Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: The Lymbar Opens, Trill Burgers Goes Brick & Mortar

These tacos draw on global flavors from Mexico and the Middle East.
These tacos draw on global flavors from Mexico and the Middle East. Photo by Dylan McEwan

The Lymbar, 4201 Main, is now open at The Ion. The Latin-Mediterranean restaurant from David Cordua has finally opened after more than a year and a half since we first reported the announcement, here in the Houston Press. Currently, the all day restaurant is serving a rotating menu through the end of the year. For now, it is closed on Sunday.
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The Lymbar offers a clubby elegance mixed with homey comfort.
Photo by Dylan McEwan
The restaurant's name is an homage to Lymbar Drive, the Meyerland street where Cordua's grandparents made their home after immigrating from Nicaragua. Cordua was raised on the same street as his father, Michael Cordua, who originally opened Latin restaurants Churrascos and Americas in Houston. The younger Cordua eventually attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before returning home to work with his father. The Lymbar is the first solo restaurant for David Cordua, though his father is part of the management team.
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Foie Gras Donuts are a playful luxury.
Photo by Dylan McEwan
The kitchen is led by executive chef Adolfo Lopez Jr. whose previous experience includes Churrascos, Uchi and Brenner's on the Bayou. He and his team will be creating dishes such as Corn-Smoked Lamb Chops served on a bed of couscous tabbouleh and Pan Seared Snapper with saffron arroz a la tumbada. The Kofta Burger gets a Mediterranean touch of tzatziki and the Build-Your-Own Beef Tenderloin Tacos Arabes blends all kinds of global influences with tahini and chili bomba.

The Cordua's longtime favorite dish Churrasco, an 8-ounce center cut beef tenderloin with chimichurri, pickled onion and bearnaise, will also be on the menu along with the signature Tres Leches.

Sean Stapleton heads the bar at the new restaurant and guests can expect solid classics such as its version of a Singapore Sling but also creative drinks like Kermit's Lily and a gin concoction, Wild Rhubarb.
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David Cordua has opened a very personal restaurant.
Photo by Dylan McEwan
Gin Braverman of Gin Design Group has brought Cordua's vision to life by creating a dimly-lit cozy ambiance within a 4,000 square foot space. Cordua wanted to reflect his grandmother's house in the decor. He says, "It's a tribute to all grandmothers. Mine liked well-worn paperbacks, crossword puzzles, rich food and whiskey...The house stayed in our family and it's where we perfected our family's hospitality. The Lymbar is the distillation of our heritage."
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Look where Bun B popped up.
Photo by Marco Torres
Trill Burgers, 3607 S. Shepherd, is expected to open in early 2023. It's been a long time coming for the extremely popular smashburger concept from Third Coast rapper and artist Bun B who said in a press release, "We've been working hard to find the right location to make it as easily accessible to as many people as possible. I think we've found the right location and we can't wait to open these doors to the city of Houston and eventually the world."

The right location happens to be the former home of one of the city's longest operating James Coney Island restaurants. The 3,236 square-foot building also has a convenient drive-thru. As for the menu, loyal fans will still find its popular smashburgers but there will be additional new items including a yet-to-be-revealed signature burger.
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Fans love the smash and the grilled onions, too.
Photo by Becca Wright
Since its inception in 2021, the burger concept from Bun B (born in Port Arthur as Bernard Freeman), California restaurateur Andy Nguyen, Nick Scurfield and chefs Mike Pham and Fernando Valladares has been hosting pop-ups all over Houston with Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaiming National Cheeseburger Day "Trill Burgers Day" in the city. The team at Trill has also taken the pop-ups to music festivals around the country including Coachella, Rolling Loud, Rock the Bells and Something in the Water. Trill Burgers was also a vendor at the 202 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and a participant in Chris Shepherd's 2022 Southern Smoke fundraiser.

This past July, Trill Burgers was chosen as "Best Burger in America" as part of a contest hosted by ABC's Good Morning America.

Frenchy's, 3602 Scott, opened December 7, as reported by EaterHouston. This is the 11th location for the much-loved local chicken restaurant and its new flagship store.

Founded in 1969 by Percy "Frenchy" Creuzot and his wife Sally, just down the street from the newest location, it offered Houstonians in the Third Ward crispy fried chicken and Creole-inspired sides like red beans, dirty rice and collard greens. The menu has expanded over the years to include items like boudin balls, po-boys and fried fish.

Though Frenchy passed away in 2010, his son King Creuzot, who took over the business operations in 1989, has kept the family legacy of feeding Houstonians going. The new two-story restaurant gets a French Quarter touch with wrought iron and red brick while the extensive covered patio offers plenty of space for diners to enjoy their finger-lickin' chicken en plein air.

Sixty Vines, 9595 Six Pines, is planned for early 2023 in The Woodlands. This is the second Houston-area location for the sustainable wine-centric concept, known for its offering of 60 wines on tap. Each wine is held in a keg which can be reused approximately 1,500 times allowing for sustainability and a 'from the barrel' experience. The tap system eliminates oxygen and keeps the wines at the perfect temperature.

In addition to its many wines, Sixty Vines offers hand-crafted cocktails and a selection of local beers, all of which can be enjoyed with its globally-inspired food menu. In keeping with its wine centricity, there are foods that pair well with the grape like charcuterie boards and hand-tossed pizzas. There is also a selection of pasta dishes plus heartier entrees such as Wood-fired Bavette Steak and Atlantic Salmon.

Tacos El Patron, 12303 N. Eldridge, opened the first week of December in the Cypress area. Located in the former Cafe Bella spot, the new restaurant is the third location for the Mexican concept from Alberto Pineda and Mariana Reza. The first opened in Pleasant Hill, California in 2019, followed quickly by another location in San Francisco. While a side street in the Cypress 'burbs might be an odd place for a California brand to expand, the online reviews are very positive so far.

Tacos birria are some of the most popular items at the restaurant but there are a number of other taco options as well including fish, shrimp, steak, pastor, carnitas, lengua (beef tongue), pork chorizo and veggie. Most tacos range from $3.25 to $4.75 each. Quesadillas, burritos and alambres round out the menu with one chicken enchilada dish.

There are Jarritos and other sodas on the soft side and cold beer, margaritas and sangria for adults.

Southside Sporting Club, 11110 W. Airport, is currently in soft opening mode with plans for a grand opening celebration to be announced soon. The upscale sports bar in Stafford comes from ALife Hospitality Group. Co-owner of ALife Hospitality, Jonathan Reitzell, said, "We've put together a lineup of the best menu items and signature cocktails from some of our most popular concepts and brought them all together under one roof to give our guests the best in social dining in an exciting, interactive, premier sports club atmosphere."

That atmosphere is sited in a 30,000 square-foot bar and restaurant custom made for sports fans. There are more than 75 big screen HD televisions throughout the space along with a state-of-the-art arcade and game room. A mix of indoor and outdoor areas allow for numerous options to socialize, dine and enjoy a beverage or two.

The food menu offers guests Texas-Cajun cuisine with items such as Grilled Oysters, BBQ Brisket, Pulled Pork, Boudin Balls, House-Made Gumbo and Bang Bang Shrimp. There are salads, wings and gourmet burgers plus entrees like Lamb Chops and Smoked Oxtails.

A full bar offers a wide selection of beers and an approachable wine list plus a cocktail program that includes signature drinks such as the Southside Punch, a tropical rum concoction, and a shareable giant wine glass creation called Space Mountain that is made with Casa Migos tequila, orange juice, passion fruit syrup and champagne.

Zalat Pizza, 341 S. Loop 336 W., will have a grand opening December 16 in Conroe. This is the second location for the brand's partnership with Kroger to open within a Kroger Marketplace. The first grocery store location opened in Kroger's Cypress Towne Lake Marketplace in October of this year. It makes the 27th Zalat's  across Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The in-store pizza joints offer take-out and third party delivery plus retail take & bake pizzas. Shoppers can also buy pizza by the slice to enjoy at the limited indoor and outdoor seating. Its quality ingredients keep pizza lovers clamoring for more and the creative use of those ingredients have earned Zalat Pizza a loyal clan of 'zealots'. Purists can keep it real with the NYC Cheese or the Pepperoni Masterclass while adventurous types can try the Sweet Revenge with bacon onion jam or the Buffalo Chicken. Even those folks who like pineapple on their pizza, and you know who you are, will find their joy in the Pineapple Express. With the added toppings of bacon, jalapenos, crushed red peppers, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds, Zalat's pineapple version might win some converts.

Valencia's Tex-Mex Garage, 3800 Southwest Freeway, opened November 25 at Greenway Plaza. This is the third location of the Mexican concept from sister and brother duo Vienna Valencia Bement and Rico Valencia. They also own and operate a location in Austin and another here in Houston in the Oak Forest area.

The siblings' parents, Jesus Becerra Valencia and Carol Valencia, founded Cyclone Anaya's restaurant in 1966. It was named for Jesus' stage name as a professional wrestler and worldwide wrestling champion. The family sold the Cyclone Anaya's brand in 2017.

Valencia Bement told the Houston Press in an email that building out the new location during the COVID pandemic was a challenge and that there were also supply chain issues. "But we did it and we are so grateful to the response so far," she added.

The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday plus a Penny Refill Mimosa Brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

PS21, 2712 Richmond, has a flexible opening date currently of late winter 2023. The modern French restaurant from Chef Philippe Schmit will be located in the building which formerly housed Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen and most recently, Olive + Twist, which shuttered this past summer. Schmit closed his namesake Philippe Restaurant and Lounge more than a decade ago. He currently owns and operates a private chef and catering service, The French Cowboy. Now he is jumping back into the restaurant scene with Sebastien Laval of Laval Hospitality as partner.

We are awaiting more details on the menu.

Albi, 1947 W. Gray, is slated to open in late January. Nano and Jimy Fakhoury are behind the new Mediterranean concept, partnering with hospitality professional Aladdin Nimri to open a restaurant whose name means 'my heart' in Arabic.

Nano and Jimy are siblings who are part of the family-owned Mary'z Mediterranean, which has two restaurants in Houston. The new concept will be upscale Mediterranean inspired by Lebanese, Turkish and Greek cuisines. There will also be a selection of charcoal-grilled Mediterranean kabobs.

Vinology Bottle Shop + Tasting Bar, 2314 Bissonnet, is having its Big Reds and Bubbles Blowout wine sale December 18 which coincides with the first day of Hanukkah. The sale will run from 1 p.m. through 4 p.m., though wine club members can start earlier at noon. 
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.