8 things to know

8 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, reopenings, and an alcohol-free IPA

8 things to know in Houston food: Openings and an alcohol-free IPA

Guard and Grace interior
Guard & Grace reopens October 15.  Courtesy of Public Content
Brock Wagner Saint Arnold Antone's po boy
Brock Wagner created Antone's newest sandwich. Photo by Becca Wright
Typhoon Texas Smokehouse
Get barbecue at Typhoon Texas Friday - Sunday. Courtesy of Typhoon Texas
Guard and Grace interior
Brock Wagner Saint Arnold Antone's po boy
Typhoon Texas Smokehouse

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, Reopenings and Coming Attractions

Breakfast and lunch concept First Watch has opened its newest location in Sugar Land’s River Park Shopping Center (17412 West Grand Parkway). Known for dishes like Million Dollar Bacon, the BLT Benedict, and the Chicken Avocado Chop Salad, First Watch offers a mix of traditional breakfast dishes as well as lighter fare. The Sugar Land location, the 14th First Watch for franchisee Mac Haik, features a bar area that serves cocktails such as the vodka and kale tonic and a Bloody Mary.  

Guard & Grace will reopen Thursday, October 15, the restaurant announced on social media. The Denver-based steakhouse has been closed almost continuously throughout the pandemic, but its return is another sign that downtown's dining scene is making a slow and steady comeback.  

Healthy-eating restaurant Vibrant has reopened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Known for its menu of items that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO, Vibrant is open daily from 9 am - 7 pm.  

Waterpark season may be over, but the Smokehouse at Typhoon Texas will operate throughout the fall. The restaurant is open for dinner with live music on Friday and Saturday (4 - 8 pm) as well as lunch on Sunday (12 - 4 pm). Customers will find the usual barbecue plates, sandwiches, and loaded baked potatoes, as well as pizza, wingers, burgers, and kids’ meals. Typhoon Texas season pass holders will receive 25-percent off their meals. 

After two months of renovations, Mia Bella Trattoria has reopened in Greenway Plaza (3773 Richmond Ave.). Chef-owner Youssef Nafaa has introduced a number of new dishes to the menu, such as lamb shoulder ravioli with tomato chutney. The menu also includes veal osso bucco, Sicilian braised short ribs, and potato gnocchi with jalapeno-cilantro pesto.

Mia Bella has also introduced an online ordering platform. First-time customers will receive $5 off an order of $35 or more. 

Sweet Room owners So Clutch Group will debut their second project, The Sporting Club, later this month. Located next to Lincoln Bar at 5102 Washington Ave., the Sporting Club will feature a retractable roof and an expansive outdoor seating area. Expect cocktails by the Ladies of Libation alongside a food menu by chef E.J. Miller (Riel, International Smoke). 

Other news and notes

Houston’s Karbach Brewing, owned by global beverage giant ABInBev, has released Free & Easy NA IPA. Touted by the brewery as the first non-alcoholic IPA to be brewed and released in Texas, Free & Easy features citrus aromas while containing just 70 calories and 0.5-percent ABV. Recommended pairings include roasted chicken and “afternoon meetings.” 

Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys has partnered with Saint Arnold Brewing Company founder Brock Wagner for the October edition of its H-Town Originals sandwich series. The Brock’s Schnitzelfest features a panko-breaded pork chop topped with Saint Arnold Oktoberfest apple butter, whole grain mustard, and sauerkraut on a toasted pretzel bun. Available throughout the month of August, Antone’s will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from the sandwich ($8.95) to Texas Children’s Hospital.