Openings and Closings: Goodbye SaltAir, Hello Dish Society No. 3

Breakfast at Dish Society is a delight.EXPAND
Breakfast at Dish Society is a delight.
Photo by Deborah Smail
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Dish Society, 12525 Memorial, began its soft opening October 9 and, as of this week, is now in full swing. The restaurant sources many of its ingredients from local suppliers, such as Atkinson Farms, Black Hill Ranch and Slow Dough Bread. There is counter service for breakfast and lunch and full service for dinner and social hour. The Memorial Green restaurant is the third Dish Society location which includes restaurants in the Galleria and Cinco Ranch. There’s a dog-friendly patio and treats for the pups.

Clark Cooper Concepts restaurant group, which includes eateries Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppa Osteria, Punk's and The Dunlavy, announced this week that its two-year-old raw bar and redfish hub SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, 3029 Kirby, will close on October 27.

A representative for the restaurant sent an email that included the following:

It is with heavy hearts we share that we will be closing SaltAir Seafood Kitchen on Friday, October 27th. We opened SaltAir with the goal of giving you all an experience that was different than any other seafood restaurant in Houston and over the past years we feel we achieved that goal.

Salt Air sadly shutters at the end of October.
Salt Air sadly shutters at the end of October.
Photo by Troy Fields

California Pizza Kitchen, 1997 W. Gray, has closed permanently. According to Swamplot, it will make way for a two-story Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille. Weingarten Realty plans to build a high-rise residential building in the area, along with an underground parking garage.

Cajun Stop, 2130 Jefferson, closed September 8, temporarily, for roof repairs. The EaDo joint reopened October 6 and had a grand reopening October 15. Known for its extra sloppy roast beef po-boys and boiled seafood, it operates a second restaurant at 24320 Kuykendahl.

If Cajun fusion is your thing, Casian Crawfish, 5314 Telephone Road, opened June 3. Yeah, we missed this one over the summer but social media sure didn’t. The boiled shrimp and crawfish seem to be the major draw, along with some Vietnamese specialties like bo kho, a Vietnamese beef stew. The service and laid-back atmosphere get high marks as well. The location may be a bit lackluster, but its highly-satisfied customers don’t seem to mind. They also know to BYOB.

Bay Fusion Vietnamese Asian Kitchen, 1650 Louetta, had its grand opening September 25 and began its lunch specials on October 12. The menu is a blend of Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and Korean cuisines. They claim to be the first restaurant serving flying noodles (flying pho) in Houston. A trend started in Singapore, the noodles come out in a bamboo container and look as if they are hanging off chopsticks suspended in the air. The chopsticks are actually attached to a stick, which is hidden by the noodles.

Star Cinema Grill, 8920 Fry Road, is expected to open Friday, November 3. The movie theater provides full restaurant service and has implemented a new ordering system, according to Community Impact. Customers can now use handheld devices to order food. There have been some upgrades to the menu, but the usual suspects like nachos, burgers, and pizzas are on offer. There will also be a lounge area and 25-seat bar.

Mikki's Cafe has comfort food for the soul.
Mikki's Cafe has comfort food for the soul.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

Mikki’s Cafe and Catering, a soul food institution in Houston, opened a second location at 375 Greens on July 28. The original restaurant at 10500 W. Bellfort was started by Jeanette Williams, described as a creative soul food genius on the website. Many would agree, including the list of local and national celebrities and athletes who have enjoyed her comfort cooking. Along with her son Craig and daughter Jeanelle, she has satisfied the cravings of many hungry souls with her famous macaroni and cheese and oxtails. Smothered meats seem to be a popular dish. FYI: Monday’s special is smothered fried chicken.

Cast Iron Southern Grill, 28533 Spring Trails Ridge, opened late July in Spring.The menu is eclectic with a mix of Southern comfort foods, Vietnamese sandwiches, and a variety of smothered fries. Owner Lina Wang, is Canadian and yes, you will find poutine on the menu. The restaurant shares a kitchen with its sister restaurant, The Runaway Plate, which offers a drive-thru for quick homestyle dinners.

Americans cannot get enough of loaded french fries and The French Fry House, 3221 Ennis, is ready to satisfy the demand. This Third Ward french fry stand serves Philly fries, boudin egg rolls, and fries covered in buffalo chicken tenders. The dish to take your pommesfrites adventure to the next level is the bayou fries: french fries covered in shrimp and crawfish etoufee. There is a hospital across the street if you pass out from pleasure.

Southern Stand is rolling.EXPAND
Southern Stand is rolling.
Photo courtesy of Southern Stand

Southern cuisine seems to be on trend this month and a new rolling restaurant hopes to tempt on-the-go diners with its “celebration of Southern culinary expressions from Texas to Carolina.” Southern Stand, will have a grand opening, October 20 and 21, for its semi-permanent parking spot located in the parking lot of Plants For All Seasons, 21328 Highway 249.

The food truck from owners Chris Jones and Brett Kerr will serve Texas brisket, South Carolina chopped pork, and that true Southern favorite, pimento cheese — except that it will be fried, in a ball. The owners currently do pop-up dinners and catering, but are hoping that the success of their food truck will lead to a brick and mortar establishment.

