Skip to main content

Item 772: 00772_Zabak, Brigitte_Food: Gulf Coast Foodways

 Item — Box: 14

Interviewer(s): Aimee L'Heureux

Project: University of Houston

Brigitte Zabak is a native Houstonian whose parents came to the United States from Ramallah, Palestine. She discusses her family restaurants in Tennessee and in Houston. The Houston Press recognized Zabak’s, Brigitte’s cousins’ restaurant on Westheimer and Hillcroft, for having the best falafel in the city. Their falafel recipe was handed down from her Aunt and Uncle, or as Houstonians know them, Kay and George. Kay (Karima) and George owned Mama’s Po’Boys.

Brigitte discusses growing up with Israeli friends and feeling disconnected to Muslim Palestinians because her family was Christian. She discusses her mother’s death from cancer and how that led her to start re-creating her mother’s recipes, which simultaneously got her writing again. She began the blog, Zayt and Zaatar, to document that experience. Brigitte describes the family pressure to be thin, beautiful, and marry early, while constantly serving delicious Palestinian food. Unable to reconcile the two, Brigitte became bulimic.


  • 1996-2017

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Oral history interviews are only available for use when the University of Houston Libraries is in possession of a release form signed by both interviewee and interviewer allowing for such access.


From the Collection: 25.0 linear feet

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA