Openings and Closings

A commenter on last week's restaurant roundup wondered if it was true that Brazaviva Churrascaria had closed down. Indeed, the steakhouse at 11681 Westheimer is now closed, as a commenter noted, for non-payment of rent. A sad fate for what we understood was a popular restaurant.

In better news, a crop of new restaurants have popped up around town. Ginger Thai is now open at 303 Grasshopper Lane, on the far west side of town off I-10. The Phongsawad family is serving up traditional Thai dishes like tom yum shrimp and -- our absolute favorite -- green papaya salad, with Mama Phongsawad herself manning the kitchen.

Closer in, Smart Meals has opened its second location in Houston at 2612 Shepherd and has a bright, shiny new space (designed by a LEED-certified architect, no less) to reflect the same consciousness that goes into its meals. As with the original store, the new location also uses locally sourced and seasonal ingredients in the majority of its healthy dishes, which you can pick up as pre-made meals or uncooked, ready-to-go ingredients for home cooking.

Elsewhere, there are new locations for two popular chains: The Egg & I opened its fifth Houston-area location at 4938 Beechnut, and Tasti D-Lite opened its third Houston location downtown, at 919 Milam.

And if you're wondering what that picture is at the beginning of the post, that's the interior of the newly renovated Bibas 24 Hour One's A Meal on West Gray. Haritos Bibas himself has spent more than a million dollars refurbishing the building and is set to reopen the old-new incarnation of the popular Houston restaurant in a month. For more on the reopening and more photos from the inside, check back here next week.

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