Feges BBQ Spring Branch, 8217 Long Point, opened June 20. This will be the second location of the barbecue restaurant from husband and wife Patrick Feges and Erin Smith. The first opened in the food court of the Greenway Plaza office complex in 2018. Feges is a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq. He and Smith met while working at Chris Shepherd's restaurant, Underbelly, in 2012.
With Feges' mastery of the pit and Smith's culinary prowess with sides, they have built a devoted clientele at Greenway Plaza but the pandemic took away some of their customers as many office employees worked from home. They soldiered on with take-away deals, pop-ups and selling their products at local farmers markets while working toward opening the Spring Branch location. The couple are residents of the area and since becoming parents themselves, they saw the need for a family-friendly neighborhood barbecue joint. The new restaurant will have a kids menu and play area.
It will also have extended hours compared to the Greenway Plaza food court spot. Because it will be serving both lunch and dinner, there will be two separate smoke cooks on the J&R Manufacturing Oylers, meaning the standard of quality will be the same for both services. The all-day menu will include much of the original location's menu but will also feature salads, sandwiches and new entrees like smoked meatloaf and fried chicken.
Service begins with counter ordering but the food will be brought to the table by a server who will continue to take care of the table from that point, including taking payment.
Smith, who spent a year as a sommelier for Camerata, collaborated with fellow sommelier Christopher Poldoian to create a sixteen-bottle wine list of varietals that pair well with smoked meats. There will also be beers from local brewers such as Saint Arnold, Eureka Heights, No Label, 8th Wonder and more.
according to the Houston Chronicle.
Chasitie Lindsay says that more people are embracing the vegan lifestyle, including those in the Black community. In an email she said, " We've always been creative and well-seasoned as a people, so once we stepped out of our comfort zone of typical meats and dairy, we discovered that the possibilities are endless. Even the older generation has been coming around and enjoying a vegan meal and it makes me smile every time! " She also added that many of their customers are not vegan; they just love the mind-blowing flavors that husband Courtney creates with different plants, fruits and vegetables.
Omar founded the brand in 2011 and claims to have opened the first halal food truck in Houston. Born in Jordan, Omar came to the United States in 2008 to earn his master's degree in Houston. While attending college, he worked in restaurants across the city and was inspired to combine his passion for cooking with the business side of restaurant ownership. What started out as "Abu Omar Taco" food truck became a multi-location success due to the popularity of not only the halal tacos but the fan favorite, chicken shawarma. The brand became Abu Omar Halal and the young entrepreneur has been expanding his concept ever since.
Abu Omar offers a variety of snacks and starters such as hummus, fried eggplant, kibbe balls and stuffed grape leaves. Dessert choices are rice pudding and baklava. For customers on grand opening day, there will be a free serving of baklava while supplies last.
It serves a variety of curries, kabobs, biryanis and snacks like samosas and pakoras. To accommodate vegetarians and vegans, the restaurant has added items such as vegetable pakoras, Beyond Keema Curry, vegan lassis and more. There are some gluten-free choices as well. For those who do eat meat, the chicken is all-natural and hormone free while the lamb is pasture-raised, grass-fed and halal.
In a press release, CEO Tinku Saini said about the new location, "We're in a perfect location in Westchase and have hired an enthusiastic team to help us bring our authentic Indian cuisine to the area. We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve, so partnering with Daya is the perfect opportunity for us to make an impact through our grand opening."
Daya is a Houston non-profit that assists South Asian women, men and children who have suffered physical or sexual assault. From July 5 though July 11, Tarka Indian Kitchen Westchase will donate a portion of its proceeds to the organization.
Salata, 1555 Lake Woodlands, celebrated its grand opening June 24. This is the third location for Salata Supreme Greens Franchise Group. The Houston-based Salata, a built-to-order salad kitchen, has more than 80 corporate-owned and franchised operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Louisiana and Southern California and more new markets are in the works.
Across from The Woodlands Mall, the new Salata will be 2,620 square feet and offer customizable salads and wraps plus soups, organic teas and lemonades. The fruits, vegetables and lean proteins are prepared in-house daily. There are five salad bases, more than 50 toppings and 11 house-made, gluten-free dressings.
For those who missed the grand opening giveaways, The Woodlands Salata will offer the first 50 guests to visit June 26 a " Be Our Guest" coupon ($12 value) for a free meal on a return visit.
According to bellagreen CEO Jason Morgan, " We are catering to a new environment where consumers crave convenience so we are building our first carry-out and delivery only prototype to meet this need and beyond."
The new model will use its own drivers for delivery instead of operating through third party delivery services, helping to keep the costs down for both the company and consumer. Individual and catering orders can be done through its website or by phone and in-person.
Those of us who have been fortunate to grow up with Italian nonnas, or at least marry into a family of them, know that many authentic, contemporary Italian restaurants don't usually serve the dishes that many American Italians, especially in the Northeast, grew up eating. There's a multitude of reasons for the evolution of Italian-American cuisine but one of the hallmarks is the red sauce, or gravy, that sometimes envelops many of the dishes.
The wood-burning oven at One Fifth, which Shepherd believes may be the oldest non-gas assisted wood oven in Houston, will also be used for pizza. And just one pizza: pepperoni. This writer sure would like to see someone do a fried eggplant pizza. Or even a clam pie like they do in New Haven. Hint, hint.
Shepherd is a man of many friends and as an homage, he has included some items from other chef pals. The Caesar Salad from the now-closed Pass & Provisions will be on the menu as well as the Ragu alla Napoletana from chef Sarah Gruenberg's Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio in Chicago. It's a hearty dish of tomato-braised pork osso buco, meatballs, cacciatore sausage, fusilli and broccolini rapini.
The menu will also include a New York-style cheesecake and toasted ravioli, Shepherd's take on a childhood favorite of his from Mister C's, a longtime, now-shuttered Italian restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska.
Barkley's Midtown, 2300 Louisiana, began its soft opening June 11. Gradually, it is beginning to open its kitchen as well but the bar is also bringing in food trucks occasionally as it gets its kitchen staff in order. Located in the former space which housed Irish Cowboy, it is an oasis for dog lovers to bring their canine companions for games, sports, craft cocktails and cold beer.
The AstroTurf lawn makes a nice area for doggies to run, fetch and sniff. There is even a menu for the pups which includes the Cheeseburger in Pawradise and Pupcorn. For adult humans, there are cocktails with dog-themed names including the Old Yeller Fashioned, Rin Tin Tin and fittingly, Hair of the Dog. As the kitchen comes up to speed, guests can expect a menu of burgers plus snacks like Let's Get Twisted, a thirteen-inch pretzel served with mustard, smoked queso and chorizo chili.
Yappy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 .m.
Currently, the restaurant is holding a Fourth of July Burger Drive benefitting the Southern Smoke Foundation. Customers can order the Bludorn Burger Kit ($90) online at toasttab. It includes four 8-ounce patties made with its dry-aged ground beef blend and four ounces of caramelized onions plus toppings like Redneck Cheddar, frisee, whole grain mustard aioli and cornichons. The orders should be picked up between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. July 3 at the restaurant.
The online ordering also allows customers to make a financial donation to Southern Smoke, chef Chris Shepherd's non-profit which aids fellow hospitality industry members in a multitude of ways from natural disaster relief to financial assistance due to the pandemic crisis. And, for those who like a good brew to accompany a good burger, there's an option for adding on a six-pack of Horseshoe Pilsner for $12. Horseshoe is a collaboration from Karbach Brewing with Shepherd and pitmaster Aaron Franklin with a portion of sales going to Southern Smoke.
The new Hogg Life Cone is a hand-rolled waffle cone filled with fried chicken bites tossed in Thug's special "Hogg Life" sauce which is sweet, savory, smoky and spicy. It gets even more over the top with the addition of mac 'n cheese, crispy fried onions and a hint of salted bacon. A note from your doctor is not required but this is definitely a cheat day treat.
Woodall's BBQ, 22920 Kuykendahl, opened June 12. The family-owned barbecue restaurant offers meat plates with ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey breast, brisket and sausage. The meats can also be ordered by the pound to go. There is a burger basket and sandwich plate and the Texas Twosome lets diners combine a sandwich and a baked potato. The Choice Sides are sold by the half-pint, pint and quart and include potato salad, corn, pinto beans, coleslaw, green beans and mac 'n cheese. The Prime Sides menu offers Seasoned Fries, Onion Rings, Fried Okra Basket and a Baked Potato All-the-Way. There is also a kids menu for twelve and under or big kids 55 and up.
Elin Asian Bistro & Ramen,13708 Northwest Freeway, opened June 13. With its extensive menu of Chinese-American favorites, traditional ramen and a few Thai dishes as well, it has plenty to choose from. There are the usual lunch specials on dishes like General Tso's, Orange Chicken, Pepper Steak and Kung Pao plus specialties and family packs. Ramen options include Tonkotsu, Spicy Miso, Umami Shoyu, Spicy Seafood and more. The cute and contemporary interior makes a pleasant spot to have a meal and end it with one of the build-your-own waffle ice creams.
Baan Thai Cuisine, 5350 FM 1960 E., opened June 8. In an area short of Thai options, Baan Thai offers an extensive menu of standard favorites such as red, green, panang and massaman curries plus Spicy Eggplant, Lemon Fish (with Pampano) and Spicy Thai Basil Salmon. Soups include Tom Kha, Tom Yum and Poa-Tak. For starters, guests can try Roti, Fried Tofu, Fish Cakes and Chicken Satay.
Lunch specials ($9.95) run Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Five competitors were cut from the first round leaving Dylan McShan (Rosie Cannonball), Alvin Schultz (private chef), Ben Quasius (NASA nuclear physicist and reigning champ), Felix Castro (Acme Oyster House) and Pre- Shift Podcast host and former Houston Press writer, Kate McLean, to fight it out. In the end, Julep owner Alba Huerta announced McShan as the 2021 Oyster Shucking Champion, much to the delight of his team which included staff from Rosie Cannonball. Proceeds from the event went to McShan's chosen charities, The Houston Women's Center and The Galveston Bay Foundation.