Politan Row Takes Shape

Rice Village's new food hall stirs up Thai, Mediterranean, and vegan concepts

Rice Village's new food hall stirs up Thai, Mediterranean, and vegan

Politan Row Amanda Altman
Nice Sprout co-owner Amanda Altman. Courtesy of Amanda Altman
Politan Row Houston Rice Village rendering
Politan Row will open in November.  Courtesy of Politan Row
Politan Row Evelyn Garcia
Kin chef Evelyn Garcia. Photo by Trish Badger
Politan Row Rafik Abohattab
Rafik Abohattab of Torshi. Photo by Denny Culbert
Politan Row Nais Sanchez
Nice Sprout co-owner Nais Sanchez. Photo by @filmakerstudio
Politan Row Amanda Altman
Politan Row Houston Rice Village rendering
Politan Row Evelyn Garcia
Politan Row Rafik Abohattab
Politan Row Nais Sanchez

Rice Village's new food hall has signed three more vendors. When it opens in November, Politan Row, the new development from the owners of St. Roch Market in New Orleans, announced that it has found new operators to join the tacos, bao, and coffee vendors it revealed in August.

  • Kin, a Thai restaurant from chef Evelyn Garcia
  • Torshi, an Egyptian concept from New Orleans transplant Rafik Abohattab
  • Nice Sprout, a "gourmet, plant-based food" restaurant from Amanda Altman and Nais Sanchez

Houstonians may recognize Garcia's name either from her Chopped victory in 2014 or her current position as the chef-in-residence at Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory. Prior to signing on at Decatur, the native Houstonian worked at a number of restaurants in New York, including Jean Georges’ Spice Market and Masak. At Kin, she'll continue to serve some of the Thai dishes that have been a hit at Decatur as well as curries, rice bowls, and salads inspired by her travels through Southeast Asia.

A native Egyptian who learned to cook from his mother and grandmother, Abohattab opened Torshi's first location at St. Roch Market in New Orleans. Expect a menu similar to the original, with a mix of shareables (hummus, labneh), pita wraps, and classic Mediterranean fare such as gyro, beef kofta, and roasted eggplant. 

Nice Sprout will serve a mix of juices, toasts, salads, and "vegan comfort food." The proprietors are new to Houston but bring food hall experience from St. Roch's Miami location, where they met when Altman worked for the concept's vegan restaurant, Chef Chloe and the Vegan Cafe, and Sanchez served as a floor supervisor for the market. 

Ultimately, Politan Row will feature 10 restaurants, a coffee shop, and a cocktail bar. The food hall is still on the hunt for its final vendors. Interested chefs may apply via the Politan Row website.