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This Week in Houston Food Events: Kata Robata Returns and Musaafer Debuts

Kata Robata is reopening its dining room and patio for limited (but tasty) service.
Kata Robata is reopening its dining room and patio for limited (but tasty) service. Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

Though social distancing is in effect and bars and restaurants are closed for in-house services, the ever-strong Houston food community continues to truck on. This week, you can support local restaurants by carrying out or making reservations for dine-in service, learn how to make a salmon Caesar, get fly-by tacos, and peruse one of the best wine cellars in town.

Monday, May 18

Kata Robata Re-Opens for Dine-in Service

Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby, will open for in-restaurant dining on Monday, as the team has worked hard to implement extensive safety standards in the dining room, patio and bathroom, and has put policies and procedures in place for the safety of staff and guests. The restaurant will have 84 seats available for dining throughout the dining room and patio, with each table separated by six feet. Table times are limited to 60 minutes at lunch at 90 minutes at dinner; with lunch daily from noon to 2:30 p.m. (last seating at 2); dinner Sunday-Thursday 5 to 10:30 p.m. (last seating at 10); and dinner Friday-Saturday 5 to 11 p.m. (last seating at 10:30 p.m.). Curbside pickup will continue, featuring online ordering, dedicated parking spaces and hours from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Dine on sushi and sashimi, Wagyu katso sandos, miso lobster macaroni and cheese, spicy soy ramen and more.

The Debut of Musaafer

After nearly two years, Shammi and Mithu Malik of Dubai-based Spice Route Co. announce the May 18 unveiling of Musaafer, 5115 Westheimer Road, in Uptown. The Hindi translation of “traveler,” Musaafer seeks to transport guests through “multi-layered and textured environment” for a celebration of India’s vibrant food culture through seasonal menus.

Expect majestic artwork, antique rugs and a ceiling fully adorned with handcrafted lampshades at the entrance, and multiple dining spaces and lounges along with menu highlights including the include traditional Indian street food, pani puri; tuna chat served on a back-lit plate accented with drops of avocado, tamarind and house made cream cheese, and nali nihari (lamb shank) served over saffron cauliflower risotto and pepper gremolata; and the “Butter Chicken Experience,” serving the classic Indian dish three ways with a centrifuged and clear clarified tomato sauce. Temporary operating hours are Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m. for dinner service. Lunch and brunch will begin at a later date. Make reservations online or call 713-242-8087.

The “Mensch Out” Campaign Launch

Houston’s “Mensch Out” Campaign seeks to drive sales and awareness to participating Jewish-owned and Jewish-run restaurants, retailers and businesses, while raising dollars for those in need via the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Houston Jewish Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal.

Many if the participating businesses are donating up to 15 percent of proceeds from sales on Mondays throughout May, with the lineup including New York Deli & Coffee Shop and The Bagel Shop Bakery, Dessert Gallery Bakery & Café, Roadster Grill at Eighteen36, Cuteheads, Mostly Chocolate & Catering and Three Brothers Bakery. See the full lineup online. Funds raised through the Mensch Out campaign for the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal will provide urgent basic needs to individuals, families, and seniors including food, medicine, and household supplies as well as rental payments, utilities, and other necessary bills. 

Tuesday, May 19

Dine-In Service begins at Rainbow Lodge

Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella, will be opening on Tuesday for in-house dining, and to get prepared, the team has redesigned the dining space and will make use of digital technology for the wine list. In order to avoid handing out multi-page, one-time-use wine lists, the lodge has printed a QR code on all menus. Guests can scan the code with their camera phone (no app needed) and be taken to the online wine list that will allow them to peruse it on their personal device. Dine in hours are Tuesdays – Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 5:30 to 10 p.m.; and Sundays 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 20

Free Breakfast Tacos and Coffee at Spanish Village

Spanish Village, 4720 Almeda, is opening up for breakfast, kicking it off with a free breakfast tacos and coffee event from 7 to 11 a.m. this Wednesday, May 20. The Third Ward staple will be open for both dine-in and walk-up.

Saturday, May 23

Drive-Thru at Urban Harvest Saturday Farmer’s Market

The Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market is now offering drive-thru service in addition to the open-air market being open every Saturday. Customers can place an order online with their favorite vendor, and guests will go to the second floor of the parking garage near the elevators at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market, 2752 Buffalo Speedway, between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to pick up their orders.

Feges BBQ Pop-Up at Spring Branch Village Shopping

Feges BBQ is continuing to setup the parking lot of its future location in the Spring Branch Village Shopping Center, 8217 Long Point. Head there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays to stock up on bbq in bulk, including brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, sausage, smoked pulled chicken and turkey; plus whole hog and ground beef. Orders must be placed by Friday by 6 p.m. for Saturday pickup. When you get to the parking lot, look for a tent and a Feges BBQ sign. Park and approach the table from a safe distance, and let its staff know the name of your order. They will then place your bag on the table for pick-up.

Sunday, May 24

Sunday Feges BBQ Pop-Up at Roost

In addition to its expanded hours at Greenway Plaza (Tuesday through Friday), Feges BBQ is hosting a Sunday Montrose Pop-Up in the parking lot at Roost, 1972 Fairview, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering the same menu as the Saturday pop-up, with chilled and vacuum sealed BBQ in bulk, from brisket and pulled pork to smoked turkey and sausage, plus sides including braised collards, sweet potato banana mash and loaded potato salad. Orders must be placed by Friday at 6 p.m.

“The Rustic Presents Kyle’s Kitchen”

On this week’s episode of “The Rustic Presents Kyle’s Kitchen,” FreeRange Concepts co-owner Kyle Noonan will be teaching viewers how to make Salmon Caesar Salad, paired with white wine. The episode will air on Sunday, May 24 on The Rustic’s IGTV at 7 p.m., and musical guest Frankie Leonie will perform an acoustic set in Noonan’s backyard while he’s cooking. The Wood Grilled Salmon Caesar Kit for two will be available for purchase at $29.95 from May 22-31 at The Rustic, 1836 Polk.

click to enlarge You can now snag Fly By Tacos at The Tasting Room Uptown Park. - PHOTO BY BETO GUTIERREZ
You can now snag Fly By Tacos at The Tasting Room Uptown Park.
Photo by Beto Gutierrez
Social Distancing Specials

Fly By Taco Company at The Tasting Room Uptown Park

Tasting Room owner and founder of LASCO Enterprises Jerry Lasco has created the Fly By Taco Company, a taco service within the existing The Tasting Room Uptown Park, 1101-18 Uptown Park, offering curbside tacos crafted by chef Beto Gutierrez, former executive chef of Añejo in Houston. Beginning this Tuesday, May 19, get fast, hot and fresh breakfast tacos daily from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 to11 a.m. on Saturday. Download the “Toast Take-out & Delivery” app to order.

Dine-In and To-Go at MAD and BCN

While the two were operating together out of the MAD kitchen for a while, both MAD Houston, 4444 Westheimer, and BCN Taste & Tradition, 4210 Roseland, are now open for dine-in service, and both will be offering a to-go menu for the foreseeable future as well. MAD’s new takeout menu features dishes such as grilled Spanish chorizo with country bread, wood-fired octopus and “patatas Canarias” with green bell pepper and spicy red pepper sauce, and strawberry mousse with lemon-mint compote, plus Sunday brunch (call to ask about options); while BCN’s offers anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea, Spanish Ibérico ham croquettes, salt cured Spanish cod with stewed potatoes, foie-stuffed quail and chocolate ganache cake with blueberry coulis. To order from MAD, call 281-888-2770 or order online. To order from BCN, call 832-834-3411 or order online.

DIY Handroll Kits at Kata Robata

Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby, made a Mother’s Day handroll kit that was so popular, it’s adding the DIY handrolls to the menu. The kit serves two and includes two cups of miso soup, sheets of nori, fresh fish, rice, julienned veggies and toppings for $55. Place your order online for curbside pickup or call 713-526-8858 for delivery ($125 minimum) within a 5-mile radius.

Cocktail and Dessert Kits at Brennan's

Creole favorite Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, has introduced kits to prepare a selection of its signature cocktails—from Brandy Milk Punch and Creole Bloody Marys to Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis and Maple Old Fashioneds, as well as the famous flambeed dessert, Bananas Foster. Available to add to your curbside pickup or delivery orders, the kits come complete with instructions and all the ingredients you need to prepare each recipe (the Bananas Foster kit even includes a lighter). The fine dining staple is also able to offer its wine cellar to “To Geaux” customers; and the team has now created and launched a dedicated wine cellar website detailing the more than 2000 selections in its wine portfolio, including rare and unique finds at discounted prices. Orders available for pick up daily 3 to 7 p.m. with 24-hour notice.

All month long

Blood Bros. BBQ Collaboration at EggHaus Gourmet

In honor of National Barbecue Month, EggHaus Gourmet, 2042 East T C Jester, will be featuring three new menu items in collaboration with Blood Bros. BBQ, available throughout the entire month of May at EggHaus. Get the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese ($9), with Blood Bros. pulled pork, melted gouda, Havarti and cheddar, and pickles on sourdough; the Pulled Pork Kolache ($3.75) featuring Blood Bros. pulled pork, pickles and bbq sauce; and the Brisket Biscuit ($9.50) with Blood Bros. brisket and coleslaw in a cheddar chive biscuit with a baby dill pickle on top.

Taco of the Month at Torchy’s Tacos

After a brief haitus, Torchy’s Taco's Taco of the Month will make its return this month. The Vagabond taco features grilled fajita beef, a bed of bacon, grilled onions, chimichurri sauce, feta cheese and pico de gallo, and a flour tortilla for $5.95. The taco temple is also offering Family Packs, everything you need to experience Torchy’s tacos at home, with your choice of freshly prepared meats, tortillas and toppings, plus rice and beans (serves 4-5, $25); plus margaritas to-go.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano