12 things to know
12 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and celebrity sightings
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, closing, and coming attractions
Snooze: An AM Eatery will open its Webster location on November 14. The Denver-based brunch concept that’s known for its updated take on classic diner fare and cheerful service will start slinging pineapple upside pancakes at 820 W. Bay Area Blvd. Next year, the rapidly growing restaurant will add outposts near the Galleria and in The Woodlands to give the Houston area seven locations.
The Cheese Bar, a cafe that serves up all manner of cheesy goodness — cheese plates, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, etc — has closed its location in Cypress’ Boardwalk at Towne Lake development (a location in Katy’s La Centerra shopping center remains open). “We are very sad,” owner Melissa Boyd writes in an emotional Facebook post. “But even as we wade through all of the mess and uphill battle that awaits us, we are grateful for this experience, the support we have had, and its lessons.”
Bartender Michael Molina has opened the new location of his cocktail bar, One Armed Scissor. As CultureMap reported back in August, Molina found a new home for the bar at 208 Travis St (near Hearsay and Public Services). Patrons will find a casual environment, friendly service, and a selection of $10 cocktails, including the Thai Dollar Sign (Thai basil, Citadelle gin, lemon juice, Creme de Cassis), an Old Fashioned made with Old Grandad bourbon, and the appropriately-named Ap The Drive-In (Cimarron blanco tequila, Aperol, lime juice, agave syrup). The bar is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 3 pm.
Chef Sunil Srivastava and his wife, Anupama, the owners of acclaimed Indian restaurant Great W’Kana Cafe, are opening a new restaurant in the Kirby Collection mixed-use development. Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant will serve a wide range of dishes inspired by the subcontinent’s cuisine. Look for a selection of kebabs — everything from roasted plantains to various meat options — as well as a chef’s tasting menu. A glass-walled kitchen will give diners a view of the action. Look for a mid-November opening.
El Tiempo’s 1308 Cantina is starting to become like one of those furniture stores that hangs a going out of business sign but never actually closes. The restaurant originally announced it would close in July to give way to new apartments, but a “technical construction delay" granted the restaurant a temporary reprieve that has now lasted for three months.
Owner Roland Laurenzo issued a statement that the restaurant will remain open until it receives a two week notice from its landlord, but it has yet to arrive. “Based upon what the landlord it telling us, we think we will be open for at least another month. More than likely, we will close shortly,” he said in a statement.
When 1308 finally shutters, diners will just have to console themselves at any of the other three locations that are within four miles of it.
After shuttering his Cypress-area bakery Drew’s Pastry Place in August, chef Drew Rogers is bringing his talents to the Memorial area. Slated to open later this year in Memorial City Mall, the new concept will feature Rogers’ signature cannoli and cannoli cupcakes, as well as New York-style pizza, sandwiches, and more, the chef announced on Facebook.
Other news and notes
Benchawan Jabthong Painter, a local chef whose resume includes working at Theodore Rex, will bring her well-regarded Street to Kitchen pop-up to Camerata on October 28. For $100 all-inclusive, attendees will feast on a five-course dinner of Thai-style dishes made with locally sourced vegetables and proteins plus wine pairings by general manager Chris Poldoian.
Pappy’s Cafe will celebrate its 35th anniversary this week with live music, raffles, giveaways, drink specials, and the return of popular dishes from its past like pot roast, chicken and dumplings, and King Ranch chicken. The comfort food favorite recently relocated from the Memorial Villages to the Energy Corridor. “We could not be more grateful, nor humbled by the continuous love and support that our customers have shown us over the last 35 years, and we look forward to being a part of this amazing community for many, many more,” owner Paul Braden said in a statement.
Carmelo’s Cucina Italiana proprietor Ben Berg and his brother, chef Daniel Berg, realize that construction on Memorial makes accessing the restaurant difficult. They’re rewarding diners who put up with the hassle with three new menus: a three-course lunch for $19.81 (in tribute to the year the restaurant opened), a three-course dinner with wine pairings for $65, and a family-style Sunday supper for $29.95 per adult and $11.95 for children 12 and under (minimum four people required).
Off the map
Feges BBQ co-owner Erin Smith takes to Food & Wine to discuss the challenges of being pregnant while also working in a restaurant. She notes that limited benefits and lack of programs like maternity leave frequently drive women out of the industry. Starting a business with her husband, chef and pitmaster Patrick Feges, seemed like the only way to be both a chef and a mother.
“I’ve been cooking for 13 years, eight of those years in a leadership position,” Smith writes. “In those eight years as a salaried employee, I have not once worked for a company that offered paid maternity leave, a guarantee my job would still be available after returning from my unpaid leave of absence, or any sympathy or flexibility for the various inconveniences which will arise from pregnancy.”
Prior to his performance at the White Oak Music Hall, legendary rocker Alice Cooper stopped by The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation. No word on whether or not chef Alex Padilla also fed his Frankenstein.
It was such a treat serving @alicecooper today at The Original Ninfa’s!
A post shared by Ninfa's on Navigation (@ninfasoriginal) on
Oct 14, 2018 at 12:20pm PDT
Hip hop icon Snoop Dogg gave Third Ward restaurant The Turkey Leg Hut an Instagram shoutout to his over 28 million followers. Known for its gigantic stuffed turkey legs, the restaurant has a wide range of fans. GQ correspondent Brett Martin included it in his epic love letter to Houston.
Houston showed major luv n i wanna shoutout @turkeyleg_hut_ for the delicious food. The turkey legs were it !!! Htown make sure u hit them up !! 🦃 🍖
A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on
Oct 9, 2018 at 1:54pm PDT