Interview: Scott Weaver of Jenni's Noodle House

By Judy Le in Eat on the Cheap
Copyright 2007 Houstonist
August 13, 2007

Oodles of noodles on Shepherd at W. Alabama! Today marks the grand opening of the second Jenni’s Noodle House. The original Jenni’s Noodle House, located in Old Chinatown downtown, opened its doors six years ago. Houstonist loves Jenni’s because of the big personality that co-owner Scott Weaver brings to the store. Always the approachable and high energy character, we chatted with Scott about Jenni, Jenni’s and the new restaurant.

What were the inspirations for the original noodle house?
The original Jenni's opened six years ago and was inspired by Jenni's late mother, Mama Tran, who had owned restaurants in the 70's. Jenni’s earliest memories are of helping her mom in the restaurant. Before we opened the restaurant, Jenni worked as a flight attendant with a major Houston airline. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when all of the airlines where making cutbacks, Jenni was offered time off with benefits. Jenni took that opportunity to start and run our first restaurant.

How and when did you and Jenni meet?
Jenni immigrated to Houston from Vietnam in 1974 and I got to Houston around the same time and grew up here. Jenni and I met when she was a waitress at the late Ohio Grange in 1996 - it was this really cool restaurant at Hazard and Westheimer next to the old Dietrich's Coffee shop. I got her number and made the call, the rest is history.

What makes Jenni's different from your average noodle house?
I think Jenni's is different from most noodle houses because it is tailored for the inner loop customer. We don't serve tripe, jellyfish, or tendon because that's not what our customer wants. We also have a reputation as being a very clean restaurant which is visible in all areas of our restaurant. We even won a Houston Press Best Bathrooms award which said, "restrooms so clean you could eat off the floor."

Hmmm...given some of the celebrities and characters you've had come through your restaurant, I'm sure somebody has really eaten off the bathroom floor. What's your favorite dish on (or off) the menu?
I eat the pho just about everyday so I would call that my favorite dish. Lately I've been making a chili oil beef ramen soup where I substitute Udon noodles for the ramen and add lime, cilantro and fresh jalepeneos. It's awesome and a really hot & spicy dish. I don't have a name for this dish yet...any suggestions?

Perhaps our readers can offer a few suggestions. Will you be spending more time working at the new place or the original location?
I plan on spending most of my time at the new restaurant as the original old chinatown location will only be open for lunch Monday thru Friday when our new restaurant opens.


3111 S. Shepherd @ Alabama
2130 Jefferson @ Hutchins
Call 713-523-7600 for more information.


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