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Top 8 Seasonal Texas Brews

Get in the fall spirit with one of these beers.

The millet porridge was hot and bland. I saw another woman adding spice to it, but I just scooped it up as is, enjoying the textured, watered-down flavor of lightly salted millet as I observed the tables of small families with toddlers and young children, some of whom openly stared at me, the only solo female in the place.

The spicy wontons arrived first, delivered to me by a senior gentleman with weathered hands and a slight limp. I thanked him as I eyed the dumplings with satisfaction. They looked fresh and plump, nestled in a bed of spicy Szechuan-type oil and sprinkled with crushed peanuts. And boy, were they tasty. I tried them dunked in the spicy red sauce they came with, which had heat but didn't burn, and then tried them with my vinegary dumpling sauce that I'd mixed with garlic and ginger. I liked them both ways and easily finished the dish.

By the time the pan-fried dumplings arrived, I'd polished off the bowl of wontons, and it's a good thing I did. Though they were massive in size, I was much less impressed with the dumplings, finding the wrapper too thick and doughy for my taste. I ate one or two, but left the rest, and made a mental note to come back for the wontons, for the plate of rice with pork belly and for the fried chicken wings (I'd seen them delivered to another table, and they looked pretty darn good). I hear the beef noodle soup is worth a try as well.
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Local Spotlight

Caesar Salad at Provisions
Remade to be extraordinary.

Brooke Viggiano

Most of the time, remaking a classic can feel gimmicky and overcomplicated. There are times, though, when each twist and tweak can feel revolutionary.

And this is the case with Provisions' take on the classic Caesar salad; not only is it revolutionary, it's extraordinary. 

Served as a wedge, an entire heart of ultra-crisp romaine sits plumply in the center of the white plate. On it lies a blanket of textures of flavors, each different element peeking out through the wedge's nooks and crannies.

First, the sprinkling of crisp, dehydrated bread crumbs and garlic add a buttery, spicy and peppery crunch. Next, wisps of freshly grated Parmesan bring a bite of nuttiness and saltiness, while the slivers of white anchovy practically melt in your mouth, each forkful dancing with the mild flavors of the sea. You won't find a more surprising dish in all of ­Houston.

It's definitely rich, but if there's one thing the chefs at Provisions know, it's balance; ultra-thin slices of pickled lemon and caper berries are scattered throughout, brightening the dish and providing just the right touch of acid.

Light, fresh, salty, lemony, garlicky and cheesy, the dish has all the classic flavors of a Caesar salad, but each and every one of them is elevated into something much better, resulting in a salad "experience" that you'll be thinking about long after the plate is empty. Large enough to share, it's the ideal way to start what is sure to be an incredible meal.
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Restaurant News

Openings and Closings
A pair of fire closures, Refuge in The Woodlands & more.

Molly Dunn

The past week or so began with a couple of fires; one forced a renowned sushi restaurant to close its doors, and the other took a brand-new creperie food truck off the road. Let's start with the bad news before taking a look at all the new restaurants that opened last week.

On September 29 around 1 a.m., a fire broke out inside MF Sushi, causing the popular spot to close. Chef and owner Chris Kinjo told CultureMap that he was in shock but confirmed that no one was injured in the fire. The Houston Fire Department told Kinjo that they believe a soup warmer was the cause of the fire. MF Sushi will reopen, but Kinjo says he doesn't know when that will happen.

That wasn't the only closure caused by fire last week. Food truck Lulu Blues: A Creperie was put out of business after the truck's engine caught on fire during its first official day of service, September 28. CultureMap's Eric Sandler reports that Laura Duffey and her husband realized the truck's engine was smoking and immediately pulled over to the shoulder of 610. Duffey says flames consumed the truck shortly thereafter. The engine was reportedly brand-new, and the cause of the fire is unknown. The couple are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar officially closed two weekends ago. After selling its frozen yogurt for half the original price during its final week of service, the Midtown yogurt bar has shut its doors. We will just have to wait to see what Lola's next plans will be.

Now let's take a look at which restaurants opened their doors last week and which ones you can expect to begin service in the coming weeks. The list is large.

The Dosa Factory, an Indian creperie, opened at 5959 Richmond last week. Eater reports that the restaurant serves traditional Indian dishes, American meals and the namesake dosas, which are fermented crepes made from black lentils and rice batter.

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