A plethora of tacos.EXPAND
A plethora of tacos.
Photo courtesy of Evo Taco

Evo Taco, 12637 Westheimer, had its soft opening after Hurricane Harvey and its pre-opening party on September 3. With unique taco choices like the Banh Mi, The Brit, and The Gyro, you can indulge your adventurous side. They also have more typical tacos. The tortillas are made fresh, in-house, daily. You can read more about them here in the Houston Press .

Luna Pizzeria, 7705 Westheimer, opened October 1. There are two other locations, one in the Heights at 107 Yale, and another at 3435 Kirby. This build-your-own pizza concept also offers a handful of signature pizzas and lunch specials daily until 4 p.m.

The build-your-own concept is a huge dining trend right now, and Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza has been expanding all over the country with its build-your-own take on pizza. The new Houston location at 7459 Southwest Freeway opened October 5, according to Benzinga. Located in the pillars at Houston Baptist University, the newest location is one of 215 restaurants in the United States and Canada. The pizzas are cooked in an open flame oven in 180 seconds, producing a crisp, slightly charred crust.

For those who want their pizzas the old-fashioned way, Five Boroughs Italian Cuisine and New York Pizza, 14642 Memorial, officially opened on October 10. Besides New York-style pizza, the restaurant offers calzones, stromboli, pasta, and Italian heroes. This is another BYOB spot, so stock up at your favorite wine shop first.

Julia’s, 6126 Highway 6, made its debut during the weekend of Hurricane Harvey. One of the few dining places in the area that remained open, this family-owned Mexican restaurant is getting rave reviews for its flan and white queso. One Yelper noted that they serve a daily pozole, pork stew with hominy. With cooler weather approaching, a bowl of this Mexican comfort food will be welcome. They have no liquor license yet.

Pappa Gyros, 23255 Kingsland, opened in early August and has become a fast favorite with Katy folks looking for quick Greek food. The small, casual eatery is attached to a gas station and it has a drive-thru for those looking for something quick that isn’t a fast-food joint. There are just four tables inside, but with favorable comparisons to Houston’s much venerated Niko Niko’s, it’s worth a visit. Besides gyros and spanakopita, they also have a variety of Greek sweets, including loukoumades — sweet honey puffs with cinnamon and sugar.

You can hokey-pokey at Wiki Poki.
You can hokey-pokey at Wiki Poki.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

The poke invasion continues in Houston, with two new poke-centric eateries opening in Chinatown’s Dun Huang Plaza at 9889 Bellaire. As reported by Eater Houston, Wiki Poki made its debut October 11 with the usual offerings of various proteins and toppings, including Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Laki Fish, 9889 Bellaire, is in its soft opening phase, but is having its grand opening next week, as reported here in the Press. This new poke joint comes from Mike Tran, the restaurateur behind Chinatown favorites such as Tiger Den, Mein, Night Market, and Ohn Korean.

Just in time for fall’s cooler weather, Spring Street Beer & Wine Garden is now open at 1920 Houston Avenue, right off the Heights biking trail. As owner Amy Felen told the Press back in early 2017, you can expect great local beers — there’s 14 on tap — and reasonably priced European wine menu.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, 28610 U.S. 290, opened in Cypress on October 14. The aggressively expanding fast-casual chain offers smoothies with a tropical twist along with healthy salads, wraps, and sandwiches. This is its 20th year in operation, with more than 600 locations nationwide. The Cypress store is the 26th location in Texas.

JB Pho and Grill, 7955 Barker Cypress, is having its grand opening on October 21, at 10 a.m. The first 300 customers this Saturday will get a discounted Vietnamese pork sandwich.

Vegan sundaes are a vegan's delight at Over the Moon.
Vegan sundaes are a vegan's delight at Over the Moon.
Photo by Erika Kwee

Gretchen Todd has opened an ice cream shop across the street from her popular organic juice bar, Juice Girl. Over the Moon, 238 W. 19th, serves mostly cashew-based ice creams with all organic ingredients, as reported here in the Press. There is also a variety of freshly made sauces and toppings, including vegan sprinkles and marshmallows.

8th Wonder Brewery is getting into the spirits business. According to Houston CultureMap , the company is launching 8th Wonder Distillery across the street from the brewery in a building that formerly belonged to a rum distillery. Once proper permits have been acquired, the company plans to produce clear spirits such as vodka, gin, and a tequila-like agave spirit. Eventually, the distillery hopes to make barrel-aged whiskey.

Source your steaks like the chefs do at 44 Farms.EXPAND
Source your steaks like the chefs do at 44 Farms.
Photo courtesy of 44 Farms

44 Farms has announced a new retail operation in Cameron, Texas. The Angus beef producer supplies a number of restaurants in Texas with their high-quality marbled steaks, including some of Houston’s better known establishments such as Underbelly and Southern Goods.

The grand opening of the store at 1509 S. Highway 36, in Cameron, will start at 11 a.m. Saturday with refreshments, family-friendly games, music, and a pumpkin patch. There will be a ribbon cutting at noon to celebrate the launch of the store which will be selling its steaks, franks, ground beef, and several new food items such as Black Bull Blend Coffee and wildflower honey. The farm has been in the McClaren family since 1909.

That's it for this week's Openings & Closings. Leave a comment and let us know if we missed something major in your neighborhood.

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