Restaurant News

Openings and Closings in Houston: Hola to The Halal Guys

The long-awaited grand opening of The Halal Guys' first Houston location has been announced. On Saturday, January 30, head over to 3821 Farnham (with a few hundred of your closest friends) to see what all the fuss is about and get yourself some sweet grand-opening prizes. Don't forget to try the addictive but vaguely named white sauce while you're there.

Bernadine's, the Gulf Coast eatery at 1801 North Shepherd, is now open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, as well as brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. The lunch menu includes cornbread cauliflower panzanella, a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and pickled red onions, and a fried green tomato po-boy with slaw and sprouts, while the brunch offerings include barbecue pork and potato skin hash with house-made andouille sausage, as well as specialty brunch cocktails like the Breakfast Club with Alberta Rye, coffee liqueur, vanilla bean and elderflower.

Downtown's GreenStreet at 1201 Fannin now includes Caffé Bene, a coffeehouse and light bites eatery that originally hails from South Korea. The cafe is a newcomer to the Houston scene, although there are locations across the United States, and the menu will offer more than just traditional American coffee fare – Caffé Bene also has misugaru, a grain-based drink booster that's been popular in Korea for centuries.

In other good news for central Houstonians, La Fisheria has now opened its downtown location at 213 Milam and, although Aquiles Chavez is still the chef behind the concept, this location will be home to chef Vidal Elias Murillo, whose roots are in the Mexican state of Tabasco. The eatery will still specialize in coastal Mexican cuisine and include many of customers' favorite dishes from the Inker location, although Murillo will add some of his own creations to the menu as well.

La Table, 1800 Post Oak, has unveiled its new French-style bakery, Macarons, which is complete with full breakfast and coffee offerings. It's open at 7 a.m. daily with dishes like egg carnitas and French toast, plus traditional bakery offerings like brioches and, of course, macarons.

Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle reports that baseball fans will have a few new ballpark-area dining options very soon; Panchina, a casual Italian eatery, and Brocca, a more upscale Italian restaurant, will each be located on Texas between La Branch and Crawford. The two concepts are owned by Astros owner Jim Crane, which explains why their names mean "bench" and "pitcher," respectively. They will be operated by Bryan Caswell and Bill Floyd, whose concepts include Jackson Street BBQ, Little Bigs and El Real Tex-Mex Cafe.

EaDo will be getting a new gastropub as part of the East Village project. Chapman & Kirby will take over the former Kitchen Depot space at 2118 Lamar, although an opening date hasn't been announced. The concept gets its name from the middle names of Houston's founders, Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen, and the fare will also reflect Houston with dishes like lobster tamales and bao filled with pulled duck.

Pearland hot spot Grazia Italian Kitchen, 9415 West Broadway, will be opening an eatery soon in the former Perry's Italian Grille spot at 1051 Pineloch. While the original location boasts a speakeasy, complete with password and a strict dress code, the new Grazia Italian Grill will have a larger bar in the restaurant itself that will serve 20 beers on tap and the craft cocktails that Grazia has become known for. The new grill menu is more meat-heavy than the original restaurant's menu, and the anticipated opening date is late March. The restaurant's ownership has plans to open six additional Houston-area locations over the next few years.

Los Cucos Mexican Cafe has opened a Baybrook location at 1330 West Bay Area, and, although the brand has more than 20 Texas locations, this is the first in southeast Houston. This location sports a taco bar, in addition to the parrillas and other traditional Mexican fare that have made Los Cucos a Houston favorite.

Another exciting restaurant is coming to the Baybrook Mall area; Perry's Steakhouse & Grill is opening a new location at 700 Baybrook Mall Drive this Thursday, January 28. The spacious dining room will offer every patron a view into the kitchen, and the open design features glass fixtures to create a "bigger, brighter" space, in the words of Perry's CEO, Chris Perry.

CultureMap's Eric Sandler wrote a lengthy piece about the goings-on of John Avila, a barbecue master who earned his stripes at Austin's beloved Franklin Barbecue, and we'll give you the brief version here. Avila has parted ways with Michael Sambrooks of the forthcoming The Pit Room, and now Avila is going to focus on his new barbecue project, El Burro & the Bull, with his wife and brother. That concept will serve fare at Conservatory, a beer garden and food hall that will open in the coming months at 1010 Prairie. Avila also has Hot Bird in the works, which will be a smoked chicken wing eatery on the Navigation esplanade in the East End.

An update to last week's announcement about the soon-to-open Tiff's Treats in The Woodlands: The address for that location is 1620 Research Forest near I-45 north.

Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email about it.