Photo by Eric Sandler

Armando Dimeo and Jordan Kone really like pizza. That passion has fueled the opening of a new pizzeria in First Ward.

Meet Coastline Artisan Pizzeria. Located in the former Cafeza space at the corner of Houston Avenue and Crockett Street, the new restaurant fulfills a goal the childhood friends have been planning for years.

“One of the questions that came up between the two of us was, where do you get pizza in Houston? We could never really answer the question,” Dimeo tells CultureMap. “The style of pizza we liked to eat, which is thin and crispy and Neapolitan. We could never answer the question, so we brought this place together.”

Dimeo, whose family owns Antonio’s Italian Grill in Deer Park and Gennaro's Trattoria in Canyon Lake, developed a grilled pizza to satisfy his craving for a thin and crispy pizza. Each of the oblong-shaped pies start on the restaurant’s grill before being finished in an oven. The sturdy crust allows for more toppings, as in The O.G. that’s topped with mozzarella, Italian sausage, ricotta, habanero honey, basil, and tomato sauce.

To learn to make a proper Neapolitan, Dimeo trained with master pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani in San Francisco. Coastline ferments its dough for between 36 and 48 hours to let it develop additional flavor. With a thinner, looser crust, the pies get minimal toppings, including a traditional margherita with buffalo mozzarella or another with soppressata and hot relish.

Since the Neapolitan pies are baked in a wood-burning oven, they’re only available at dinner. That the oven is purely wood-burning is a point of pride for both owners.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is pizzerias saying they’re wood-fired then there’s this gas jet shooting up,” Dimeo says. “This oven takes about three hours to get up to temperature. It’s about as traditional as you can get.”

The dinner menu also includes small plates such as meatballs, salmon cakes, bruschetta, and marinated olives. At lunch, focaccia sandwiches provide an alternative to the grilled pizzas.

Coastline Artisan Pizzeria interior

Photo by Eric Sandler

Coastline Artisan Pizzeria is now open for lunch and dinner.

In addition to serving both of its signature pizza styles, the restaurant plans to add a rotating monthly special to its menu. “We’re going to do a different style of pizza every month,” Kone says. “We’ll do Detroit, Sicilian — we can put different toppings on it.”

Bartender Jason Garcia brings experience from Two Headed Dog to Coastline’s cocktail menu. His offerings include eight house originals, including three that pack a dose of spicy heat.

To transform Cafeza into Coastline, Dimeo and Kone shortened the bar — to make room for the wood-burning oven — and added wood beams to brighten the room. With its brick walls and long, narrow layout, the space recalls the feel of typical New York City restaurants. After a few days of soft opening and a week of lunch and dinner service, the early feedback has been positive.

In the coming weeks, Coastline plans to deepen that relationship with neighborhood specials and a bicycle-powered delivery option. For now, they’re meeting their new neighborhoods and focusing on the food.

“They’ve treated us well,” Dimeo says about the area. “We’re just happy to be here.”

Photo courtesy of Visit Mesquite

Find real Texas flavor in Mesquite's best-kept secrets

Hit the Road

Not to be overshadowed by its big sister, Dallas, Mesquite is a vibrant city with its own unique flavor. Within this Lone Star city you’ll find a wide array of hidden culinary gems just waiting to be discovered.

Step off the well-trodden path of chain restaurants to discover Mesquite’s best-kept secret: its mom-and-pop restaurants.These “hole-in-the-wall” establishments are locally owned and deliver in flavor, authenticity, and heart.

Enjoy this sampling of Mesquite’s hidden culinary treasures that are well worth the trip.

Mesquite BBQ
145 E. Davis St.

Mesquite BBQ has been a fixture in downtown Mesquite since 1959. The rich, smoky aroma and friendly customer service keep both locals and visitors coming back for more. Their meats are prepared daily in a unique smoker manufactured only a few blocks away.
Must-try dishes: brisket, meat-stuffed baked potato, Chop Chop sandwich

Yia Yia’s House of Gyros
904 E. Davis St., suite 400

At Yia Yia’s, you’ll experience the true essence of Greek cuisine. This family-owned restaurant takes pride in serving traditional Greek dishes passed down through generations. With each bite, you’ll feel the presence of the chef’s grandmother, whose photo overlooks the preparation of every dish.
Must-try dishes: gyro wrap and traditional Greek salad

Jamaica Cook Shop
2033 Military Pkwy., suite104a

Jamaica Cook Shop is a hidden gem offering fresh, made-to-order, authentic Jamaican food. Vibrantly decorated in the colors of the Jamaican flag and tucked away next to a gas station, this unpretentious kitchen serves up traditional island dishes and imported drinks.
Must-try dishes: jerk chicken, fried plantains, and stew chicken

Tasty Chicken & Wings
302 S. Galloway Ave.
Just as the name suggests, Tasty Chicken & Wings lives up to its reputation. Their birria tacos are hailed by some as the best in DFW, while their perfectly fried chicken wings are generously coated in homemade sauces. Made from scratch with care, every meal at Tasty Chicken & Wings is a flavor explosion.
Must-try dishes: birria tacos, pupusas, fried chicken wings, chicharron y yucca

Dia de Los Tacos
1927 Faithon P. Lucas Sr. Blvd., suite 115

In a city rich with Latino culture, Dia de Los Tacos stands out for its exceptional Mexican cuisine. Combining traditional flavors with innovative twists, this local favorite is known for its unbeatable breakfast tacos.
Must-try dishes: fajita burger, taco pies

Porky’s Burgers & Wings
4612 Gus Thomasson Rd.

Porky’s has become a legend in Mesquite and DFW for its half-pound burgers crafted with fresh, non-traditional ingredients to create unique flavor combinations. From the tantalizing salmon burger to the tropical Hawaiian burger, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
Must-try dishes: Double Porky Burger (a whole pound of beef!), mango-habanero wings

Vamos Pizza
2411 N. Galloway Ave., suite 110

When it comes to pizza, everyone knows that the best slices are local. Vamos Pizza offers authentic New York-style pizza by the slice or whole pies, alongside calzones, salads, and pasta dishes. With generous portion sizes and affordable prices, you’ll leave Vamos fully satisfied.
Must-try dishes: The Works pizza, chicken and shrimp carbonara, Caesar salad

Oh My Curry
909 E. Davis St., suite A

Located just outside of downtown Mesquite, Oh My Curry is about to become your new favorite spot. This cozy restaurant offers flavorful and contemporary Indian dishes at affordable prices. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert and indulge in a refreshing lassi, an Indian yogurt-based beverage with a smoothie-like consistency.
Must-try dishes: chicken tikka masala, mutton biriyani bowl

Taqueria Mi Morelia
1821 Crestridge Dr.

Taqueria Mi Morelia may not catch your eye at first, but you don’t want to miss out on this Mexican culinary gem. Whether you’re craving tacos, tortas, Mexican-style hamburgers, or the famous huarache, there’s something on the menu to satisfy all taste buds.
Must-try dishes: huarrache, camarones a la diabla

Slab's BBQ
4401 N. Galloway Ave.

Tucked off Galloway Avenue, this no-frills barbecue joint serves up classic favorites with a side of Texas hospitality. The meats are cooked fresh daily, ensuring each bite is packed with smoky goodness. Prepare to leave Slab’s with a full belly and a smile.
Must-try dishes: chopped beef sandwich, sliced beef dinner

Mesquite has a flavor all its own. Next time you’re craving a culinary adventure, visit Mesquite and treat yourself to one of these locally owned and loved restaurants.

Yia Yia's House of Gyros

Photo courtesy of Visit Mesquite

Get Greek at Yia Yia's House of Gyros.

Find more to do, see, and eat in Mesquite here.

Photo by Becca Wright

Diverse pan-Asian casual restaurant drums up long-awaited first Houston opening on WashAve

bang a drum

The almost two-year wait for an Atlanta-based pan-Asian restaurant to make its Houston debut has come to an end. Tin Drum Asian Kitchen is now open daily for lunch and dinner.

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen food spread

Photo by Becca Wright

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen serves a menu of familiar pan-Asian fare.

Located just off Washington Avenue in The Vic at The Interpose mixed-use development (1111 Shepherd Dr.), Tin Drum’s menu consists of familiar dishes from continental Asia that includes Chinese, Sichuan, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Korean cuisines. Founder Steven Chan took inspiration from restaurants he encountered as a child who grew up in Hong Kong.

Meals at the fast-casual restaurant could begin with tempura cauliflower, chicken lettuce wraps, or crab and cheese rolls — all of which can be combined into a “Bo Bo Platter” with fries. Wings are served with one of nine sauces.

Bowl-style entrees include pad thai, Chinatown lo mein, tikka masala, and Thai fried rice. Tin Drum also serves ramen, salads, and fried chicken sandwiches.

Diners can pair their meals with Asian-inspired sips such as boba tea and Vietnamese coffee. A grab-and-go "mini mart" offers a range of snacks, candy, and sauces from different Asian countries.

“As a longtime admirer of Houston, it’s a privilege to bring Tin Drum to this world-class city,” Chan said in a statement. “The food scene here is authentic and genuine. The people are fantastic and inclusive of all walks of life and cuisines. You can see why so many are drawn here. What an incredible patch-work quilt of cultures and personalities. Our Houston partners Shairoz and Avez Maredia first experienced Tin Drum as college students in Atlanta and are very excited to share the food with their friends and family.”

Speaking of Atlanta, Tin Drum has been highly successful in its hometown, growing to 12 locations in 20 years. For Houston, the restaurant will start small with a 50-seat dining room that’s supplemented by an outdoor patio. It opens daily at 11 am.

Photo courtesy of BB's Tex-Orleans

New menu items at BB's Tex-Orleans conjure up even more flavor

Fresh Firsts

A brand-new menu has hit the table at BB's Tex-Orleans, the Cajun eatery with 12 Houston-area locations serving up traditional Southern Louisiana-style cooking with a Texas twist.

Just in time for summer, the new dishes span fresh fish ceviche to Nashville hot chicken, with plenty of po' boys, seafood, and Southern staples like gumbo and shrimp and grits to round it all out.

Explore the pastabilities with the Morgan City Crawfish Fettuccine Pasta or get spicy with the chimichurri-drenched Steak South America.

Dig into combos like the El Tejaneaux, which includes three empanadas, one boudin flauta with verde cream sauce, red beans and rice, and choice of one side. Or order Da Cray Cajun, crawfish étouffée over white rice with fried fish.

Even the salads got expanded. Welcome the Kale Steak Salad, which not only features tenderized skirt steak but also Honeycrisp apples, candied pecans, tomato, and a blue cheese vinaigrette.

And don't worry: The best boiled seafood in town is still happening daily. Choose from snow crab, Dungeness crab, or shrimp and then build your tray just how you like it, whether that means the Tex-Orleans or Louisiana way. Fill it up with your choice of button mushrooms, corn, red potatoes, edamame, Brussels sprouts, greens, and four kinds of sausage (including spicy alligator andouille).

Or let BB's make the choices for you, with boil experiences served family-style. Grab your family, friends, or even your neighbors to help tuck into a mountain of shrimp, crab, or combo of both, all the trimmings and extras included.

BB's Tex-Orleans seafood boil

Photo courtesy of BB's Tex-Orleans

Tuck into a Boil Experience at BB's Tex-Orleans.

You can even add Loaded Pollo Bullets to your boil. If you're not familiar with these little bursts of flavor, it's chicken stuffed with cream cheese and jalapeños and wrapped in bacon. Order them to start your meal, and they also come with a side of Cajun cream sauce.

"We are excited to launch a more expansive menu that extends beyond our Cajun roots and continues building upon our culinary legacy," says Brooks Bassler, founder and CEO of BB's Tex-Orleans." We've unveiled a fresh perspective on Tex-Orleans cooking, while staying true to our Cajun with a Texas twist roots."

Tempted to pick a new favorite? You'll have to come and try each dish to narrow down the choices, and even then it might feel impossible to crown a winner.

Don't forget that Houston Restaurant Weeks is coming up, and BB's Tex-Orleans is featuring a few of its new, expanded menu items on the course list. It's a great reason to dine out to do good, and taste-test your new favorite dishes.

Follow BB's Tex-Orleans on Instagram and Facebook to stay on top of all the yummy news, and find your nearest location here.

Photo by Julie Soefer

Houston's 10 crunchiest, gooiest, and creamiest potato dishes transcend simple sides

where to eat potatoes

Consider the potato. The humble tuber can be prepared in such a wide variety of ways that suit just about every class of restaurant.

A burger joint would feel incomplete without french fries or tater tots. Dining at a steakhouse wouldn’t be the same without a baked potato or mashed potatoes. Of course, Houston’s restaurants go above and beyond those more ordinary preparations with a number of potato dishes that show elevated technique or use the potato as a basis for creative toppings.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 10 of Houston’s most creamy, crunchy, and gooey potato dishes. What sets most of them apart is that multiple techniques are typically used to make them — everything from searing to baking to confit to frying. However they’re made, it’s a win for Houstonians.

Note that this list doesn’t include traditional french fries. We’ll consider them another time.

Andiron - Pommes Anna
For his new steakhouse, restaurateur Michael Sambrooks wanted a statement making, destination worthy potato side. He found it in the Pommes Anna, a classic French side made of overlapping layers of thinly sliced potatoes. Simply seasoned with butter, salt, and diced onion, it’s crispy on the outside and soft in the middle — giving it the texture and flavor necessary to stand up to the restaurant’s wood-fired steaks.

Feges BBQ - Money Cat Potatoes
Inspired by a dish Justin Yu created for his famous, pre-Oxheart, brunch pop-up, Feges roasts the potatoes, smashes them, then fries them to order. The dish is then tossed in the restaurant’s signature gochujang barbecue sauce before being topped with Duke’s Mayo and green onions. More than being delicious, the dish is also an homage to a person who contributed to both the love story of husband-and-wife chef-owners Patrick Feges and Erin Smith and the evolution of their business.

“I fell in love with the Money Cat potatoes at Morningstar while I was working down the street at Southern Goods,” Feges explains in an email. “We were planning on doing patatas bravas but switched to honor Morningstar [Editor’s note: a coffee shop in the Heights that closed in 2020], who used to buy brisket from me to make kolaches. Erin and I met because David [Buehrer, one of Morningstar’s owners] hired Erin as the chef of Blacksmith, and David connected us with the people at Greenway [Plaza, where the first Feges BBQ location opened in 2018]. We owe a lot to him.”

El Topo - Papa Costra
The West U. restaurant confits potatoes, then smashes them on a griddle to get them crispy. After that, they’re wrapped in a blanket of melted cheese for a dish that’s a little salty, a little crispy, a little gooey, and utterly decadent. Even better, this dish will be one of the El Topo classics to appear on the menu at Teshica, its new concept that will open in the coming weeks.

Squable - Bacon Fat Hash Browns
CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Chef of the Year winner Mark Clayton created this dish for Squable’s brunch menu. Described by the chef as his take on pommes paillasson, it’s made by poaching shredded Kennebec potatoes in bacon fat. After being coated in potato starch, they’re fried twice then topped with hollandaise, smoked trout roe, and chives. Crispy, crunchy, and rich, it helps alleviate any lingering pain from Saturday night

Riel - Truffle Pierogi
Riel pioneered the wave of caviar tots that have popped up on menus around town, but that’s only one of its potato masterpieces. Rather than try to explain what makes the truffle pierogi so compelling, we’ll turn it over to Riel chef-owner Ryan Lachaine.

“I f—ing hate using the word ‘elevated,’ but we took the potato and cheddar pierogi I grew up eating and kinda jazzed them up. We slowly sauté leeks in butter and combine that with same potato mixture that we use in our regular pierogi. They’re poached in a mixture of butter and water then quickly sautéed on the plancha. We cover them in a beurre blanc with some caviar mixed in.”

Burger-Chan - Loaded Tots
Just like its burgers, this Galleria-area restaurant lets diners customize its tater tots by letting them add chili and cheese, Spam-chi (Spam, kimchi relish, scallion aioli, and green onions), or“loaded” — a nod to loaded baked potatoes that’s topped with sour cream, cheddar, chopped bacon, and green onions. The result is a creamy, crunchy, gooey, delightfully messy twist that’s way more satisfying than just about any french fry.

Kenny & Ziggy’s - Potato Knish
People know about the latkes at this Jewish deli, but true potato obsessives seek out the round potato knish. Yukon Gold potatoes are seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, caramelized onions, and other spices and then wrapped in a laminated dough that’s baked until golden brown. Crispy on the outside, soft and warm in the middle, the Kenny & Ziggy’s knish is pure comfort on a plate. Like everything else at the restaurant, it’s served in such a hefty portion that just about anyone will have half to take home.

Ostia - Crispy Potatoes
Chef Travis McShane’s signature side takes three days to make since the potatoes are allowed to dry after being steamed on day one and blanched on day two. On day three, they’re fried to order to bring out the crispiness of the uneven edges. Rosemary, sea salt, and very garlicky aioli further enhance the thick cut wedges.

Steak 48 - Hasselback Potatoes
Every steakhouse serves potatoes in a variety of forms, and Steak 48 does its part with five different options that include double baked truffle potato and potatoes au gratin. Still, the hasselback potato stands out. Skewed, sliced by hand, steamed, and fried, the process produces oversized potato chips that are crispy, fluffy, and completely irresistible.

Truth BBQ - Tater Tot Casserole
Inspired by one of his grandmother’s recipes, pitmaster and owner Leonard Botello IV combined frozen tater tots with a range of ingredients that includes cream of mushroom soup, rotel tomatoes, cheddar, sour cream, and bacon. Like all of Truth’s best dishes, channeling a little nostalgia makes for a memorable bite that’s creamy and gooey enough to be a decadent alternative to the potato salad served by most barbecue restaurants.

Andiron pommes anna

Photo by Julie Soefer

Andiron's Pommes Anna.

Courtesy of The Rado Market

Game-changing market and restaurant opens in historic Eldorado Ballroom serving farm-to-table fare and goods

it's rad

Chef Chris Williams has unveiled his latest project. The Rado Market is now open in the Third Ward for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner.

Located at the historic Eldorado Ballroom at the corner of Elgin and Emancipation (2310 Elgin St.), the Rado Market, which joins restaurants Lucille’s and the upcoming Late August as part of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, serves many purposes.

As its name implies, it’s a grocery store-style market that sells produce grown at the farm in Kendleton, Texas operated by Lucille’s 1913, Williams’ nonprofit that feeds underserved Houstonians as well as sauces, pickles, and other preserved items made by the nonprofit. In addition, the market sells prepared goods from Black-owned businesses such as Beeing Murray Honey, B’Tween Sandwich Co., Houston Sauce Co., and So Home Collective home goods).

The retail section also includes wine and beer that’s been curated by Lucille’s Hospitality’s employees and friends such as Project Row Houses board member Anita Smith and KTSU general manager Ernest Walker. Third Ward bookstore Kindred Spirits maintains a section of cookbooks written by Black chefs and other culinary leaders. Williams has contributed a few titles from his personal collection as well. Ultimately, Rado Market plans to feature a different cookbook each month along with ingredients to make its recipes.

If that weren’t enough, Rado also operates a counter service restaurant that serves breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, and more made with the same produce and other ingredients grown or created by Lucille’s 1913. In the morning, look for breakfast tacos and hot rolls that are made with a recipe created by Williams’ great-grandmother, culinary pioneer Lucille Bishop Smith.

Lunch starts with sandwiches, including fried green tomato, spiced turkey melt, and a Southern dip made with braised beef cheeks. Salad options include a chopped salad made with jerk chicken, egg, and avocado as well as the Kendleton Harvest with kale, greens, strawberries, and more.

“I love Local Foods in Rice Village. I love everything about it, that great little counter service market with artisanal products on the shelves. It’s a unique shopping experience,” Williams told CultureMap in April. “It’s very high end, very niche. I wanted to bring that model to Third Ward.”

Rado Market is only one of the new concepts on the Eldorado Ballroom property. Hogan Brown Gallery recently unveiled its first collection of works by local artists that’s titled Six Degrees of Separation. The Eldorado Ballroom itself will host musical performances and other happenings.

“I don’t even have words for how honored and grateful we are for the opportunity. It’s huge,” Williams added. “The history is huge. It taps into everything I love and I personally think is so important for the greater community . . . It’s about ownership. For the community to take ownership of this, I think the opportunity will be deep.”

Rado Market is open from 7 am - 7 pm Tuesday-Friday and 8 am - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. It’s closed on Monday.

Rado Market turkey melt

Courtesy of The Rado Market

Rado Market's spiced turkey melt.

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Where to shop in Houston right now: 13 must-hit spots for October


October is finally here, and we are about to be blessed with slightly cooler temps for what we know will be the best "hotumn" yet. It's time to embrace those rich fall colors – warm burgundies, deep emeralds, and silver or red. Houston's boutiques are filled with the latest autumn fashion trends, making updating your wardrobe with the season's most stylish pieces easy.

Houston's sports teams are on a winning streak, making it the perfect time to grab those gameday essentials. From jerseys to hats and everything in between, Houston's shops are stocked with fan gear to help fans show off their team spirit. And don't forget to pair those sporty looks with some fabulous fall boots and dresses, the ultimate combination of style and comfort.

We've curated a list of can't-miss boutiques, popups, and events to make your October shopping experience effortless.

Ames Layne

Local boutique Ames Layne has everything for a perfect and sparkly game day look. They have everything from clear stadium bags, beaded belts, "Fancie" gameday fans, and sequin jackets in all the right colors.

Blue Hills Round Top

From October 14 to 28, Blue Hills at Round Top is the place to be. There will be more than 100 vendors showcasing their beautiful clothing, decor, antiques, jewelry and more. Parking is free, bathrooms are staffed, and there are over 100,000 square feet of treasures to explore.


BeDesign celebrates its 10th anniversary with a massive expansion that quadrupled its Montrose showroom footprint to 20,000 square feet. The BeDesign showroom is now the largest of its kind in Texas and among the largest in the country.

BeDesign showcases over 40 of the world's most celebrated European designer lines and renowned brands, including B&B Italia, Maxalto, Fendi Casa, Flexform, Ligne Roset, Molenti&C, and Paola Lenti.

Elizabeth Anthony

Uptown boutique Elizabeth Anthony has 11 in-store events featuring Spring trunk shows and designer appearances. Jewelry designers Katherine Jetter and Chris Davies will make personal appearances with their gemstone collections. This year, Catherine Regehr will host a Designer Evening Trunk Show with a personal appearance along with her daughter and co-designer, Eva. The trunk show aligns with their runway show benefiting the American Heart Association on October 25. Find details about individual events here.


Francesca's recently opened a new boutique in the Galleria. It is twice the size of a typical boutique and features a mini shop-in-shop where shoppers can find the brand's tween line, Franki.

Freya + Mirth

Popular Houston brands Freya and Mirth are joining forces and making it easy for one-stop shopping in their new space at 1610 Bissonnet. Their shop, Sixteen Ten, will be open to the public beginning October 11.

Jane Win

Planning fall getaways? Take a piece of Texas wherever you go with the Texas JW Original Pendant Coin. Double-sided, the pendant features the popular Texas Lonestar and the bluebonnet surrounded by the massive sunny state. The best-selling coin pendant is made of sterling silver and dipped in 14K gold.

MCM x Puma

The wait is over for fashion-forward basketball enthusiasts as MCM and PUMA Hoops are launching the third and final drop for Autumn/Winter 2023. This collection features vibrant ready-to-wear pieces and a show-stopping edition of PUMA's TRC Blaze Court Shoe, set to turn heads on and off the court. The new collection is available at MCM in the Galleria.


