Houston's 10 Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

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2. Bismillah Restaurant

More people know about (and patronize) Bismillah Cafe than Bismillah Restaurant, and that's probably because the cafe menu includes a number of Pakistani-American fusion dishes like wings and pizza. The restaurant is all about tradition, though, and one of the best dishes is the Beef Nihari, a slow-cooked stew of tender beef in a sauce of spicy brown curry thickened with bone marrow. It's super-rich, and you'll want to order extra paratha bread on the side to cut the heat a little. Tawa qeema — ground beef with onions, tomatoes and spices formed into a sort of cake — is another dish that really packs the heat, but if you're less inclined to crave the spicy stuff, stick to the kebabs or the Americanized items at Bismillah Cafe, a few doors down.

1. Hot Breads

Baked goods and Indian food are a few of my favorite things. Combine them in the most perfect way possible, and you have Hot Breads, originally a fast-food restaurant that got its start in India back in the '80s. Today, the shop produces a fusion of European, American and Indian favorites like the chicken tikka personal pizza, spicy goat keema panini or mango cake. Perhaps the item most indicative of the fusion happening at Hot Breads is the masala cookie. It's not entirely sweet, and the texture is reminiscent of shortbread, but the flavor is unlike anything you've ever had in a cookie before. Each bite bursts with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, alternately reminiscent of a masala dosa and spicy pumpkin-pie filling.

Restaurant News

Openings & Closings
It's good to have you back, MF Sushi.

Molly Dunn

Last month ended with sad news when local baker Jody Stevenslost her home in a fire. Thankfully she was not at home during the fire, but she lost everything inside her home, including the tools she uses for her cake business, Jodycakes. Various restaurateurs and chefs have created fundraising events and aGive Forward accountto raise funds and help Stevens during this difficult time. The public is invited to a big fundraiser atBig Star Bar, 1005 West 19th,on Sunday, May 25, during Memorial Day weekend, that will feature a silent auction and possibly a dunk tank like the one at Gracie Nguyen's fundraiser last month.

Two weeks ago we welcomed two new bars. First is Beer Market Co., which officially opened for lunch and dinner on Monday, May 5. This new beer garden, located at 920 Studemont, Suite 900, rotates through 365 different types of beers regularly; pair any brew with a burger, tacos or comforting mac and cheese. It's a place to kick back and relax.

The other bar is Red Ox Bar &Grill , which opened at 811 Collingsworth. The new establishment offers craft beers, beef fajitas, burgers and tacos; enjoy a nice cold one inside at the bar or outside on the patio picnic tables while the weather is tolerable.

After months of reconstruction, MF Sushi is ­finally back in business. The popular sushi restaurant at 5887 Westheimer reopened on Wednesday, May 7, as reported by our very own Mai Pham. She spoke with chef and owner Chris Kinjo, who has been working day and night for the past three weeks to redesign the restaurant after the fire in September of last year. "I designed the restaurant and did all the woodwork and framing," Kinjo says. "Fifty percent of everything I did by myself." Welcome back, MF Sushi!

As noted on the Facebook page of Roost, Kevin Naderi's new restaurant Lillo & Ella, at 2307 Ella Boulevard, should be open during the week of May 12. This Heights restaurant will focus on Asian cuisine and will be open for lunch, unlike Naderi's other restaurant, Roost, which is open for dinner only.

Table on Post Oak, 1800 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 6110, has been in the soft opening stage for the past few weeks, but the revamped restaurant will officially open on Friday, May 16. Executive chef Manuel Pucha has taken the reins as head chef of his restaurant after serving as chef Philippe Schmit's chef de cuisine at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge. Pucha has created a menu filled with starter options such as baked oysters, a tuna carpaccio flatbread and grilled octopus; main entrée items range from duck breast with a smoked tea-infused broth to short rib osso buco with saffron pearl onions, asparagus, fingerling potatoes and carrots. It's an inventive menu that definitely portrays Pucha's talents.

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Kaitlin Steinberg