5 things to know

5 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings and a farewell to Ouisie

5 things to know in Houston food: Openings and a farewell to Ouisie

News_Elouise Adams Jones_Ouisie's Table
Elouise Adams Jones died Monday. Photo via www.ouisiestable.com

Editor's note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.

Openings and coming attractions

Chicago-based restaurant 5411 Empanadas has opened its second Houston-area location in Midtown at 309 Gray Street. the international dialing code for Buenos Aires, 5411 Empanadas offers a taste of Argentina with flavors like smoked ham and cheese, spinach and cheese, mac and cheese, and, for dessert, banana Nutella. The restaurant opens at 11 am Monday-Friday and 9 am on Saturday and Sunday. 

Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe, a restaurant with locations in Southwest Houston and Pearland, recently added a food truck to its offerings. Mikki’s on Wheels will be soon be rolling throughout the Houston area. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for its current schedule. 

Successful Houston-based restaurant Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen will add new locations in Katy and Richmond this spring. Both will be owned by first-time franchisee Carmen Maria Torres. Known for its New York-style pizza and Italian-American dishes, Russo’s operates locations across the Houston area, throughout Texas, and beyond.

Investment news

Mambo Seafood, a Houston-based restaurant with 11 locations, announced that Garnett Station Partners, a New York-based investment firm, has partnered with it. Garnett will “recapitalize and provide growth capital” to the company, which is led by founder Michael Ho and CEO Robert McKinley. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

“Garnett Station is an ideal partner for Mambo, given their many years of success within the restaurant industry,” Ho said in a statement. “The entire GSP team have been highly collaborative and have executed on every commitment they made during this process. Mambo is in the right hands and I’m excited for this next chapter for the brand."

Passings

Ouisie’s Table founder Elouise Adams Jones died Monday on her 79th birthday after a long illness. Jones opened the first location of her eponymous restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in 1973. She made her mark by serving a daily rotating menu that was grounded in classic Southern fare like shrimp and grits, chicken fried steak, and pimento cheese sandwiches.

After a six year hiatus, she reopened the restaurant in 1995 at its current location on San Felipe. General manager Wafi Dinari purchased Ouisie’s Table in 2016 and continues to operate it to this day.

A graduate of the Kinkaid School, Jones worked for the Houston Chronicle before establishing her restaurant. She will be remembered as pioneering female restaurateur as well as a writer and philanthropist. At the time of her death, she was working on a cookbook but was unable to finish.

A memorial service will be held in Houston at St. Luke’s Memorial Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19th, with Rev. Cliff Ritter officiating. Jones will be interred in Kerrville, Texas. For information on the memorial service or to leave remembrances go to kerrvillefuneralhometx.com.