January 14th pays tribute to the birth of the undisputed father, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins of Americana old-school tattooing

January 14th marks Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins Day, the birth date of a legendary American tattoo artist and Navy vet who built his rep inking soldiers and sailors in WWII-era Honolulu.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was created to honor him and strives to embody his independent spirit and unapologetic attitude. Toast Sailor Jerry with Ginger Spiced Negroni and Sailor Jerry Hot Chocolate. Recipes below:

Ginger Spiced Negroni:   Ingredients:  1 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum; 1 part Campari®; ½ part ginger liqueur; ½ part sweet vermouth.   Directions: In empty mixing glass, measure Sailor Jerry.  Add Campari®, ginger liqueur & sweet vermouth. Add a few chunks of ice and stir to blend flavors and dilute. Add more ice and repeat.  Strain into empty chilled old fashioned glass. Add fresh ice block and garnish with candied ginger.

Sailor Jerry-Hot Chocolate:  Ingredients:  1.5 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum; 1.5 part Butterscotch Schnapps; 3 parts hot chocolate; Whipped cream (as desired), Chocolate shavings, candy cane, or cinnamon stick garnish, dash of orange bitters.   Directions:  In a warm beverage, mug add equal parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum to Butterscotch Schnapps, then add hot chocolate, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or candy cane, or more chocolate, then complete w/ a dash orange bitters.

Snappy Salads Giving Away Free Food in Houston

“Salad Swap Challenge” January 2-31

Snappy Salads, the award-winning, nutrition-focused restaurant, wants your receipts.

Both Houston locations are launching a “Salad Swap Challenge”. From January 2-31 guests who dine at other Houston restaurants can submit their salad purchase receipts, and Snappy Salads will match the price up to $8 to be used towards any Snappy Salads purchase.

“For most of us, there is a desire to eat better,” said Chris Dahlander, CEO. “The idea behind this promotion is not just to give away free food, but to use this opportunity to change your lifestyle. We want to prove to Houstonians that Snappy Salads is the freshest dining option around.”

Receipts must be submitted within two weeks of purchase from a competitor restaurant. Limit one per person.

Snappy Salads was recently nominated for “Best Healthy Lunch” by A-List and been named “Best Place to have a Healthy Lunch”, “Best Salad Shop”, and “Best Salad”.

Snappy Salads has two Houston locations:  19111 Katy Freeway and 1920 Fountain View Drive.


After closing only six weeks after its initial grand opening on July 12 due to Hurricane Harvey, Salata reopened in Kingwood, Texas on December 14.

The Kingwood restaurant is the brand’s 38th location in Houston, and the second Salata restaurant for franchisee Grafton Way Restaurant Group.  The Kingwood eatery will be open from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday.

“Grafton Way’s second Salata will be an extension of the progressive and community-involved lifestyle that the brand represents. We are thrilled to be opening our doors once again and growing our presence in a community we already call home,” said Karim Haji, Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Way Restaurant Group.

More details at

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café to Open New Locations

The Vegan
photo by Julie Soefer

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café has announced it will open three new Texas locations in College Station, Katy at La Centerra at Cinco Ranch and The Woodlands. Made from scratch, the dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful. These locations represent a strategic planned expansion for the very popular and successful restaurant concept. Opening dates for all are expected to be Spring of 2018.

benjy’s on Washington to take Final Bow on New Year’s Eve 2017 to make way for New American Tavern, The Classic-All Day


benjy’s on Washington (5922 Washington Avenue) – the second location of restaurateur Benjy Levit’s eponymous benjy’s brand that opened on Upper Washington Avenue in 2008 – will serve its last Sunday Supper on New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2017 – to make way for a complete redesign and metamorphosis into The Classic – All Day – a fresh take on the classic neighborhood diner launching early Summer 2018.

“The decision to take benjy’s on Washington in a new direction was not an easy one, but I feel that it is the right one,” commented benjy’s founder Benjy Levit.  He added, “Following damage caused by a kitchen fire in March and then  flooding during Hurricane Harvey, I saw a unique opportunity to cultivate an entirely new concept in the space that will offer exciting new dishes while staying true to the existing level of excellence that benjy’s customers have come to appreciate.”

The Houston native will strategically navigate the closing and subsequent opening of The Classic by shifting current employees from the Washington location to the latest installment of the wildly popular Local Foods brand at Heights Mercantile mixed-use development when it debuts in January 2018.

For more information, call 713-868-1131 or visit




DR Delicacy and Silver Stone Events are thrilled to announce The Truffle Masters 2018 will take place on Monday, January 29th 2018 at The Astorian.

Top chefs from Houston’s best restaurants will compete to create the most delectable, mouthwatering dishes using DR Delicacy’s aromatic and flavorful truffles. Previous first place winners include David Cordúa from Cordúa Restaurants (2015) and two-time winner Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi from Kata Robata (2016 & 2017).

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Casa de Esperanza, House of Hope for Children in Houston.

VIP Cocktail Reception – 6-7 pm: Featuring lite bites provided by The Truffle Masters reigning champion Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi from Kata Robata

General Admission – 7-10 pm: General admission tickets are priced at $175 and VIP tickets are $275.

Complimentary Valet is included for both VIP and GA tickets. For more information on tickets, visit


Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café wishes you a Merry Grinchmas with its December Crêpe of the Month, The Grinch. Prepared in a Grinchinspired green batter and filled with crème brûlée, red strawberries, green M&M’s & dulce de leche, this sweet and delicious crêpe can be enjoyed and shared for only $8.95, beginning on Dec. 1. Sweeten your Instagram feed and holiday cheer this season by ordering The Grinch, available one month only!

LePeep set to open new Galleria-area location in late November

Alcohol program added to menu for first time in 30 years in Houston

LePeep Restaurant, serving Houston for breakfast and lunch since 1987, will open its new Galleria-area location at 4340 Westheimer Rd. in late November.

Moving just 0.3 miles down the road from its storied 28-year-old store at 4702 Westheimer into a new-look space in the Westheimer Oaks development, LePeep also is entering a new era in the restaurant’s history – initiating an alcohol program for the first time.

House specialty Bloody Marys, mimosas, Bellinis, local craft beers and wines will complement LePeep’s familiar menu of breakfast and lunch favorites at the new location. Alcohol sales also will be introduced at the recently renovated LePeep in Memorial City (9807 Katy Fwy) by the end of 2017, with LePeep’s three other Houston locations soon to follow.

The new Galleria-area LePeep will be similar in size to the old Westheimer location, with 4,100 square feet and 140 seats. Bill Gotsdiner of Houston-based Gotsdiner Architects is giving the concept a fresh new look highlighted by updated furnishings and a 10-seat counter bar. LePeep’s familiar breakfast and lunch favorites will still be available, with new items introduced periodically throughout the year. The entire 27-person staff from 4702 Westheimer and the restaurant’s operating hours will remain the same (6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday).

LePeep at 4702 Westheimer will remain open for business until a few days prior to the opening of the new location in late November. It had been the highest-volume LePeep in the United States, with notable guests over the years including J.J. Watt, Clyde Drexler, George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, NASA astronaut Walt CunninghamSteve HarveyVivica A. FoxBilly Ray CyrusEvander Holyfield, Carl Lewis, Yolanda Adams, U.S. Congressman Ted Poe and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Operators Mark Mobley and Brendon Murphy, Kingwood residents with a combined 58 years at LePeep, are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new to the latest iteration of their concept.


Glenfiddich Winter Storm, part of the Glenfiddich Experimental Series of unusual and unexpected variants, is the first-ever single malt Scotch to be finished in ice wine casks. The combination of both pioneering liquids results in a crisp, premium whisky aged 21 years, imbued with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity. Taste the heightened candied sweets and oak flavor of Glenfiddich, complemented by mouth-watering tropical fruit notes and an underlying rich drying sensation from the ice wine cask finish. (SRP: $250)

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 4 is the fourth bottling in the highly regarded Tun 1509 series that marries 23 casks – 13 traditional American oak barrels and 10 European oak sherry butts – in a true expression of whisky craft. The use of both traditional casks and Sherry butts, results in a complex and rich expression that has an initial sweetness that gradually develops into deeper richer oak with some dried fruits and a cinnamon and ginger spiciness. (SRP: $399)

Tullamore D.E.W., the original triple distilled, triple blend Irish whiskey, recently released Cider Cask whiskey. This new sophisticated spirit is a marriage between the craft of small-batch cider-making and Tullamore D.E.W’s legendary whiskey. This soon-to-be your new seasonal favorite, is the first whiskey to be finished in hard apple cider casks giving it a taste as rich as it looks with a lovely balance of oak, creamy malt and subtle fruitiness. (SRP: $39.99)



Texas Artists create Dia de los Muertos Cups at Stripes

Stripes Convenience Stores is celebrating Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that takes place between October 31 – November 2, with a release of two new limited-edition Dia de los Muertos commemorative cups available in Stripes Stores now. Stripes Stores and Coca-Cola® partnered together for their Third Annual Dia de los Muertos Commemorative Cups which are exclusive to Stripes Stores throughout Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The cups are priced at $2.99, and include the first fill free.

Each cup was created by two Texas artists; Elisa Kyle Gilp, a 31-year-old South Texas native who specializes in Día de los Muertos art, and 26-year-old Christian Lain, a professional tattoo artist who lives in Corpus Christi. Both artists returned from last year to design the new 2017 commemorative cups.

Third Coast Restaurant in Texas Medical Center Introduces New Executive Express Lunch Menu

photo by Cody Duty

Third Coast, the fine dining restaurant located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, today introduces a new Executive Express Lunch Menu ideal for dining quickly and dining well.

The new menu offers quick and easy lunch options, including salads, soups, sandwiches and specials, all unique to Chef Jon Buchanan’s Modern Houstonian menu.

Third Coast’s menu not only highlights natural, sustainable and local ingredients tied to the variety of culinary traditions found in diverse Houston, it takes full advantage of seasonal produce as well.

The Executive Express Lunch Menu will be offered Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Third Coast is located at 6550 Bertner at Moursund, on the sixth floor perched atop the water wall of the John P. McGovern Commons.

Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado Continues to Halt Beer Production to Can 220,200 Cans of Safe Drinking Water for Flood-Ravaged Texans

In immediate response to the recent flood devastation in Texas, Oskar Blues Brewery and Ball Corporation teamed up with the CAN’d Aid Foundation to can and ship 220,200 cans of clean drinking water to the residents of Houston, TX.
Can’d Aid is a 501c3 started by Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, in 2013 following the Colorado flooding that devastated Lyons, CO, the hometown of Oskar Blues Brewery. What started as a response to the 2013 floods in ColoRADo has now raised more than $2,700,000 to support four program areas: Towns, Tunes, Treads + Trails and Love Yer Mama. 708,200 cans of water have been shipped to communities in need of safe drinking water such as Flint, MI, South Carolina and Louisiana since 2016. The foundation is a publicly funded non-profit and has evolved into an irreverent nonprofit focused on nation-wide “do-goodery.”
  • 708,2000 cans of water shipped to communities in need of safe drinking water
  • $14,000 raised by CAN’d Aid Foundation for TX just this week –Donations accepted here
  • 4,800 cans to Denham Springs, LA arrived last week in response to historic flooding there earlier this month
  • $800K donated to help small businesses + families in Lyons and Longmont recover/rebuild from floods
  • Muck + Gut rebuilding trips to: Lyons, CO (2014), Georgetown, SC (2015), Baton Rouge, LA (2016)


Entree choices at Ginger and Fork

On Cleverly Stone’s September 2, 2017 Saturday morning radio show, she made the announcement that Houston Restaurants Weeks has been extended and will now run through September 30. Stone is the founder of HRW.

Houston Food Bank, which receives a donation of between $3 and $7 for every meal sold, is in need of the support in light of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston causing the organization to be in “absolute overdrive” according to HFB president, Brian Greene. HFB will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accommodate people affected by the hurricane.


Internationally Acclaimed Chef Roshni Gurnani has Sights Set on New Cutting-Edge Menu This Fall at Revolve Kitchen & Bar 

Gurnani will be tasked with taking the forward-thinking culinary experience to new heights at Revolve Kitchen + Bar along with all culinary aspects of the property.

The new chef comes to Hotel Derek with more than 17 years of international culinary experience in a variety of hotels around the globe, including four and five-star properties: Park Hyatt Resort & Spa, The Sagamore Resort, and Thistle Marble Arch Hotel. She joined Hotel Derek in July 2017 and immediately began immersing herself in the mission of perfecting Revolve’s menu, which is set to debut on September 5.

H Town Restaurant Group Restaurants Earn Wine Spectator 2017 Restaurant Awards

H Town Restaurant Group is proud to announce its restaurants have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards. The restaurants are recognized among 3,592 winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers.

Backstreet Cafe and Caracol have received Best of Awards of Excellence; and Hugo’s, Prego, Third Coast and Xochi have received Award of Excellence.

The wine programs at Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Hugo’s and Xochi are run by Sommelier/Mixologist Sean Beck; the programs at Prego and Third Coast are run by Sommelier/Mixologist David Cook.

H Town Restaurant Group has been sharing its passion for food, drink and hospitality since 1983.  They started small, with a simple bistro in an old home on a picturesque corner in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood in 1983. Since opening Backstreet Cafe, the family has grown to include Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi.  Affiliated restaurants include Prego and Third Coast in Houston, and Origen in Oaxaca, Mexico.  

“Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year’s winners,” said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. “As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner.”

Menu Roundup: Three New Menu Changes, from brunch to happy hour

Cafe Azur
photo by Nathan Colbert

Cafe Azur:Inspired by the Cote d’Azur and located in the heart of Montrose, recently launched a new happy hour menu featuring a variety of $6 small plates and $5 cocktails. Staples of French cuisine like the croque monsieur are served bite-sized, along with Houston inspired dishes like the Duck Confit Taco. Classic cocktails, including the French 75 and Kir Royal, are $5 each, while house red and white wine are $5 per glass. Happy hour is Tuesday – Friday from 5-7 PM at the bar and on the terrace.  
Radio Milano:Weekend’s at Radio Milano have taken a turn for the magical with a Mad Hatter-inspired brunch experience – yes, Wonderland dance sounds are included. Along with the $20 three-course prix fixe menu crafted by Executive Chef Jose Hernandez, featuring favorites like house-made burrata and chicken and waffles, diners have the option to pair their meals with unique Mad Hatter-inspired libations. Brunch runs from 11AM – 4PM on Saturday and 10AM – 3PM on Sunday.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (5 locations): ​Grimaldi’s recently debuted a first-ever, handcrafted cocktail menu to accompany its extensive line of beverage offerings ​, which guests can now take advantage of​  at Stoking Social Hour every weekday, Monday – Friday, from 3:30PM – 6PM. Guests will enjoy $2 off the new signature cocktails, $2 off draft beers, $2 off glasses of wine (house wines excluded), and $2 off their Bruschetta Trio and Antipasto platters. The popular Coalition ($30) is a pairing of a Bruschetta Trio or a small Antipasto platter with a bottle of wine. 

The owners of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations are bringing their newest creation to life in the Heights at 933 Studewood St., the space formerly occupied by Glass Wall Restaurant. BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures, slated to open later this fall, will be a neighborhood restaurant and bar with a completely different menu from Bosscat – offering nostalgic American fare from the owners’ childhoods, along with input from the local community.

“We created this idea two years ago when we were still living in Newport Beach, but we never had a venue for it. The Heights is the perfect neighborhood for this type of creativity. It’s going to give us a great canvas to step outside the box,” said John Reed, Bosscat owner.


The Outdoor-Oriented Neighborhood Kitchen Will be Located in Montrose 

A longtime Houston hangout for al fresco margaritas is being reborn as a casually chic and neighborhood-centric destination for informal all-day dining, coffee catch-ups, cocktails on the patio and late-night bites. The former Teala’s restaurant at 3210 W. Dallas – located in North Montrose on the border of River Oaks and steps from Buffalo Bayou Park – will debut as Emmaline early next month. 

Bringing the concept to fruition are owner Sam Governale, a veteran operator who cut his chops with national food and beverage notables ranging from Matthew Kenney and Mario Batali to John Tesar and Andrea Immer-Robinson, before returning home to operate Fleming’s River Oaks in 2009; and, Executive Chef Dimitri Voutsinas, a recent New York City transplant and alum of Manhattan’s Bar Boulud, Motorino Pizza and La Gamelle.  Governale has brought in Ashley Putman, a Louisiana native whose career in design took root at the corporate offices of Barneys New York, as Emmaline’s Creative Director.

 “We believe in community, so from the moment you walk into Emmaline you will find a lively, comfortable, versatile and well-curated landmark that activates stylish indoor and outdoor spaces with its surroundings, which we believe will contribute to the on-going revitalization of the area and serve as a natural gathering space for nearby residents and visitors,” Governale said. 

Emmaline’s culinary positioning as an American restaurant with European influences also speaks to an emerging trend that blends homegrown heritage and European classicism into something that’s both familiar and fresh. The bridging of the two culinary cultures seeks to provide comfort in cuisine and beverage options, genuine hospitality, accessibility and choice in dining times, as well as an ambience of infectious energy that builds throughout the day.

“In Italy, the classic trattoria is the epitome of a neighborhood kitchen, literally serving as the cultural thread for the people in that township.  This is my vision for Emmaline, a commitment to our neighbors to be, very simply, a place where we will genuinely care for the well-being of our guests while offering a home-away-from-home experience,” Governale added.

photos courtesy of Emmaline

photo by Becca Wright

a’Bouzy To Open

New addition to the Houston Restaurant Scene to POP on August, 2nd

Shawn Virene, owner of a’Bouzy,  announced the restaurant will open on Wednesday, August 2nd. This is Virene’s first solo endeavor as owner. A longtime fixture on the Houston culinary scene, Virene is known for creating the most exciting wine programs in the city. And deftly managing a Who’s Who clientele.

The champagne-fueled concept features a fresh, ripe menu, seasonal seafood, salads, gorgeous greens, prime meats and a large raw bar. Simple, shareable small plates play sidebar to Virene’s jaw dropping wine list that features more than 250 champagnes and sparkling’s priced from $12 to over $2,000.

a’Bouzy is located at 2300 Westheimer. For reservations, call 713.722.6899 (713-7ABOUZY) or visit

Clear Lake/Webster El Tiempo Cantina to Open Before Christmas

photo courtesy of El Tiempo

Roland Laurenzo and Domenic Laurenzo, owners of El Tiempo Cantina, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with the David and Jason Felt Family to complete the construction of and to open the Clear Lake /Webster El Tiempo Cantina, 20235 Gulf Freeway, to be operated by the Laurenzos.

The Grand Opening is expected to be before Christmas 2017.

For more information, visit or call 713-807-8100 ext 108. View Menus at

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen Debuts New Sunday Brunch

Fried Chicken & Waffles

Owners Phyllis and Tony Mandola’s are pleased to announce that Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is now serving Sunday Brunch from 10 am until 3pm.

“This menu was fun to create,” stated executive chef Juan Arellano.

Crab Cake Beni

“Phyllis and Tony allowed me play and riff on their New Orleans style Oyster Bar with an Italian flair menu. I am sure you will find the perfect dish to kick start your Sunday!”

Additional details or reservations available at 713-528-3474, or visit

photos courtesy of Tony Mandola’s


Chef Peter Petro at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations has spent the past several months developing relationships with local farmers and gathering feedback from customers after moving to Houston from Newport Beach, Calif., last winter. 

Bosscat’s new lunch menu features beef from 44 Farms, Gulf seafood from Blue Horizon, vegetables from Covey Rise Farms in Louisiana and pork from Black Hill Ranch.

Highlights include:

–        Seoul Bowl ($15), a large bowl filled with 44 Farms Korean-style skirt steak, brown rice, green onions, kimchi, sesame, cabbage and carrots

–        Cowboy Caviar Bowl ($14) with grilled chicken, lettuce, black eyed peas, brown rice, onions, bell pepper and corn

–        Havana Bowl ($14) with BBQ pulled pork, brown rice, black beans, green onions and fried banana

–        Vietnamese Chicken Wrap ($13), a take on a bahn mi with grilled chicken, picked vegetables, jalapeno and cilantro on crisped roti bread

–        Short Rib Flatbread ($12) with slow-roasted beef short rib, jalapeno Greek yogurt and pickled onions

–        Avocado Toast ($11), Gulf ahi tuna and avocado on whole wheat bread

–        Chile Verde Soup ($8) with roasted tomatillo and poblano peppers, black beans and cojita cheese served with a mini-quesadilla

–        Power Spinach Salad ($12) with roasted pears, almonds, red cabbage, onions, grapes and balsamic dressing

–        Eat Slow Salad ($12) with kale, quinoa, walnuts, berries, carrots and blackberry + Greek yogurt dressing

Bosscat is located at 4310 Westheimer Rd. Suite 150 in Houston. For more information, visit or call (281) 501-1187. 

photo credit: China Martin


On-demand delivery app more than triples delivery coverage across Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area

Love getting your food delivered? Favor’s expansion, the Texas-based on-demand delivery app has added Spring, Tomball, Klein, Champion Forest, Firethorne, Energy Corridor, Pecan Grove, Richmond, Pearland, Friendswood and East End to its Houston area delivery zone.

In honor of its Houston area expansion, Favor is celebrating this month with:

  • To service this increased footprint, Favor is actively surging its Runner base in the Houston market, offering residents more opportunities to earn extra income on a flexible schedule as independent contractors who choose their hours. Houston residents interested in becoming a Runner can visit: m/.

Go to for more information.

Summer’s Trendy Fruit! 

Have you tried Rambutan?

Shoppers this summer will be surprised to see a new and strange-looking item in their produce isles.

Rambutan is taking the US and Canada by storm and quickly being considered one of this year’s trendiest fruits. The sea urchin-lookalike is sweet and juicy; it’s very similar in texture and flavor to grape.

Rambutan is from the tropics and similar to lychee in appearance and flavor, with white pulp and a large nutty seed. Fresh rambutan has a bright red leathery exterior with soft red and green spikes, which give them the nickname “messy hair” in Vietnam. Originally from Southeast Asia, rambutan also grows in Guatemala and Honduras, where the Florida-based importer HLB Specialties sources them from.

Rambutan has an incredible taste. Sweet and refreshing, like a juicy grape gummy, especially when eaten chilled. Rambutan is a fun and healthy fruit that is convenient to eat or carry along for a snack.

Eating rambutan is easy. Consumers can either hold it with both hands and twist apart at the seam, or cut lengthwise. Then either remove the top peel and eat around the pit or pop the whole fruit in the mouth, eating it like a cherry. Discard skin and pit. Even though rambutan is sweet, it has only around 10 calories per fruit. Look for it in a store near you!


photo courtesy of MOAGH

Located at Morton Ranch Road and SH 99/Grand Parkway in Katy, McDonald’as first “Experience of the Future” restaurant in the Greater Houston Area debuted in June 2017. The new location is the tenth McDonald’s restaurant for local Owner/Operator David Glaser and his wife, Lindsay. 

“As a second generation McDonald’s owner/operator, I’m proud to bring the first ‘Experience of the Future’ restaurant to Greater Houston,” Glaser said. “McDonald’s has always been a part of my family, and my wife and I are excited to welcome families from across our community to experience the future of McDonald’s.” 

As the first “Experience of the Future” restaurant in Greater Houston, the new McDonald’s features digital ordering kiosks, Bluetooth table locators for dine-in table service, indoor and outdoor digital menu boards, interactive entertainment and video game systems, delivery from UberEATS, an outdoor patio seating area, and a 24-hour drive thru window.


photo by Debby Wolvos

SumoMaya Mexican Asian Kitchen – the immensely popular Scottsdale restaurant under the purview of Osio Culinary Group and principal German Osio – is bringing the concept’s high-quality and vibrant ingredients, succulent flavors, artful cocktails, and decadent interior design elements to Houston’s posh River Oaks District and is slated to open in June.

SumoMaya combines the flavors of Asia with the robust culinary traditions of Mexico, with subtle extension into Latin America, into a dynamic fusion concept that is driven by world-class chefs who concoct high-quality tapas-style menu items, including tacos, sushi, noodles, prime steaks, and fresh seafood. SumoMaya will offer a full sushi program with a comprehensive menu for traditional sushi lovers alongside unique fusion rolls for the more adventurous palate.

SumoMaya will open in June in the River Oaks District at 4444 Westheimer, Suite C180, for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM, Friday from 11 AM to 12 AM, Saturday from 3 PM to 12 AM, and Sunday from 3 PM to 9 PM. SumoMaya has Brunch service on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM and “Social Hour” hours Monday through Sunday from 2 PM to 6 PM. The Late Night Bar is open Monday through Thursday from 9 PM to 11 PM and Friday through Saturday from 10 PM to 12 AM.  For more information, visit

AGU, a ramen bistro, Unveils New Dishes, Cocktails and Happy Hour Menu

​With the season changing, Chef Hisashi Uehara is shaking things up with new offerings for the summer! 

The perfect shareable starter to any meal, Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, lightly fried Brussels sprouts coated in a panko parmesan cheese crust and served with Yuzu citrus sauce ($6).

New ramen offerings include a lighter, healthier option, the Vegetarian Ramen, made with zaasai (Japanese green cabbage), kikurage (Japanese mushroom), corn, fresh negi and nori. Gluten-free noodles ($3) are also a new dietary offering available at AGU.

For diners not afraid to bring on the heat, the Chili Cilantro Tori ($14) a light and clean chicken broth topped with fresh, house-made chicken char siu, aji tamago, crunch menma, fresh negi, nori and topped with a mountain of fresh cilantro and finished with Thai chili.

Kick off the evening early with AGU’s “Piggy Hour” menu, available 7 days a week from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. The menu’s drink specials include all specialty cocktails ($6), house wine ($3), domestic beer ($2.50), import beer ($3.50), draft beer ($4) and carafes of house hot sake ($4). Pair your drink of choice with a variety of small plates ranging from $3 – $6.

​Select  AGU Ramen locations serve beer and wine only. ​L​ocations ​offering a full bar include Washington, Westheimer and Nassau Bay.

The Ivy & James is Now Open With Limited Hours During Soft Opening

Jamie and Dalia Zelko have opened their newest restaurant, The Ivy & James, in Evelyn’s Park, after several delays. “It is so wonderful to finally be open,” stated Jamie Zelko, “after two long years of building, and too many delays.”

photo by The Ivy & James

During the Soft Opening, the restaurant will be serving lunch, including simple salads and sandwiches for Dine-In and To-Go, and picnic baskets to be enjoyed in the park, from 11 am until twilight, (which is around 8 pm).

Breakfast will be served 7 days days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information visit or call 832-831-6944. The Ivy & James is located at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard on the grounds of Evelyn’s Park.

Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys Introduces New Menu Items and New Downtown Tunnels Kiosk Location

Kiosk Brings “Houston’s Original Sandwich” to Downtown Workers with Grab-and-Go Convenience

photo by Cooper Ricca

The iconic Houston sandwich shop has opened a new kiosk in the Downtown Houston Tunnel System (811 Louisiana St., Suite M130A), directly beneath Two Shell Plaza. Antone’s opened its first kiosk location in July 2016 in the food court at Greenway Plaza, another bustling office community.

Antone’s also has introduced a slate of new menu items at its two standalone restaurant locations (4520 San Felipe, 2724 West TC Jester).

photo courtesy of Antone’s

Developed by Legacy Restaurants’ Executive Chef Alex Padilla, these new offerings include a rotating selection of monthly specials and several new permanent fixtures on the menu, including:

–        Beef Brisket (slow-roasted beef, lettuce, tomato, Cajun mayo, served on po’ boy bread)

–        Cubano (house-roasted pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard, pesto, dill pickles)

–        Vegetarian Gumbo (dark roux with green and red peppers, onions, tomatoes, celery, okra)

–        Caesar Salad (served with grilled chicken)

–        Pulled Pork Sandwich (house-roasted pulled pork on a soft bun, coleslaw, pickles, jalapeños)

–        Roast Beef & Swiss (house-roasted beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, horseradish, mayo, onions, served on ciabatta)

–        Fried Chicken Po’ Boy (with hush puppies and French fries, served on po’ boy bread)

Cochon555 Houston at Hughes Manor had creative chefs, cocktails, desserts and lots of great food. 

So much to choose from with BCN Taste & Tradition, Ritual, State of Grace Restaurant, Kata Robata Sushi + Grill, Monica Pope, Fluff Bake Bar, Glenfiddich, Three Little Pigs, Divina, Creminelli Fine Meats, Bayou Rum, & House of Angostura

Congrats to winner Kata Robata Sushi + Grill!

photo credit: V. Sweeten

BossCat Houston captures prestigious design awards for interior space 

Winning both the Gold award by A Design Award & Competition for Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category, 2016 – 2017 and  Third Prize in Interior Design in the International Design Awards 

Hootan & Associates Design Studio gave Bosscat Houston a winning look in their latest project by recreating a matchless grange scene in the heart of metropolis of Houston. It intended to create a country style atmosphere where people can get detached from their modern lives for a while.

The primary elements of design consisted of: restored, reclaimed, and recycled resources. These materials are adopted throughout the space for all the finishes, furniture, millwork, and decorations. To replicate granges, huge roll-up glass doors let indoor living to expand and blend with the outdoor space. Overall, the design of Bosscat allows people to experience a farmhouse scenery.

Every piece of worn, ragged, and used material was an inspiration in the design process. Importance of Whiskey in Texas culture, inspired Hooten & Associates Design Studio for having a focal point in the project. This center piece created different zones in the restaurant from crowded bar to quiet fine dinning.



Peli Deli, located in downtown Houston in the Esperson Building at 808 Travis, is making breakfast and lunch a happier place with food filled with South African flavors.  

Co-founder, Thomas P. Nguyen took a moment to showcase all the great offerings from Egg Souffle to Naan tacos, Bahn-Nini, Bobotie, Boerewors Sausage and much, much more.

Take note of the “mix of spices”and authentic dishes. Dig into pork belly, curried chicken and veggies, salads all seasoned with a touch of spice making Peli Deli a great addition to the downtown food scene. Don’t miss the 9 month pop-up filled with Peli Deli deliciousness! Check out their Facebook for the latest at

photo credit: V. Sweeten

McDonald’s to launch new Signature Crafted Sandwiches

Get limited edition FRORKS with kickoff on May 5th

To celebrate the launch of their new line of Signature Crafted Sandwiches, McDonald’s will be giving away 100,000 Frorks in restaurants across the country on Friday, May 5.

What’s a Frork? It’s a uselessly useful utensil that allows you to use McDonald’s signature French Fries to scoop up the spillover from your Signature Crafted Sandwich.

Guests that purchase a Signature Crafted Sandwich at participating giveaway locations on Friday, May 5 will get a medium drink and medium fry free plus a Frork, while supplies last. Additionally, any guest that purchases a Signature Crafted Sandwich from May 4 through May 8 will get a medium drink and medium fry free (no coupon necessary).

Choices are top of the line for buns from Toasted Artisan Roll to Sesame Seed Bun and Texas Toast. Include your choice of meat such as 100% Pure Beef Patty, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken and Artisan Grilled Chicken. Toppings clinch the deal, and diner can choose from thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon with Maple Seasoning, White Cheddar, Crispy Onions, In-house Grilled Onions, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole or Crisp Leaf Lettuce. Sauce choices are Buttermilk Ranch, Sweet Onion BBQ and Creamy Dijon.

To see the full list of restaurants participating in the giveaway, visit your local McDonald’s facebook page,, or call 1-844-MCD-FRORK.

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks in Galveston named OpenTable Diner’s Choice 

photo: Moody Gardens Hotel

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks, located at Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, has been selected as a Diners’ Choice restaurant. Diners’ Choice recognizes outstanding restaurants in numerous categories based solely on OpenTable’s verified diner feedback.

Franco Perez, Shearn’s manager, says this accolade is very special to the Shearn’s team. “We strive for excellence. This award verifies that we have the perfect team in place, ensuring all guests receive first-class service and superior food quality.”

Known as a premier destination for fine dining in Galveston with floor-to-ceiling views of the Gulf waters, Shearn’s is one of only 11 Houston/Galveston area restaurants to receive AAA’s Four Diamond Award of Excellence, which it has won each year since 2004.

YAUATCHA HOUSTON now open in Galleria 

Yauatcha Houston, the local outpost of Hakkasan Group’s Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum concept, made its Houston debut in March 2017. 

The restaurant is in the standalone luxury retail building that is part of The Galleria, Houston’s ever-evolving shopping and dining destination (5045 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77056). Guests are encouraged to reserve tables ahead of visiting  or at 713-357-7588.

Bacon Bros. Public House Opens Farm-Fresh Food + Dine on the Swine Divine

photo courtesy of Bacon Bros.

A new restaurant tucked adjacent to Town Square Place in Sugar Land is giving meat a run for its money.

Bacon Bros. Public House is the new kid on the blockand is the creation of Chef Anthony Gray, restaurateur Jason Callaway together with Eric Bergelson and Mike Porter. The menu features straight forward, made from scratch American cuisine.

Serving as Chef de Cuisine is Houston Chef Joseph Zerwas, who will utilize heritage breed hogs, heirloom produce, old world vision and new world techniques to bring guests a regionally inspired menu.

A self-proclaimed meat mecca, Bacon Bros. will feature comfort food with a strong connection to the land. The chef-driven, seasonally focused menu will change often and feature familiar twists on favorites that incorporate an abundance of local produce and regionally sourced ingredients. Prohibition cocktails, a robust Bourbon and whiskey collection, craft beers and wine are excellently paired with the restaurant’s unabashedly bold menu.

“I hope guests will find the food at Bacon Bros. as addictive as I do,” said operating partner Travis Cook. “There is something instinctual about the effect a whiff of smoke has on your appetite. It’s what gives us a certain funk to our food.”

Authentic ramen bistro concept continues brand momentum in Houston with new restaurant openings in Katy, Sugar Land and Nassau Bay

AGU, a ramen bistro, ended 2016 with three debuts, including 1809 Eldridge Parkway in the Energy Corridor, a restaurant/commissary on 9310 Westheimer in the Westchase District and a third at 7340 Washington near Memorial Park.

The expanding ramen restaurant announces the opening of three new locations in March and April, to satisfy the ramen craze in Houston. The Sugar Land location at 2130 Lone Star Dr. and Katy location at 514 So Mason Rd. are slated to open mid-March, and  Nassau Bay at 1360 NASA Parkway is scheduled to open in early April. 

Yuzu Jidori with Yuzu Pepper

 “Houston residents have been great supporters of AGU Ramen, and we’re very excited to continue to introduce our ramen to the surrounding communities,” said Chef Hisashi Uehara, owner and chef of AGU Ramen. “Customers at the new locations can expect to find the same authentic ramen and traditional Japanese dishes that have made our other three locations a success.”

More information is available at

photo credit: V. Sweeten

a’Bouzy coming soon to Houston 

The Houston restaurant scene is about to pop with restauranteur, Shaun Virene, who will launch his first solo endeavor, a’Bouzy in early summer 2017. Virene’s is a champagne-fueled concept featuring a fresh, ripe American menu, seasonal seafood, salads, gorgeous greens, prime meats and a large raw bar. Simple, shareable small plates will play sidebar to Virene’s wine list that will feature more than 150 champagnes perfect for celebrations and every day occasions.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations now open

260+ whiskeys, barrel-aged cocktails & comfort food on tap at 4310 Westheimer

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations – the hotly anticipated whiskey bar with American comfort food from Newport Beach, Calif. – opened on February 22, 2017.

The rustic, industrial-chic interior – with 14-foot ceilings, stained concrete floors and expertly finished reclaimed wood, steel and brick – will seat 220 guests, with 40 additional patio seats on 2,000 square feet of patio space.

“This has been a long time coming, and we have been very fortunate to meet so many great people in Houston who have opened their arms to us over the last several months,” Reed said. “We’re beyond excited to return the favor and open our doors to a city that has been so welcoming to us.”

Bosscat’s signature glass-enclosed Whiskey Room will house one of the largest whiskey selections in Houston with more than 260 offerings ranging from local whiskeys such as Yellow Rose, Balcones, Herman Marshall and TX, to rare, sought-after allocations from around the world. The Whiskey Room also will be home to a limited number of whiskey lockers for VIP guests and a 12-seat table for private dining and private whiskey tastings. 

For more information, visit or call Managing Partner Tai Nguyen at (281) 501-1187.

photos: V. Sweeten

Urban Eats Debuts New Menu Items to Celebrate their Second Anniversary

photo courtesy of Urban Eats

“As we start our third year of business and celebrate the completion of two fantastic years, it’s time to introduce some new favorites to our amazing customers!” stated culinary director and owner Levi Rollins.

“These new items address requests from our regulars, like our Reuben & Rebecca Signature Slider, stuffed full of Prasek’s smoked brisket, spicy pastrami, house-made chipotle coleslaw, creole seeded mustard and crisp dill pickles,” he said.

Rollins stated other new introductions include a deliciously dressed Salmon Filet and the vegetarian Peppadew Mac & Cheese, and The Three Finger Smoked Pork Chop, finished with a bourbon apple and honey chutney.  More details at or call 832-834-4417.

Recently promoted Executive Chef, Martha de Leon launches new menu at Pax Americana

photo by Chuck Cook

Pax Americana owners, Shepard Ross and Dan Zimmerman, are proud to announce Chef de Cuisine Martha de Leon’s promotion to Executive Chef and the launch of her new menu. The new menu was created by the 27-year old accomplished chef, who has been with PAX almost since the beginning. Now, she’s flexing her creative chops. “I wanted to find out what my food is – and this is the first stepping stone,” says de Leon. “The inspiration comes from everywhere I’ve worked.”

photo by Erin Hicks

De Leon has a history in Houston beginning at RDG+Bar Annie then onto The Pass & Provisions in addition to her two years in the kitchen at Pax.

“We aim for awe-inspiring vs. ordinary,” says Ross. “Martha’s dedication, work ethic and commitment delivers a unique experience for our guests. She and I are of the same mind-set. “She works as fast and furious as I do to always put true hospitality first,” said Ross.

Top chefs show their stuff at the 3rd annual  Truffle Masters 2017 competition

Over 500 guests turned out for the exclusive event presenting chefs from 23 of Houston’s top restaurants including B&B Butchers, BCN Taste and Traditions, Brasserie 1895, Brennan’s of Houston, Café Annie, Café Azur, Central Market, Culinaire, Eculent, Fieldings Local Kitchen + Bar, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Hubbell and Hudson, Kata Robata, KUU Restaurant, La Table, Le Mistral, Peska Seafood Culture, Quattro Restaurant At The Four Seasons, Radio Milano, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Graduca, SaltAir, Sud Italia Ristorante and Triniti.

Each chef competed to create the most delectable, mouthwatering dish using DR | Delicacy’s aromatic and flavorful truffles. Two signature cocktails were made specially for The Truffle Masters event. Abla Huerta of Julep Houston created Sonvilier Jubilee and Artemisia using Robert Del Grande’s RoXor gin.


First Place: Kata Robata, Chef Manabu Horiuchi – Open Face Truffle Banh Mi: oyster muchroom, tx kobe beef, pickled cucumber and carrot & Honey Truffle Ice Cream: buckwheat truffle powder

First Runner up: KUU Restaurant, Adison Lee – Truffle Kunsei: house cured smoked salmon, maki, black truffle cream, chives, garlic bread and shaved black truffle.

Second Runner up: Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Mark Holley – Snapper Ceviche: kumquat, lime, mint and benne seads. 
People’s Choice Winner: Hubbell and Hudson, Austin Simmons – Oyster & Pearl: oyster & truffle potage, DR Delicacy american sturgeon caviar and DR Delicacy truffle.

Winners photo credit: Daniel Ortiz



Red Snapper Campechana; photo credit: Julie Soefer

Local Foods announced plans to open its 4th Houston location on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The space will be housed at 420 Main Street on the corner of Prairie Street in the 1934 Joseph Finger-designed art deco style building. The historic building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and famously served as the longtime home of Byrd’s Department Store.

“Local” – as the locals call it – is indeed just that. The brainchild of hometown heroes Benjy Levit and Chef/Partner Dylan Murray, the wildly popular and critically lauded scratch sandwich shop hit an immediate chord when it first launched in 2011 right next door to its big brother restaurant, benjy’s in the Village.

Crunchy Chicken; photo credit: Julie Soefer

Levit and Murray’s simple formula of sourcing ingredients, produce, veggies and protein from local purveyors, farmers, ranchers and the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market made for the most flavorful sandwiches, freshest soups, seasonal salads, and sumptuous sides available in the marketplace, and the public took notice.

“I am particularly excited for Local to make its latest home in this rare historic art deco building in downtown Houston,” said Levit. “It’s something of a homecoming given my Houston roots, and we think the concept and its offerings will resonate particularly well in this location.”

Local Foods is a scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcasing local edibles and seasonal salads, fresh soups & homemade snacks for the taking. Their four locations are located at Rice Village at 2424 Dunstan Rd.; Upper Kirby at( 2555 Kirby Dr.; Tanglewood at 5740 San Felipe Rd. and Downtown at 420 Main St.

For more information, please visit

Liberty Kitchen at The Treehouse opens for Memorial City diners


photo credit: Debora Smail

Liberty Kitchen takes its place as a great neighborhood restaurant serving modern, American food. The focal point is a massive 13-foot long handmade wood-fired grill. Diners can see chefs as they work the open flames cooking steaks, chops, ribs and fish.

Some of the favorite Liberty Kitchen staples are on offer such as the Creole Whole Crab, Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo, R&D Test Kitchen: Infamous Burger Bowl, Deviled Eggs and Lance’s Loaded Hushpuppies (The Real Original) served Liberty Kitchen gorilla-style.

Culinary Director and Partner, Lance Fegen, who is often inspired by the tastes and techniques he encounters while on surf breaks describes the new fare at Treehouse

“The menu is my version of comfort food and what I want to eat. It’s influenced by my travels and mood, using great ingredients with respect. It’s straight forward and full of bold flavor.” A recent trip to South America inspired Fegen’s Cazuela of Tender Belly Pork Shoulder, Chorizo and Octopus and Chicken, Andouille, Red Beans and Carolina Gold Rice, which are cooked in individual-size Dutch ovens nestled in the coals.

Details, go to​​

Gift Set_4131.jpg

Hugo’s and Caracol Offer Gift Set to Make  Holiday Giving Easy

Skip the long lines at the mall this holiday season by ordering gourmet gift sets from award-winning Hugo’s and Caracol restaurants this holiday season!

The holiday gift box will bring a taste of true Mexico to its recipients.  Each box includes… One signed copy of Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico, named by Saveur magazine as one of just six essential Mexican cookbooks. 

·         One of Hugo’s restaurant’s housemade chocolate tablets with which to make Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate (or mole!)

·         One molinillo, a traditional Mexican turned wood whisk, used to mix and froth hot beverages such as hot chocolate 

·         Two mugs in which to enjoy your Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate! 

Cost for the gift sets are $60 each plus tax.  The sets are available at Hugo’s and Caracol restaurants and can also be ordered online at and  Shipping is $15.45 for 2-3 day air.  Orders placed after December 19 cannot be guaranteed for delivery by December 25.  Local orders can be picked up at the restaurants, but please give advance notice for orders of 5 or more sets.

For more information, call Hugo’s at 713-524-7744 or call Caracol at 713-622-9996.

Chef Kevin Naderi of Roost takes home honors in “Beat Bobby Flay” show

Bobby Flay and Kevin Naderi on the Set of Beat Bobby Flay_Photo courtesy of RoostHouston chef Kevin Naderi of Roost took on Food Network’s chef Bobby Flay in “Beat Bobby Flay” and took home the winning dish on July 28. The episode, titled “Stop, Drop & Roll,” had Naderi winning the first round against chef Mark Vecchitto of Connecticut, and then ultimately winning the throwdown with Flay for bragging rights.

Houstonians partook in the viewing at 8th Wonder Brewery. Naderi challenged Bobby Flay to make cabbage rolls. Naderi’s winning dish started with a base of tomatoes and roasted feta in a vinaigrette. The “meat” of the dish was a lamb and pistachio stuffed cabbage roll and it was finished with olives and an herb salad.

“The cabbage is tricky to cook so I chose to use the sous vide,” said Naderi. “The cabbage is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooked in temperature controlled water. “Time goes by really quickly on the show, so I wanted to cook them low and slow while I focused on other elements of the dish.” Lamb and Pistachio Stuffed Cabbage Rolls_Photo courtesy of Roost

The judges commended Naderi, Chauhan said that his lamb was succulent and Hamilton stated that while the filling wasn’t what she would typically expect in a cabbage roll, she found herself wanting to lick the plate clean.

Houston’s chef enjoyed the experience. “It was a long day of shooting (about 12 hours), but there was a live audience which kept me energized,” he said. As for his opinion of Bobby Flay? “There was a lot of banter while we were cooking which was fun. He’s a stand-up guy and I respect him a lot. I would take him on again anytime,” said Naderi.

Naderi, no stranger to the competition world, is a retired four-time champ of the Houston Press Iron Fork competition and was a finalist in Season 2 of “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

photos courtesy of Roost


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