Openings & Closings: Houston, We Have Wings and a Cajun-Inspired Brunch Spot in Montrose

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As it's the week before Thanksgiving, it's no surprise there hasn't been much action with restaurant openings and closings.

B4-U-Eat's weekly newsletter reports on two closings this week: Trophy Room Sports Bar & Grille in Katy and Two Saints on Memorial Drive. Neither the websites nor the phone numbers work for either of these two restaurants.

La Fendee Mediterranean Grill has been closed since the end of September, but a new restaurant has taken its place, and it is not Tacos A Go-Go.

A few months ago, rumors spread that Tacos A Go-Go would take the place of La Fendee on Westheimer. However, the location will be replaced with Cafe Layal Express. Currently, there are two Cafe Layal locations in Houston, one on Richmond and one in Midtown; Eater reports that this will be an "express" restaurant (hence the name) in order to please the lunch crowd in the area.

Salata opened its first mall location, inside the Galleria, on Friday, November 15. This is the first Salata location to feature a Greek yogurt bar, a fresh juicing station and a create-your-own-fruit salad option, along with the regular salad and wrap bar.

Thanks to a tip from Chic_Chick_Chic_Eats, we now know that Welfresh Market, an ethnic grocery store similar to 99 Ranch, opened on Saturday, November 16, in Sugar Land. The market sells Asian and American products, has a bakery -- Kalaman Bakery, serving breads and sweets -- and a hot deli, Mini Wok, serving dim sum, roast duck and take-out lunch boxes.

B4-U-Eat's weekly newsletter notes that Mar-Mar's Candy Jar opened on Saturday, November 16, just in time for the holidays. This candy store in Katy sells a variety of candies and chocolates, including truffles, caramels, gummies, jelly beans and gourmet popcorn. What separates Mar-Mar's from other candy stores are the all-natural ingredients used in each confection -- no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. The store even offers vegan sweets.

With the influx of Dunkin' Donuts, Deer Park welcomes the 12th doughnut shop in the Houston area on Saturday, November 23. The newest location will offer free WiFi and patio seating and will apparently look strikingly different from the other Dunkin' Donuts locations around town, according to the B4-U-Eat newsletter. Through December 7, all customers can ask for a free medium hot or iced coffee at this location.

To much anticipation, the Austin-based wings restaurant Pluckers Wing Bar officially opens on Monday, November 25. While Pluckers is famous for its variety of sauces (19 to be exact) and selection of traditional and boneless wings, the restaurant also serves over-the-top indulgent and greasy items such as fried Oreos, fried macaroni and cheese, and fried pickles. Houstonians now have a new place to watch the game and stuff their faces with wings, burgers and fried appetizers.

Another Austin-based restaurant has made its way to the Houston area. On Wednesday, November 20, Mama Fu's, an Asian fusion restaurant, opened in River Oaks. Eater reports that customers create bowls with rice or noodles and top the base with vegetables and Chinese, Korean or Japanese flavors, in creations similar to those served at other Mongolian stir-fry restaurants, such as Genghis Grill.

Churrascos will be opening another location in Gateway Memorial City by December 5. Kaitlin Steinberg reports that with the new location an improved menu will come as well. Steinberg writes, "The menu that was developed for the new restaurant (and is now the primary menu for all Churrascos restaurants) reflects a move back toward the more traditional Nicaraguan food that brought the family fame when Michael Cordua opened his first restaurant, in 1988." Some of the new menu items include ceviche verde, taquitos de malanga (mini taro root taco shells filled with sweet pulled pork, pineapple pico de gallo and crema fresca) and a whole fried fish - it's butterflied and coated with a special batter.

Eater announced that Brick & Spoon finally opened. Darla Guillen explains that Brick & Spoon is originally from Louisiana and brings Cajun-inspired brunch dishes, along with a build-your-own Bloody Mary menu, to the Montrose neighborhood. The menu features a variety of beignets, including classic beignets with powdered sugar and seasonal marmalade, blackberry crème-stuffed, and savory beignets with crab and creole mustard aioli. The restaurant also serves a few Benedict dishes with oysters, chicken florentine and soft shell crab, as well as classic Cajun sweets, such as Bananas Foster and bread pudding.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

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