Ten Most Anticipated Restaurants Coming to Houston in 2014

We hope to see these places open soon.

Jeannine's Bistro

The beloved Belgian bistro from half of the duo that brought us Café Montrose made a temporary closure permanent in May. On its Facebook page, the Belgian bistro wrote, "We've sadly decided to close, and wanted to thank all our friends & patrons for their support during the past 4 years. You were the reasons we were here & want you to know that you were appreciated. We will miss you all, as well as our staff tremendously!" Jeannine's was renowned for its moules in every variety from marinières to congolaise, as well as its perfect frites.


If these ribs from Killen's don't make you drool, you're not alive.
Courtesy of Killen's BBQ
If these ribs from Killen's don't make you drool, you're not alive.
We already miss you, Burger Guys...
Troy Fields
We already miss you, Burger Guys...

Katsuya was a favorite among athletes and socialites hoping to see and be seen in the chic space in West Ave, so it wasn't a lack of business that caused the sushi restaurant to close. Instead, it was conflict among the managing partners, particularly master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi, who no longer wanted to be involved in the restaurant. It closed over the Fourth of July weekend. Late this year, Donald Chang's new Korean and Japanese restaurant, Nara, opened in its place, and though Nara, too, is an Asian restaurant, it's a little more subdued and than Katsuya. Nara has already been getting great reviews, so hopefully it will last longer than its predecessor.

Perry's Italian Grille

Fans of the Perry's Steakhouse empire were sad to see Perry's Italian Grille close in late June. Residents of Clear Lake, where the restaurant was located, took to Yelp to lament the closure of the neighborhood favorite, reminiscing about date nights and pre-dance dinners that took place at the Italian eatery. Perry's Steakhouse is still open across the country, as is Perry & Sons Market and Grille. Why they spell grill with an "e" in every restaurant name remains a mystery.

Roots Bistro

A mere two months after Roots caused a stir with an ill-advised sign outside that read "Beer should be like violence: Domestic," the popular vegetarian restaurant bid Houston adieu in June. According to reports from CultureMap, a "disengaged investor" was behind the closure, not, as many people assumed, a drop in business after the tasteless domestic violence joke. Eric Sandler, at the time reporting for Eater, did point out a positive aspect to Roots's closure: "no more having to overenunciate the words 'Roost' and 'Roots' when talking about the two different, but very similarly named, restaurants." Indeed.

Taco Milagro

The modern Upper Kirby Mexican restaurant closed at the end of May, when its 15-year lease was up, due to increases in rent in the popular neighborhood. At the time, Candice Schiller of the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group, which owned and operated Taco Milagro, told the Chronicle's Greg Morago: "(Kirby) has become a street of upscale restaurants; most of them well financed multi-unit groups. Our littler counter service taco shop can't pay those kinds of rents." The space once occupied by Taco Milagro at the corner of Kirby and West­heimer remains empty.

Thelma's Bar B Que

Thelma's Bar B Que won accolades year after year for its smoky brisket, sausage and pork chops, but after a fire in 2009 felled the downtown location, a new shop that sprung up in the Third Ward just wasn't as good. In a Houston Chronicle article from 2010, Alison Cook called Thelma "cantankerous" and lamented that the restaurant wouldn't allow any changes or substitutions without a surcharge. Thelma's was quickly replaced with Abdel's BBQ, which describes itself as "a small black owned bbq bussiness thats hopefully gonna blow up...God willing [sic]." We're still waiting for that to happen.

Top 10

Top 10 Projected Houston Food Trends of 2014
What will be on the menu this year?

Kaitlin Steinberg

Looking back at 2013, the foods that really stick out in our minds are the trendy ones: Cronuts. Sriracha. Pretzel buns. Kale. These dominated the discussions on food blogs, in culinary magazines and on morning talk shows.

So with 2014 here, we thought we'd get ahead of the game by predicting what epicurean themes will emerge. Will Dominique Ansel invent another amazing pastry hybrid? (Probably not.) Will pretzel buns be usurped by something better? (God, we hope so.) Will the world end when we run out of Sriracha? (Entirely possible.)

We'll revisit these predictions at the end of the year to see how spot-on or way off we were. Some of the trends have already begun taking shape, but we expect them to really explode this year. Of course, no one can predict how big an impact a simple breakfast item or hot sauce will have. But we like to think we're pretty clever.

Here are our picks for the top food trends of 2014.

10. Korean food

Houston is already on top of this one with the recent opening of Donald Chang's Nara, an upscale Korean and Japanese restaurant in West Ave. We expect to see Korean flavors in everything from hamburgers to grilled cheese to ice cream next year, particularly thanks to the growing popularity of kimchi and gochujang hot sauce. Not only will Korean food inundate the food-truck and fast-casual realm, but we'll also start seeing more upscale takes on Korean cuisine, as at Nara.

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But.......but.....but,but what about KRISPY KREME?"?!!!!!