally renowned for their fine wine expertise and vast knowledge.

The Antique Wine Company made the news in the summer of 2011 when they traded a particularly valuable bottle of wine. They sold a white wine bottle that had the distinction of having the highest value traded in history. It was a Chateau d’Yquem bottle from 1811. The purchaser was Christian Vanneque, a wine lover who used to work as a sommelier (wine steward). He paid the hefty price of 75,000 GBP (Great British pounds) for the bottle. This equates to approximately $123,000 United States dollars.

The AWC sells a large selection of wines from all over Europe and the New World. Their available European wines come from Bordeaux, France, the Loire Valley, France and areas of Spain and Italy, for example. They also sell New World offerings from the United States, New Zealand and Australia.