Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Torchy's Tacos Tanglewood, OMG Burger Sugar Land

Torchy's opens in the Galleria area.
Torchy's opens in the Galleria area. Photo by Scott Paull

Torchy's Tacos, 5885 San Felipe, will open December 11 in the Tanglewood Court Shopping Center which is anchored by the H-E-B grocery store. For taco fiends wanting a sneak preview, there will be an Opening Party December 9 with free tacos, chips and queso, drinks and swag. On Opening Day, there will be a chance to win free tacos. Were there ever two more perfects words put together?

Torchy's Tacos was founded in 2006 as a food trailer by Mike Rypka in Austin. It has since grown to more than 60 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado. Home of the Damn Good Tacos, it features a Taco of the Month with a portion going to various charities.

Besides sourcing ingredients sustainably and ethically, Torchy's uses napkins, cups and cutlery from 100 percent  renewable resources. It also repurposes its cooking oil as fuel for cars.

Besides the Damn Good Tacos, the restaurant also serves the Airstream Salad, Grande Burrito and chips and dips. While not all Torchy's locations have a full bar, the Tanglewood location will. There will be margaritas.

The new store will also be part of a pilot program to introduce house-made tortillas, according to CultureMap. In a city of abundant taco options, you have to step up your game every once in a while. Freshly made tortillas is a good start.

Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery, 10001 Westheimer opened November 18. The breakfast and lunch restaurant has two other Houston area locations in Katy and Sugar Land with a Tomball location planed for December 16 and a Baybrook store in February 2020.

There are typical breakfast choices such as pancakes, omelettes and biscuits and gravy but diners can go crazy with some of the treats on offer like the Chocolate Lover's Pancakes. It includes three pancakes: the Kit Kat crunchy, buttermilk chocolate chip and chocolate. It's topped with chocolate sauce, powdered sugar and whipped cream, so you'll be flying on a sugar high the rest of the day. Or try the Waffle Benedict with two poached eggs, turkey bacon, American cheese on a Belgian waffle. Topped with hollandaise sauce, it's a nap-inducing meal.

For lunch and brunch, there are plenty of salads, pastas and panini to choose from. For beverages, there is a juice bar, coffee drinks and milkshakes.

Handies Douzo
, 3510 White Oak, softly opened December 1, though there had been pop ups and sneak peeks in November. The hand roll restaurant is located in a little house in the Heights. It comes from former Uchi-trained chefs Patrick Pham and Daniel Lee plus co-founders Andrew Lin and C.J. Short. Expect temaki sets of 3 to 5 hand rolls with choices like Ora King salmon, negitoro and spicy tuna. Ora King salmon is considered by many chefs to be "the Wagyu of the sea", according to Food and Wine.

After operating their omakase pop-ups the duo opened thir first brick and mortar, Kokoro, in Bravery Chef Hall in July 2019. It serves traditional Japanese sushi and yakitori.

click to enlarge Lost & Found  is as colorful as its cocktails. - PHOTO BY CRYSTAL SOLOMON
Lost & Found is as colorful as its cocktails.
Photo by Crystal Solomon
Lost and Found, 160 W. Gray, is slated to open January 2020, according to CultureMap Houston. The lively bar/restaurant comes from Mojeed Martins and Jonathan Reitzell, the duo behind Prospect Park, which has two locations in the Galleria and Willowbrook. Party people can expect creative cocktails with a side of fun. Martins told CultureMap " They're going to light up. They're going to smoke. They'll change colors and have edible flowers".

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
We were given a peek at the cocktail menu which includes drinks like Side Piece with vodka, yellow Chartruese, orgeat, lemon and a lemon twist. There's also the Jamaicans in Paris with Hennessey, Overproofed rum, lime and orange zest. During a tasting held on Thursday, they were creating drinks like the Tony Montana made with mezcal, dry vermouth, simple syrup, strawberry puree, served with a citric acid coke baggie. We sincerely hope that one makes it to the menu.

Besides creative cocktails, there will be a full food menu based around international flavors. There is also an expansive dog friendly patio with flat screen televisions.

click to enlarge The Travis Scott mural is already becoming an Instagram hit. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The Travis Scott mural is already becoming an Instagram hit.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
We dropped by to have a look at the Travis Scott mural done by Colors oner the Apex Writer @colorsoner713 yesterday and found the place buzzing with construction and decorating, so the Midtown residents should have a new local hangout in early 2020.

click to enlarge OMG Burger has plenty of  juicy burger choices. - PHOTO BY @HOUSTONEATZ
OMG Burger has plenty of juicy burger choices.
Photo by @houstoneatz

OMG Burger, 13425 University Boulevard, opened in Sugar Land in late November. It serves some over-the-top burgers, hence the OMG. It also has halal and organic chicken sandwiches and tenders plus hot dogs and ice cream shakes.

The original OMG burger is a fresh, organic beef patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and OMG sauce. From there, diners can add on ingredients and extra patties or choose one of the signature burgers like the Guaca Burger with house-made guacamole or the Shroom Burger with a portobello mushroom. For grass-fed patties, add $2.

click to enlarge The four patty burger is like a Houston skyscraper. - PHOTO BY @HOUSTONHOTSPOTS
The four patty burger is like a Houston skyscraper.
Photo by @houstonhotspots
There are a variety of chicken sandwiches like the Chicks on Fire with spicy tikkah marinade and the OMG Buffalo Krispy Chicken.  For vegetarians, there's the Veg Text Burger made with a seasoned black bean patty. There are also OMG Salads, Wraps and Fries, so you can O.D. on the OMG.

The owners saw a need for organic, grass-fed and halal burger options and their passion for providing quality, fresh food began with the Katy location and has further expanded with the Sugar Land store. They hope to expand all over Houston in the future. They told the Houston Press, " The love, support and demand makes it easier and worthwhile to support our dream."

click to enlarge With french fries as a base, you can't go wrong. - PHOTO BY @GYROREPUBLICUS
With french fries as a base, you can't go wrong.
Photo by @gyrorepublicus
Gyro Republic, 19920 Southwest Freeway, opened November 8. The build-your-own gyros start with a base of pita, rice or salad. Choose a protein from chicken, gyro and falafel then add a sauce. There's creamy white, mild orange or red hot. Add-ons  include hummus, french fries and falafel. There are cookies and baklava for dessert.

Besides fountain drinks, the restaurant offers seven different fresh juices. It also uses eco-friendly containers. If you're craving a late-night gyro run, it is open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Ten Seconds, 23119 Colonial Parkway, opened mid-November. It serves Cross the Bridge noodles, a dish from the Yunnan province in China that diners can build themselves ($8.99). There are also dishes like Sauerkraut Fish Rice Noodle Soup ($11.99), spicy beef tripe and kimchi beef rice. There are beverages such as coconut juice and plum juice. Starters such as takoyaki (octopus balls) and chicken wings are also available.

click to enlarge The Vietnamese egg coffee is a creamy treat. - PHOTO BY JUSTINA BUI
The Vietnamese egg coffee is a creamy treat.
Photo by Justina Bui
BreakTime Tea Lounge, 1215 Grand W. Boulevard, softly opened November 16 with a grand opening on November 23. The build-your-own concept has even reached the boba tea world. Guests can choose how much of the tapioca balls, egg cream or gels to add to their drink. There are milk teas, Vietnamese egg coffee (with egg cream) and fruit teas. Currently, BreakTime is the only business serving the Vietnamese egg coffee. There are snacks such as kimchi fries and spring rolls, plus banh mi and vermicelli.
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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.