Openings & Closings

Two noteworthy restaurants opened this past week, noteworthy if only for the refreshing simplicity of their respective menus.

The first of the two, Jus' Mac (2617 Yale), features -- as the name would suggest -- just macaroni and cheese. But it's not just the elbow macaroni and cheddar blend we all know and love: The restaurant offers 17 different iterations of the comfort food classic, from combinations such as the Puebla with roasted poblano chiles and the Pit Master topped with smoked brisket and barbecue sauce. There are also mac 'n' cheese-based appetizers and -- for those looking for a little fiber -- two salads.

A quick look at the restaurant's Facebook wall shows that it's been struggling with long wait times and parking issues, both of which are to be expected from a brand-new place, especially one in the Heights. Take heed when you go, readers, and don't be too hard on a restaurant that's just getting its sea legs.

Speaking of long wait times, Moon Tower (3004 Canal) makes sure to warn its patrons in advance when ordering through a sign: "This ain't fast food. Shut up and wait." But the short wait is worth it for this beguiling open-air restaurant in the Second Ward.

The menu at Moon Tower Inn is even shorter than that at Jus' Mac: It serves ten different kinds of "hot dogs," each for $6. But these aren't Ballpark franks. Moon Tower Inn gets fresh game meat from all over the state of Texas and combines it with wines and spices to create sausages like the Talilamb, made with ground lamb and Mediterranean spices; the Ghetto Bird, made with pheasant and cognac; and the Velvet Elkis, made with elk, apples, pears and port wine.

Each "dog" is served on a pretzel bun from Slow Dough Bread Co along with your choice of sauces and condiments. There are Zapp's chips on hand if you want something to go along with your dog, but you won't want to waste valuable stomach space on chips when it could be spent eating a Scrooge McDuck, duck sausage made with sauterne and foie gras. Leave your attitude at the door, as this outdoor grill-cum-icehouse is as casual as it gets.

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