The premium lifestyle brand for men redefining the workplace wardrobe with performance-grade fabric and makers of "the best damn dress shirt" are having their biggest sale of the year. Beginning October 6 and lasting through October 9, Mizzen+Main shoppers can get 20% off sitewide with the code FRIENDLY20. .

Nails of America River Oaks & Nails of America Memorial

Nails of America River Oaks and Nails of America Memorial invite Houstonians to get "Pretty in Pink" in October to support the local nonprofit Beauty Beyond Breast Cancer, whose mission is to provide free wigs and salon services to women who have lost their hair due to various cancer-fighting treatments. 10% of each manicure or pedicure service will be donated to the nonprofit Beauty Beyond Breast Cancer. Related nail art services, including pink ribbons, are also included in the donation. Pretty in Pink will occur every Thursday in October from 9 am to 7 pm.

Patch Collection

It is October, so it is time to upgrade your Houston bling. Patch Collection has one of the largest selections of patches in Houston, featuring patches for all Houston sports teams, anime, music, travel, and more. Find them at 11718 N. Garden St., Building C.


The popular boot brand just dropped its newest collaboration with designer Kristopher Brock. Inspired by the American frontier and designed with a modern touch, the collection includes limited edition boots, floral print dresses, and more.


River Oaks favorite Tootsies will host several trunk shows, including Angela Mia Jewelry, Pedro Garcia, Maria Kastel Jewelry, and Catherine Regehr Resort 2024. Find details on dates and times here.

Freya and Mirth

Photo by Freya

Freya and Mirth have joined forces in a new boutique on Bissonette. 

Posh Persian palace set to open on Post Oak with kabobs galore

kabob's galore

An Atlanta-based restaurant known for its posh Persian fare arrives in Houston this month. Rumi’s Kitchen will open Monday, October 16.

Located in the Post Oak Place next to Uchiko and Zadok Jewelers, Rumi’s Kitchen offers a luxurious environment and a menu of elevated dishes inspired by classic Persian fare. Its roots go back almost 20 years, when chef and co-owner Ali Mesghali combined the techniques he learned working in Persian restaurant in Los Angeles with a stylish design and elevated service. In partnership with co-owner Stephen Kaplan, Rumi’s has expanded to three locations in Atlanta and a restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Rumi's Kitchen food spread

Courtesy of Rumi's Kitchen

Rumi's Kitchen opens this month.

“Houston has long been on our radar for growth given its celebrated diversity and incredible food scene,” Mesghali said in a statement. “We feel so fortunate to have met the Zadok family, who introduced us to stunning Post Oak Place and the Uptown district, which is not only home to a sizable international community, but also draws visitors from around the world for business and pleasure.”

The 5,500-square-foot, 170 seat restaurant features an open kitchen, photographs by Iranian artist Shadi Ghadirian, and custom light fixtures inspired by a whirling dervish, according to a release. A private dining room seats 40.

Meals at Rumi’s begin with dishes such as lamb ribs, lahmacun (a flatbread), kibbeh nayyeh (lamb tartare), and falafel. Diners will find four kinds of hummus, including versions topped with smoked salmon and another with roasted mushrooms.

Entree choices include a wide array of kabobs — including one made with American wagyu zabuton, as well as filet mignon, lamb, chicken, or shrimp — along with Duck Fesenjoon (brained duck with pomegranate stew), braised lamb shank, rack of lamb. Three-bone short rib with pomegranate glaze is designed to feed three or four people.

They’re paired with Persian-inspired cocktails such as the Sabzi Tonica. The wine list include a deep selection of legendary Lebanese winery Chateau Musar. Expect happy hour specials with classic cocktails and a dedicated food menu.

The restaurant opens for lunch and dinner beginning at 11:30 am on weekdays and noon on weekends. It’s located at 1801 Post Oak Blvd.

Ken Hoffman's bold prediction on the latest plan to transform The Astrodome

dome's day scenario

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano or Congress threatening to shut down the government, it’s become an annual event: a group comes forward with a plan to renovate the forlorn Houston Astrodome and turn it into a … something.

Ever since the Astrodome closed its doors in 2008, and was officially condemned a year later, groups have floated ideas to convert the one-time Eighth Wonder of the World into a casino, museum, resort hotel, movie studio, ski jumping facility, amusement park, indoor golf, waterpark, archery range and a million other things.

Some of the ideas were realistic. Some were cockamamie. One group took floating an idea literally and said why not flood the Astrodome floor and recreate history naval battles?

The latest Dome's-day scenario

The latest plan making the media rounds is presented by an LLC called Astrodome reIMAGINEd. The idea, as we reported, is to use private funds to create an entertainment complex with restaurants, shops and even different-sized football fields on the floor.

The proposal has Houston catching Astrodome fever again. What to do with Houston’s most famous landmark? It’s an emotional issue that gets people all worked up with no place to go.

This time around the Astrodome buzz has a new wrinkle. Some are pondering publicly if the Astrodome, just by sitting there, is preventing NRG Stadium from being awarded another Super Bowl. As though the NFL is threatening Houston, either renovate the Dome or tear it down if you want another Super Bowl.

I’ll tell you what’s going to happen to the latest plan, just like what happened with all the other plans:


And I’m calling BS on NFL Super Bowl deciders making the Astrodome an issue. While the Astrodome may be an offensive eyesore, it hasn't stopped more than 1,000 events from booking NRG Stadium, including:

Three Final Fours (2011, 2016, 2023), WrestleMania 25, the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, One Direction, U2, Coldplay, MLS All-Star Game, two international Jehovah’s Witnesses conventions, Texas Bowl, plus next year's College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and FIFA World Cup in 2026.

Oh, and two Super Bowls (2004, 2017). So much for the NFL hating on the Astrodome in the past.

A lot of issues under one Dome

The Astrodome currently sits empty, a shell of its former shimmering structure. The gutted building doesn’t have an air conditioning or plumbing system. Most of the rainbow-colored seats are gone. Its only inhabitants reportedly are cats and rats, and back when, a few adventurous young explorers. Let’s call them trespassers.

It currently costs taxpayers somewhere in the range of $150,000 to $400,000 a year to cover the Astrodome’s utilities and insurance bills. It would cost taxpayers an estimated $30 million or more to bulldoze it.

The Astrodome is owned by Harris County and is operated by the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. Harris County Commissioners Court has final say what, if and when anything is done with the Dome.

And there’s the rub. County commissioners don’t seem to have the Astrodome on their front burner. In fact, the Astrodome isn’t even in the commissioners’ kitchen. The five-member court appears more interested in dealing with flooding issues, healthcare, and criminal justice reform. I agree those are more pressing problems.

History on its side...for now

Besides, it isn’t just Commissioners Court that would have to sign off on any Astrodome plan. The building, or what’s left of it, has been designated a Texas Historical Landmark and a Texas Antiquities Landmark. The Astrodome also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Try convincing the Texas Historical Commission, hey, let’s turn the Astrodome into an amusement park. We’ll put the bumper cars and spinning tea cups where George H.W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination for president.

Many of the previous proposals to renovate the Astrodome failed because sponsors were unable to find private financing. You may have heard that interest rates are up and money is tight. You also might remember that there was an election in 2013. Voters did not approve a referendum that would have authorized $217 million in bonds to convert the Dome into a convention and event complex.

Contrary to what many believe, the vote was not about keeping vs. demolishing the Dome. It was about spending public funds to renovate it. The Dome lost. So it sits.

Do something

Like every hard-hitting journalist, I wrote several columns about the bond proposal and Astrodome’s future during 2013. What cheesed me off, a book about the Astrodome’s iffy future was published later and the author listed me as a media member helping lead the charge to demolish the Dome.

That wasn’t true. My position then, and now, is something needs to be done with the Astrodome. I’m good with fixing it up. I’m fine with tearing it down. What is unacceptable, however, is leaving the Dome in its current decaying state. Something needs to be done.

But you know how things work around here.

What do you think should happen to the Dome? Let Ken know at ken@culturemap.com or on Twitter.