Correspondence this week from the "It Was Only a Matter of Time" department confirmed that The Moghul's has closed. After one disastrous visit to the place, I was never inclined to go back -- and it appears the restaurant left other guests with the same impression.
Moving into the spot, however, is another restaurant which I'm already wary of: Harvest Live Grille & Bar, whose move into the former Moghul's (and former Champps) space will mark its second location in Houston. I've only had one meal so far at its Fountainview location and came away terribly unimpressed, but -- unlike The Moghul's -- not so blatantly offended that I won't return to try its all-organic menu at some point in the future.
In other vaguely disappointing news, Bennigan's is reopening in Houston. And just after I finished beaming with pride over the fact that virtually none of Consumer Reports' top nine U.S. chains are located here. Just terrific. More Bennigan's. It's like waking up from a pleasant dream only to find that you haven't actually woken up and are actually now in the midst of a nightmare BECAUSE BENNIGAN'S.
However! There is good news on the horizon...
For one, The Petrol Station has finally reopened its kitchen after some renovations. Patrons who missed the signature burgers had their appetites slaked by a cadre of food trucks that were in near-constant rotation and which will certainly be missed. On the other hand, it's good to have Petrol's kitchen back and intact once again.
Long-awaited Austin import J. Black's Feel Good Lounge finally opened this past week after months of construction/renovation in the former Phil's Texas Barbecue spot along Washington Avenue. According to its Twitter account, the restaurant had been keeping busy prior to the opening by supplying free sliders to residents at the neighboring Archstone Memorial Heights apartment complex. That's one way to ensure local loyalty...
And another import -- this one from Dallas -- has finally opened in Midtown, in the space formerly occupied by here-and-gone Tex-Mex joint Ruby Tequila's. Gloria's Restaurant offers a fairly straightforward Tex-Mex menu of its own with a few twists, such as its signature "Salvatex Combinations" section. There you'll find dishes such as asado de puerco Salvatex with ancho chiles and black beans. There's also an entire Comida Salvadoreña section with classics like lechón asado and carne adobada.
Finally, according to B4-U-Eat, brand-new bakery JavaCakes in La Porte had just opened on June 4 -- and then tragedy struck: The restaurant was hit by burglars and had to close. JavaCakes has regrouped, however, says B4-U-Eat: "[T]heir Grand Opening is Saturday, June 30. 100th customer on Saturday wins a free drink and pastry for a year."
On the next page, a round-up of all the openings and closings from June 2012....
Alicia's Mexican Grille, 25725 Katy Freeway, Katy, 281-347-1800 Bennigan's, 8401 Westheimer , 832-623-6576 BeQuay Sandwiches, 37285 Broadway, Galveston, 409-497-2467 Bibas Brooklyn Express, 233 Main, 713-222-1184 Bonefish Grill, 19325 Gulf Freeway, Webster, 281-299-8585 Brunch Kafe, 11113 Katy Freeway, 713-647-8751 Cafe Brussels, 1718 Houston, 713-222-6996 China Sea Hibachi Buffet, 18736 Highway 249, 832-688-8904 The Cock & Bull Pub, 3659 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, 713-385-8893 Cozy Grape Wine Bar and Bistro, 14340 Liberty, Montgomery, 281-948-9205 Genghis Grill, 3879 Southwest Freeway, 713-960-1100 Gloria's Restaurant, 2616 Louisiana, 832-360-1710 Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 15518 Spencer Road J. Black's Feel Good Lounge, 110 S. Heights, 713-862-7818 Jambone's Grill Pub, 16227 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land, 832-724-8155 JavaCakes, 9709 Spencer Highway, La Porte, 281-867-9454 Pho Vn 21 Vietnamese Noodles, 5800 Bellaire, 713-663-7879 Pinkberry, 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands, 281-419-7799 Red Dot Cuisine, 8921 Louetta, Spring, 281-303-5686 Sagar Indian Cuisine, 5600 Hillcroft, 713-953-9300 Sale-Sucre, 2916 White Oak, 713-623-1406 Seabrook Waffle Company, 1402 5th Street, Seabrook, 281-291-8186 Sol Cafe Mejicano, 1205 Travis, 713-651-0049 The King's Head Pub, 1809 Eldridge Parkway, 832-379-1000
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Beef 'O'Brady's, 6200 Broadway, Pearland Bibas Kitbar, 607 West Gray Casa Ole, 3121 Palmer Highway, Texas City Lone Star Pizza, 13416 Greenway Drive, Sugar Land