Howdy Homemade Ice Cream, 20920 Katy Freeway, will open July 22. The opening of the ice cream shop just so happens to coincide with Trae Day and local Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth just happens to be a partner in the franchise, along with Roderick Batson, a longtime friend of the artist.
Howdy was founded in Dallas by Tom Landis with a mission to not only serve great ice cream but to employ people with special needs, most with Down syndrome and autism. Batson saw Landis on an episode of Today discussing Howdy Homemade and its mission along with the company's vice-president Coleman Jones, a young man with Downs syndrome. That very day, Batson knew he wanted to be a part of that mission and decided to reach out to Landis.
Six months later, he has partnered with Trae to open the first Houston area franchise in Katy. He said Trae was in on it from Day One because the popular rap artist is also involved in helping people in the special needs community through the non-profit U'Neek & Gifted. The organization is named for his son D'Neeko who was born with a chromosome 13 abnormality. D'Neeko will turn 18 on July 23, the day after Trae and Batson launch the Houston location of Howdy Homemade.
Among the ice cream shop's core flavors is its signature Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. That should make a lot of Houstonians very happy. Very happy indeed.
The reopening was celebrated with live music from pianist Barry Sames and singer Kim Prevost. In gratitude for the firefighters who reacted quickly to save the restaurants from fire and smoke damage, Berg Hospitality hosted a reopening celebration upstairs at The Annie Cafe & Bar June 29 in which part of the proceeds went to the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association.
The concept began the Social Darts phenomenon in London in October 2015. It made its way to our shores via State of Play, a Chicago-based company that operates technology-enabled leisure venues in multiple cities across the United Kingdom and the United States. it combines long-established activities and games with immersive technology encouraging social interaction and gameplay.
Time will tell if Social Darts becomes as much a part of Houston's culture as it is for the Brits. And Flight Club offers more pub games as well plus semi-private game areas for socializing and award-winning cocktails and food for refreshment. The bar program at the upcoming Houston location will be led by Peter Vestinos, a fixture on the Chicago mixology scene having won numerous awards for his bar programs at restaurants such as Sepia, The Betty, Michael Jordan's Steak House and many more. The food menu will be curated by Chicago chef Rich Gresh, the U.S. Director of Culinary Operations for AceBounce and Flight Club.
The items include three crepe specialties: Nutella Berry Banana, Toffee Toffee Cream Cream and Lemon Very Berry. Chicken and waffles and hot chicken sandwiches seemed to still be riding a wave of massive popularity on restaurant menus nationwide and The Toasted Yolk has created a dish sure to please lovers of both. The Arnie Yolk's Chicken and Waffles sandwiches crispy chicken tenders between two Belgian-style waffles made from a batter of cheddar cheese and jalapenos. The decadent dish is then topped off with Mike's Hot Honey for a spicy and sweet kick.
The Toasted Yolk is offering a digital raffle in which guests can scan a QR code with their smart phones and be entered to win a free breakfast a week for a year. That's 52 meals so the winner may want to opt for a Garden Breakfast Bowl or a Strawberry Field Salad every once in a while to balance out dishes like Biscuits and Gravy and the Double Decker Omelette.
BB's Tex-Orleans, 21441 Highway 249, will open later this fall, according to Community Impact. It will make the eleventh location for the Houston-based Cajun/Creole restaurant which will be followed by a BB's in Kingwood at 25635 U.S. 59. There are also plans for a San Antonio location, the first outside the Greater Houston area for the company.
According to Ana Fernanadez, Director of Operations, "Closing the Medical Center location allows us to serve more staff and employees in the area by making our sandwiches available directly to hospital cafeterias and medical offices through our extensive catering and delivery program rather than them having to walk to a brick and mortar location. Additionally, it allows us an opportunity to shift Antone's employees to our recently expanded food production facility."
The owners are from North Carolina and the restaurant specializes in whole-hog eastern Carolinian barbecue but serves some Texas-style barbecue as well. There are smoky favorites like ribs, the Brisket Plate, the Turkey Q plate and the Brisket Burger. Fans of Carolina barbecue will definitely want to try its Whole Hog Pulled Pork. Customers can also order meat by the pound or as Family Packs to-go and there is online ordering available. Dessert choices include banana pudding and peach cobbler, two must-have sweets for a true Southern barbecue joint. There is also a small kids menu.
Currently, the restaurant is BYOB as they await their license to serve alcohol. Call ahead to verify.
McIntyre's Spirits and Friends, 901 Commerce, softly opened July 1. It is the second location for the neighborhood bar which has another location at 1230 W. 20th in the Heights.
Scarafile was born in Puglia to a Slovenian mother and Pugliese father. After living in Italy and Germany, the family moved to Nice, France where Scarafile grew up. As an adult, he landed a stint as executive chef on the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean, where he met his wife Niki. The couple eventually put down roots in Houston where Niki's mother grew up.
A Facebook post from Roma read: "As much as we are sorry to see him go, we also know that the next chapter of his career will be as exciting and interesting as the one that is coming to an end...Grande Angelo! We love you, man. Know that you will always have a home at ROMA."
Scarafile plans to add a number of Pugliese dishes inspired by his childhood like his Orechiette con Cime di Rape. There will also be new seafood dishes including a selection of crudo. However, Roma regulars need not fret that the menu will change drastically. Scarafile says, "I'm not going to be changing the core dishes of Roma's menu. I want to keep our regular customers happy."
The 33-year-old chef said that the opportunity has fulfilled his vision of becoming a restaurant owner by the age of 35. "When I joined the team prior to Mastrantos opening in December 2018, I had high hopes of working at a company where I could contribute to the brand and its culture outside of building menus."
The new summer menu at Mastrantos includes its first Filipino-inspired dish, Adobo Secreto Pork. It's pan-seared pork, adobo sauce, soy-braised pineapple, baby onions and coconut rice. Mastrantos is known for its house-made pasta and for the first time, pappardelle makes its way onto the menu in the Trufa and Setas Pappardelle with onions, garlic, forest mushrooms, taleggio cheese, white wine, lemon, parmesan and truffle oil. The restaurant is also adding one of its best selling items to the dinner menu. The tequenos will appear as MAS TexQueno, a large, fried cylinder of Venezuelan cheese wrapped in homemade dough served with cilantro sauce.
InterContinental Houston-Medical Center, 6750 Main, has brought in chef Harol Ortiz to take over the kitchen at Safina and The Naturalist Cafe and Lounge Bar. Its previous executive chef, Tiago Almeida, left in April of this year.
Ortiz is a native of Caracas Venezuela and has worked in kitchens across the United States including a number of restaurants in Florida, including most recently, a stint as executive chef at Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables. He earned his associates degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami and his bachelor's from San Ignacio University.
Safina's Mediterranean menu will see some new additions as well as some Venezuelan touches with Ortiz adding a steak menu that will pair with the hotel's extensive wine list. Its summer menu will offer a Poached Pear Salad, Bone-in Short Ribs, Pan-seared Chilean Sea Bass and Grilled Octopus with fennel roasted potatoes and yellow Romanesco sauce.
Restaurants Reported Open June 2021:
Abuelita's Gourmet Kitchen, 5700 Highway 6 N., opened May 7
Abu Omar Halal, 2424 Yale, opened July 10
Agnes Cafe & Provisions, 2132 Bissonet, opened June 8
Angel Share HTX, 924 Congress, opened June 11
Baan Thai Cuisine, 5350 FM 1960 E., opened June 8
Badolina, 5555 Morningside, opened June 3
Barkley's Midtown, 2300 Louisiana, softly opened June 11
Daisy Buchanan Lounge, 4321 Montrose, opened June 19
Elin Asian Bistro & Ramen, 13708 Northwest Freeway, opened June 13
Feges BBQ, 8217 Long Point, opened June 30
FM Kitchen & Bar, 907 Westheimer, opens June 23
Homestead Kitchen, 600 N. Shepherd, opened June 4
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, 801 Town and Country Boulevard, opened early June
Joe's Burger Bar, #7 Kemah Boardwalk, opened May 28
Joe's Crab Shack, #7 Kemah Boardwalk, reopened May 28
Layne's Chicken Fingers, 23703 Cinco Ranch, opened June 26
Mo' Better Brews, 1201 Southmore, opened June 19
NoPo Cafe, Market and Bar, 1244 N. Post Oak, opened June 10
One Fifth Red Sauce Italian, 1658 Westheimer, debuted June 29
Salata, 1555 Lake Woodlands, opened June 24
Shokku Ramen, 933 Studewood, opened June 5
Sonoma Wine Bar, 9920 Gaston, opened June 4
Soto, 224 Westheimer, opened May 29
Stacked Pickle, 6944 FM 1960 W., opened June 11
Sweetgreen, 600 N. Shepherd, opened June 15
Woodall's BBQ, 22920 Kuykendahl, opened June 12
Restaurants Reported Closed June 2021: