Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: The Food Truck Expansion Continues

It's been a busy time for the Heights neighborhood as several restaurants and bars have opened their doors and some have announced future plans to set up shop.

The newest Piatto Ristorante opened in the Heights on Monday, April 14, at 1111 Studewood. The newest Carrabba's location joins Liberty Kitchen and Ruggles Green on the same intersection. This Piatto's location, like the other one in the Galleria, features dishes from recipes passed down by John Carrabba's family and his wife Janice's. Both locations will feature several new menu items as well; and the Heights restaurant has an expanded bar offering craft beers, boutique wines and specialty cocktails, like a frozen Bellini cocktail titled the Piattolini.

Swamplot notes that the previous location of Country Kitchen on West 11th Street has been transformed into Warehouse Bar & Chill. Eater reports that the new Heights location where you can enjoy a gourmet burger and local beer on an expansive outdoor patio will be open in about a week and a half.

Urban Kitchen may have opened a month ago, but the new Memorial restaurant is starting to get attention for its selection of indulgent comfort foods and lighter, healthier options. This week, Eater shared the new family restaurant's dinner menu, which features standard American options like baked spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer, plus flatbreads and burgers for main courses. The entree offerings vary from hearty fettuccine Alfredo with chicken to light herb-crusted seared salmon with a quinoa salad topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

Get ready for another El Tiempo Cantina to open. The Webster location at 20235 Gulf Freeway should be open by June. It was announced in January that it would open in May, but the owners are shooting for June instead. According to a statement, owner and executive chef Domenic Laurenzo says that there are a lot of loyal customers in the Webster and Clear Lake area so this was the reason for opening an El Tiempo Cantina closer to where those customers live. This will be the sixth El Tiempo Cantina location.

Is a food wagon the same thing as a food truck? Regardless, Landry's Inc. has opened its first food wagon to cater events at Landry's properties, and it's serving crawfish. The wagon will only operate during crawfish season and can produce up to 1,000 pounds of the mudbugs in an hour. The next two events for April will be today at the Kemah Boardwalk for Crawfish Cajun Fridays, and April 25 until April 27 at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier for Crawfish Weekend. Crawfish on-the-go? Yes, please!

In other truck news, errr car news, Cadillac Coffee kicked off its first service last week. Whether you're a coffee-fanatic or a classic car-fanatic, you'll enjoy this new mobile coffee joint. A 1957 Cadillac Series 62 pulls a 1963 Shasta camper van serving a variety of pastries, kolaches, quiches and even pies to go along with your coffee. Check out the newest mobile eatery's Facebook page for information on where it will set up shop next.

Fans of Marco's Pizza will be happy to hear that the franchise has opened its newest restaurant at 536 E. Tidwell, just one block off Interstate-45 North. The location opened on Tuesday, April 15, making it the ninth location in Houston. According to a press release, the company has plans to expand the restaurant throughout Houston over the next five years -- there should be more than 100 Marco's Pizza locations by then.

Thanks to a comment from jayc13 in last week's openings and closings report, we now know that Pho LN Sushi Bar & Grill at 8408 Katy Freeway has closed. We called the restaurant and the phone number has been disconnected. It appears that many diners enjoyed the six-month-old Vietnamese and Japanese restaurant in Memorial, as noted by the Yelp reviews praising it for its pho dishes and friendly staff.

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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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn