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Top Houston chef conjures a ghost kitchen for creative sandwiches

Top Houston chef conjures a ghost kitchen for creative sandwiches

Chicken Parmesan sandwich Louie's Riel Restaurant
'Chicken parm you taste so good.' Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Ryan Lachaine Riel Restaurant Louie's
Chef Ryan Lachaine loves sandwiches. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Louie's menu items Riel Restaurant
A selection of Louie's dishes. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Chicken Parmesan sandwich Louie's Riel Restaurant
Ryan Lachaine Riel Restaurant Louie's
Louie's menu items Riel Restaurant

One of Houston's best restaurants has hopped on one of the dining world's hottest trends. Ryan Lachaine, chef-owner of acclaimed Montrose restaurant Riel, has quietly launched a ghost kitchen that serves his creative spin on classic sandwiches. 

Louie's, which like its host restaurant is named for Canadian historical figure Louis Riel, serves sandwiches, sliders, salads, and desserts prepared in the Riel kitchen. After a couple of weeks of trial runs, Louie's will makes its official debut on Thursday, August 13, and will operate Monday through Saturday from 12 - 5 pm for both pickup and delivery via DoorDash.

“I like eating food like this,” Lachaine said in a statement. “I have a longstanding obsession with sandwiches, and I’ve always wanted to have a sandwich place. We get to the restaurant every day around 11 am for prep and don’t open until 5 pm anyway. We’ve had a lot of time on our hands these past few months [and] figured this was the perfect time to roll it out.”

Sandwich options include chicken parmesan, B.L.T., fried fish, and the pizza sub — salami, pepperoni, and cappicolla topped with marinara and mozzarella. Riel's signature butter burger sliders and crawfish rolls are also available, as are three salads and sides like potato salad and poutine. For dessert, choose from either sticky toffee pudding or Nanaimo bars, a Canadian speciality of chocolate, coconut custard, and almond that's a staple of Riel's annual Canada Day party.

In addition to slinging sandwiches, Lachaine will also be spending time in Music City. Last week, Virgin Hotels Nashville announced that it has selected Lachaine to be the executive chef at Commons Club, the hotel's restaurant and bar. While Lachaine will remain based in Houston, he'll be traveling to Nashville to work with chef de cuisine Kevin Kobayashi (Ramen Tatsu-ya) on a menu that mixes Eastern European touches, Gulf Coast elements, and Southern flavors. That project will open this fall.