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A Slice for a Tat

Pi Pizza truck reflects on its unique promotion.

• 2 ounces vodka

• 4 ounces ginger beer

• juice of half a lime

Pi Pizza Truck expresses a unique style designed by tattooist Gabriel Massey
Francisco Montes
Pi Pizza Truck expresses a unique style designed by tattooist Gabriel Massey
Rosana Prada

Squeeze lime juice into Mule mug. Add ice, vodka and ginger beer. Drop in lime peel.

Any spicy ginger beer works well with a Moscow Mule, but for the sake of authenticity (I mean, I already have the mugs, so why hold back?), I like to use Cock 'n Bull ginger beer, named for the tavern where the Moscow Mule was supposedly first invented. John Martin, who had recently acquired Smirnoff vodka, was visiting the bar and learned that its owner, Jack Morgan, had an excess of ginger beer on his hands. Morgan's willingness to get rid of the ginger beer plus Martin's eagerness to promote vodka as a suitable spirit for mixed drinks led to some experimentation...thus the Moscow Mule was born. And the copper mug? For that we can thank Morgan's savvy lady friend, who had inherited a flagging copper products business and was looking for an in on the deal.

Now, this particular Moscow Mule is just "almost" perfect. While I had the proper glass and ginger beer, I lacked the Smirnoff because, as you know, you can't buy hard alcohol on a Sunday. Because it's the Lord's Day. Remember, there's no separation of church and state in this country. Wait a minute...

ANYWAY, non-Smirnoff vodka worked just fine. I had just one, in pious moderation.
_____________________

Restaurant News

Openings and Closings
More gains than losses with openings of Seasons 52, Taquerias Arandas and Chopping Block Gourmet Burgers.

Molly Dunn

The month of May has seen many restaurants and bars come and go, including a few surprises and an earlier good-bye from a well-loved establishment, but last week fortunately brought more openings than closings.

As Mai Pham reported, Seasons 52 opened May 23 offering a menu filled with items under 475 calories. You can eat a tasty meal without having to loosen the belt on your pants.

The north Houston and Katy areas got a new place to grab some tacos and authentic Mexican food with the opening of two Taquerias Arandas. Although two sushi restaurants closed their doors a couple weeks ago, B4-U-Eat reports that another one quietly opened in Sugar Land. Aki Steak and Sushi offers typical udon noodle dishes, hibachi grilled entrées and a bountiful number of sashimi and sushi rolls, including a pink soy paper-wrapped crab-and-avocado roll named the Katy Perry.

If you're thinking about traveling to Galveston, you have a few more choices. The Galvez Bar & Grill took the place of the bar and restaurant in the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston May 24 after hotel renovations were complete. The new bar and restaurant offers double bar capacity with enough seating for relaxing, socializing and dining and new menu selections, with a focus on local Gulf seafood, burgers and salads.

Another choice on Seawall Boulevard is Redfish Pool Bar — noted by the Houston Chronicle — which sits in front of Casey's Kitchen & Beach Bar, which just so happens to have been renamed Nick's Kitchen & Beach Bar.

To the surprise of many, Eater reports, Hawthorn shut its doors two weeks ago. According to partner Jeff Gainsborough, "For legal reasons, we cannot go into details, but we did not want to close."

In other closings, Baklava Café in Sugar Land shut its doors last week, along with Juan and Lefty's Mexican Cantina on Louetta Road in Spring, as reported by B4-U-Eat.

Taco Milagro closed on May 26, reportedly due to an inability to pay the rent in the upscale area of Kirby and Westheimer, as noted by the Chronicle. There's a possibility that Taco Milagro will reopen in a different location, though.

Fitting for the end of Burger Month, the Heights received another burger restaurant, Chopping Block Gourmet Burgers. From the one review on Yelp, it seems as though Chopping Block could be a cool place to hang out at lunch, dinner and later in the evening at the full-service bar.

Last Thursday, Hurricane Grill & Wings held its grand opening in the Champions area on FM 1960 West, offering more than 30 flavors of sauces and rubs for wings. From 3 to 7 p.m. each weekday, enjoy happy hour with $2 domestic 16-ounce beers, $5 margaritas and half-priced appetizers. The franchise has plans to add four more locations in Houston.

Keep an eye out for several restaurants to appear in coming months. The Houston Chronicle lets us know that Jus' Mac's third location will be taking the space previously occupied by the recently closed Jeannine's Bistro.

Last year's MasterChef champion, Christine Ha, also has plans to open a restaurant in Houston, with the assistance of MasterChef judge Joe Bastianich. Eater reports that information about when the restaurant will open, where it will be and what Ha will serve is still up in the air, but we can't wait.

Swamplot let us know that the Hungry's in Rice Village is being demolished, only to create a new Hungry's in the same location that will be a two-story building.

The Woodlands Waterway will also soon receive a Morton's, The Steakhouse in the previous location of Stir Crazy. Although this spot has held several restaurants over the years, maybe this well-known steakhouse will stick around for a while.

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