Openings & Closings: Wings on the Run

If you don't get the title of this week's Openings & Closings, I'm afraid I'm just going to have to assign you some classic Paul McCartney as homework. Get to it.

Two new food trucks are hitting the road, and both are serving wings. Party Fowl, from the same guys that run The Modular, is already up and running, as Minh Truong reported yesterday. It was only a matter of time, it seems, as The Modular men have been making wings to great acclaim at Grand Prize Bar for some time now. Sadly, it also means the demise of Cut & Fry, the frites truck that closed down this past Monday, saying: "If y'all haven't already heard, we're out of the game... Thank you for all the support and keep on supporting Houston food trucks. Had a great experience and gained a lot of amazing new friends."

Meanwhile, the Moon Tower Inn guys have been hard at work on their own wings truck for a few weeks now. The truck doesn't have a name yet, but I encourage you to leave your own suggestions in the comments section. (The Upchuck Wagon has already been taken.)

Also in openings, new "gastrocantina" (see here) El Gran Malo is opening today, serving tacos and ceviches alongside its housemade tequila infusions.

Amidst all these openings, however, there have been quite a few chef shuffles the past week. Can't you guys stay put?!

I demand that Birdwell's fried green tomatoes follow him to Voice.
I demand that Birdwell's fried green tomatoes follow him to Voice.
Photo by Troy Fields

The Modular will have Jason Hauck around even more than usual to help out, as Hauck has left his executive chef post at Soma Sushi. He put in his two weeks' before going on vacation, meaning that you've already missed your last chance to enjoy his Franco-Japanese cooking at Soma.

Said Hauck when I spoke to him earlier this week: "I had a wonderful time at Soma, but it seemed to be the right time to leave. I'm taking some time to spend with family and friends." He plans to travel more, too, and eventually hopes to open his own spot someday. "I prefer to cook in the small plates realm," he said. His work at The Modular, which is entirely composed of small plates by necessity, should be interesting exercise for this future endeavor.

Last week, we let you know that Greg Lowry was out as executive chef at Voice, and that a Mexican concept was rumored to be taking its place. It looks like those rumors were true, as Tommy Birdwell from TQLA has left TQLA to take over Voice's kitchen is consulting on the new menu.

Lowry will be missed at Voice, but if anyone was going to steer Voice (Voz?) in the right direction, it's Birdwell. (Edit: Although we have heard consistently from our sources that Voice will become a Mexican restaurant, its PR agency assures us that's not so. We'll let you know when Voice does decide on its new direction.) Meanwhile, you can catch Lowry at El Gran Malo for the next few weeks until Triniti opens up.

Last but not least, Mark Schmidt was rumored to be leaving Rainbow Lodge for weeks now, and he's finally done it. Schmit leaves his popular wild game Burger Fridays behind for the brassy Brasserie 19 in River Oaks.

And rounding up the week in burger news, Swamplot says that it's only a matter of time before In-n-Out sets its sights on Houston. And Beck's Prime welcomes another location to its franchise, this one in the Heights. As if they didn't have enough burgers over there already...

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