What's more French than Mussels Mariniere?
What's more French than Mussels Mariniere?
Photo courtesy of Maison Pucha Bistro

Openings & Closings: Bienvenue Maison Pucha Bistro

Maison Pucha Bistro, 1001 Studewood, debuted its dinner service November 22. The much anticipated Heights restaurant is owned and operated by the three Pucha brothers, each with their own specialty, after years in the restaurant worlds of Houston and New York.

Manuel, formerly executive chef at La Table, will be incorporating his Ecuadorian heritage into a decidedly French menu, with dishes such as Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche and a Peruvian tiradito de pescado, as well as traditional French dishes like coq au vin and bouillabaisse. Pastry chef, Victor Pucha, will include favorites such as profiteroles while introducing Ecuadorian chocolate and coffee into some of the dessert offerings. Rounding out the team is brother Cristian as General Manager and beverage director. Lunch service is planned for the near future.

The Pucha brothers open their first restaurant together.
The Pucha brothers open their first restaurant together.
Photo courtesy of Maison Pucha Bistro

Jin Korean BBQ has made its way from the Dallas area to Houston. The all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant had its grand opening at 8338 West Sam Houston Parkway South. on November 6. Diners can cook their proteins at their table or opt for prepared items. With a buffet option for $16.99 at lunch and $25.99 at dinner, it is a bit cheaper than some others around town. Be forewarned — their menu states that a $20 penalty will be added for uneaten food. We aren’t sure how that is enforced, but don’t say we didn’t tell you. A third location opened in Arlington on November 20.

Paella Sundays at Fabian's.
Paella Sundays at Fabian's.
Photo courtesy of Fabian's Latin Flavors

Fabian’s Latin Flavors, 301 Main, opened November 10. After a brief stint as Dizzy Kaktus, the new restaurant and salsa bar offers a South American inspired cuisine with a menu that includes empanadas, ceviche and Columbian-style brunch dishes. On Friday and Saturday nights, there will be DJs and occasional live music for those ready to bust out their best salsa moves or just shake their moneymakers on a warm Houston night. There is also paella available on Sundays.

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, 8366 Westheimer, opened November 14 with a second Houston location opening at 8238 Kirby on November 28. The family-founded chain started in 1989 in the Bronx, New York and has now increased to more than 120 stores in nine states, with franchisees. The fast, casual eateries offer Jamaican patties, jerk chicken sandwiches and braised oxtails. The restaurants are small, so many people grab their Caribbean treats to go, but there are a few tables for dining in.

The sun is always shining at Golden Krust.EXPAND
The sun is always shining at Golden Krust.
Photo courtesy of Felicia Bramwell

TruIndia Restaurant, 2431 Bay Area Boulevard, opened in the space previously occupied by Fire and Spice. Word is the staff and chef are the same, but the menu has changed.

Poke Now, 17758 Katy Freeway, opened November 2. On offer are poke bowls, wraps and tacos. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.

Poke Now offers an alternative to sushi.EXPAND
Poke Now offers an alternative to sushi.
Photo courtesy of Poke Now

Ronny G’s, 1027 Sawdust, opened November 12. The Woodlands neighborhood sports bar is family-friendly with a kids menu and a no-smoking policy. There is a heated patio, fire pits, and a variety of bar games, like darts and shuffleboard. The menu offers burgers, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers in the ten dollar and under range.

TaD’s Bar and Grill, 13215 Grant, opened September 1, according to Community Impact. This is the third location for the TaD’s restaurant group, with restaurants in Katy and Tomball, as well. Serving a mix of Louisiana-inspired cuisine and Southern favorites, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Sunday special is all-you-can-eat catfish ($9.99).

The Teahouse expnads to Cypress.EXPAND
The Teahouse expnads to Cypress.
Photo courtesy of Teahouse Tapioca and Tea

Teahouse Tapioca and Tea has been busy expanding in the Houston area ever since its first location in Hong Kong City Mall, April 2000. Originally a family-owned business started in Kaohsiung,Taiwan, there are now 14 Houston franchises. Teahouse Tapioca and Tea, 12343 Barker Cypress, had its grand opening on October 28, followed by The Teahouse Gulfgate, 840 Gulfgate Center Mall on November 4. Another location opened, The Teahouse Woodlake, 9664 Westheimer, on November 7. The stores sell a mind-spinning variety of teas, coffees, cocoas, and fruit drinks. The less common red tea, Rooibos, is available as well. The Teahouse Kingwood, 4554 Kingwood, is temporarily closed due to damage sustained during Hurricane Harvey and is expected to reopen in January 2018.

The Teahouse Woodlake is ready for the holidays.
The Teahouse Woodlake is ready for the holidays.
Photo courtesy of Teahouse Tapioca and Tea

Duck Donuts, 3157 West Holcombe, is slated to open this December, as reported here in the Houston Press. The North Carolina-based company has a different concept when it comes to the circular treats. Starting with a plain vanilla donut, customers can create their own donut with a variety of toppings, coatings, and drizzles. The world is your oyster, er, donut.

Snooze, an A.M. eatery, is moving to the Heights to open its fourth location in Houston in early 2018. The restaurant will be located at 718-A West 18th.The self-identified all-day breakfast and brunch hot spot with origins in Denver has apparently hit a welcome nerve with Houstonians who stand in line to get in its other locations in Cinco Ranch, the Memorial area and at 3217 Montrose.

benjy’s on Washington is serving its final Sunday supper this New Year’s Eve, as reported here in the Press. The second location of Benjy Levit’s eponymous restaurant brand, which opened in 2008, will be undergo a major reinvention as The Classic-All Day. The space will be newly configured and built-from the-ground-up, overseen by The Office of Michael Hsu Architecture and designer Aaron Rambo’s Found for the Home.

The new restaurant, described as a New American tavern, is expected to open early summer 2018.

The Washington location of benjy’s suffered a kitchen fire in March and minor damage from Hurricane Harvey. Because of this, Benjy Levit says, “I saw a unique opportunity to cultivate an entirely new concept in the space that will offer exciting new dishes while staying true to the existing level of excellence that benjy’s customers have come to expect.”

That excellence can still be had at the original location, benjy’s in the Village, 2424 Dunstan, which opened in 1995.

Openings & Closings: Bienvenue Maison Pucha Bistro
Photo by Houston Press

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