The heat is on, and Houston restaurants are sizzling with summer specials and culinary fireworks. Need a lunch or dinner recommendation? Here are 10 hot places to try in August. Some are new restaurants entirely, while others are seasoned venues with new offerings, but all are well worth a visit.
Brightening up the former Ziggy’s space on West Alabama at Green briar is Sorrel, a new farm-to-table restaurant that boasts local ingredients and a menu that changes daily. Dishes sing with interesting flavor and texture combinations.
We especially love the fish dishes and rack of lamb — and the 11 by-the-glass wine options available via tap.
Relish Fine Foods
Great news — There’s a new local market in town! Relish Fine Foods recently opened last month next to Ouisie’s on San Felipe. Stop by to pick up an array of locally sourced products — like Nisha’s Indian food, Slow Dough breads, and coffees and pastries galore.
The best part is the counter of healthy take-away foods and full menu of sandwiches and entrees.
Grill Marks is a new food truck offering warm panini sandwiches, plus delicacies like homemade chocolate-covered bacon and fresh Italian sodas. The sandwiches are named after Italian artists; I tried the delicious Da Vinci: thin-sliced roast beef, topped with crispy onions, melty Swiss cheese, and a creamy Espresso sauce.
Follow Grill Marks on Twitter for a daily location.
From the owners of Grimaldi’s Pizza comes Coal Burger, which calls itself a “burgeria with a conscience.” Why? Because Coal Burger offers organic, grass-fed beef burgers, cooked in a coal-fired oven and topped with quality produce and condiments. Even the milkshakes are all-natural.
Burgers are large, and most are $6.95, making it worth a try. Coal Burger is located next to Grimaldi’s in the Woodlands.
Tiny’s No. 5
Listen up, lunching ladies. Tiny Boxwood’s has taken its simple-menu, gorgeous-space concept and expanded to West University with Tiny’s No. 5.
You’ll find a similar lineup of pizzas, salads and casual fare as at the original location — and we sure hope the pastries are as tasty, too. And no, that’s not an August heat-driven mirage; the space really is that lovely.
It’s a Wrap
It’s not a food truck, they say — it’s a mobile bistro. Sounds a little fancy for me, but the eating’s good.
The small wraps ($4) are really more like fancy tacos, but the large ones ($6.50) are just right. Try “The Jerk,” a lover filled with grilled chicken, jerk sauce, lettuce, tomato and mango. Hearty, healthy, delicious. Follow It’s a Wrap on Twitter for a daily location.
After *much* anticipation, the second location of Hubcap Grill finally opened in late July, spreading the meaty love from downtown into the Heights. In addition to incomprehensibly fantastic burgers and new “hangover fries” (topped with chili and a fried egg), the space features picnic table seating and a strong lineup of beers.
The new spot has been open for dinner and it plans to expand to lunch this week.
Ruggles 11th Street Café
After years of inexplicable service, the 11th Street Café has been put out of its misery, reincarnated with only a slight name change into the new Ruggles 11th Street Café. The new iteration offers typical Ruggles fare — burgers, sandwiches, salads — and draws a moderate crowd. Renovations (to both the space and the menu) are ongoing.
Turns out, they’re still putting restaurants in Midtown. Who knew?
Majorca is the latest, a flashy Spanish place turning out traditional tapas in an oddly interesting space. The menu is littered with hits and misses, but we enjoyed the oxtail empanadillas and the papas bravas.
Somewhere for Houston Restaurant Weeks
This annual meal deal is a nice opportunity to try restaurants that might be too spendy for your usual budget. This year’s list features outstanding names from all over town (like Indika, Tony’s, Brennan’s, plus scores of others).
Each restaurant offers a special menu — $20 for a two-course lunch, or $35 for a three-course dinner — with a portion of each meal’s cost going to the Houston Food Bank.
Need more recs? Try our lists from the previous six months: