Openings & Closings: And Every One Was a Woodrow's, Woodrow's

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Troy Fields
Portugallia: Adeus, meu amigo.
The week so far has been full of good news, bad news and idle speculation. In other words, buckle up for a bumpy ride of a round-up.

First is news from B4-U-Eat that Portugallia -- the city's only Portuguese and Angolan restaurant -- closed quietly last week. The restaurant we reviewed in February 2012 offered great Portuguese fare but suffered from unsteady service and an odd location along Westheimer. Its outdoor waterfall will certainly be missed, but we hope another restaurant is able to make use of the pretty little spot.

Palm Restaurant is also closed, but as Greg Morago at the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this week, it's only temporary. The Galleria-area steakhouse, which originally opened in 1978, is remodeling and will unveil its new design sometime this summer.

In other steak-y news, Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is now open at CityCentre. This is the first Houston location for the Dallas-based steakhouse, and it's celebrating by offering a free dessert to every paying diner through April 30 and caipirinha cocktails on the house -- even if you're not eating -- through April 15.

In other opening news, La Madeleine announced in a press release this week that it would add between eight and 10 new stores to the Houston market over the next few years. Like Texas de Brazil, the French chain is also based in Dallas. In addition to giving a few of its older restaurants fresh facelifts, La Madeleline also has added a few new dishes for spring like its mini croque trio (turkey, bacon and tomato, chicken pesto, and traditional croque monsieur) and an orange dream cake with toasted almonds.

Looking ahead into future openings, Eater Houston reports that yet another Woodrow's is taking over yet another Washington Avenue space. The old Mardi Gras Grill on Dunham became Woodrow's Heights last year, and now the old Block 7 Wine Company is transforming into a Little Woodrow's. It will be the sixth Little Woodrow's location in Houston. The other Woodrow's -- both Big Woodrow's and Woodrow's Heights -- are owned and operated independently. This time next year, look for half the empty bar and restaurant spaces in Houston to also become Woodrow's of some kind. It's inevitable at this point.

Eater Houston also reports that chef David Grossman of the now-closed Branch Water Tavern and girlfriend/partner Julia Sharaby are close to signing a lease that would move Sharaby's former food truck, Fusion Tacos, into the recently-vacated Les Givrals space on Market Square. The new location for Fusion Tacos would mark the latest in a string of high-profile downtown openings along Main Street and Market Square, although it's a bit of an odd choice. Fusion Tacos was one of the first food trucks in Houston but one of the least successful, and hasn't been on the streets in more than a year. The truck was notoriously unreliable (and we're not talking about its engine) and offered fairly poor customer service when it was out and about. Perhaps a brick-and-mortar location will suit the taco-slingers better, though.

In happier news, Ramen Tatsu-ya is encouraging rumors that it's considering a second location in Houston. The Austin-based ramen shop even Tweeted yesterday: "This is NOT set in stone, but keeping eyes open..."



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Location Info

Portugallia Restaurant & Lounge - CLOSED

12126 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Palm Restaurant

6100 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mardi Gras Grill - CLOSED

1200 Durham Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Block 7 Wine Company - CLOSED

720 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: General

Les Givral's Kahve - CLOSED

801 Congress St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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15 comments
julia0401
julia0401

The word of the day............."LIBEL"     

H_e_x
H_e_x

I had no idea Fusion Taco has been in business for decades. 

Steve1152
Steve1152

All your beer are belong to Woodrow.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

To call the lady that runs fusion taco a *!tch would be putting it mildly and kindly..

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

I hope the closing bakery is Kraftsmen.

Gillian26
Gillian26

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is providing caipirinha cocktails on the house -- even if you're not eating -- through April 15. Hello guys, meet and greet the TABC.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@H_e_x Heh. That should be "fancy" food truck.

TimP
TimP

@Kylejack I don't see a bakery closing mentioned here.  Did I miss something?  Also, may I ask why you'd hope Kraftsmen would be closing?  I have had a variety of experiences there, with many of the most recent ones being fairly poor.  However, they can and have made good food, coffee and pastries.  It can and should be a nice thing in our neighborhood - much more 'useful' at any rate than was Textile.  Hence my question as to why you think it should go.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@kshilcutt @H_e_x I'll just take "fancy" to mean "expensive" because a shiny veneer does little for me.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@julia0401 @gossamersixteen It's never acceptable to yell at customers, especially when it's your fault that things are wrong.  I mean that's simple logic, don't take out your bad business practices on your paying customers, beyond just being wholly unprofessional it's downright rude.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@TimP The above piece has been edited to remove the mention of a bakery closing. I have no idea what it was in reference to.

Scott Tycer is a bad employer who was stealing from his employees with a "glass breakage" fee and successfully sued over it in Chisolm v. Gravitas, as well as his alleged physical altercation with Jason Gould. I don't trust that Tycer has learned how to treat people well who are working under him.


I understand there is another partner in the Kraftsmen business and maybe that guy is better. Still, I'll be glad when Tycer's last restaurant in Houston closes and he moves on to somewhere else. I absolutely despise people that exploit a position of power to abuse people.

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