Openings & Closings: The Food Truck Expansion Continues

Categories: Restaurant News

It's been a busy time for the Heights neighborhood as several restaurants and bars have opened their doors and some have announced future plans to set up shop.

The newest Piatto Ristorante opened in the Heights on Monday, April 14, at 1111 Studewood. The newest Carrabba's location joins Liberty Kitchen and Ruggles Green on the same intersection. This Piatto's location, like the other one in the Galleria, features dishes from recipes passed down by John Carrabba's family and his wife Janice's. Both locations will feature several new menu items as well; and the Heights restaurant has an expanded bar offering craft beers, boutique wines and specialty cocktails, like a frozen Bellini cocktail titled the Piattolini.

Swamplot notes that the previous location of Country Kitchen on West 11th Street has been transformed into Warehouse Bar & Chill. Eater reports that the new Heights location where you can enjoy a gourmet burger and local beer on an expansive outdoor patio will be open in about a week and a half.

Urban Kitchen may have opened a month ago, but the new Memorial restaurant is starting to get attention for its selection of indulgent comfort foods and lighter, healthier options. This week, Eater shared the new family restaurant's dinner menu, which features standard American options like baked spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer, plus flatbreads and burgers for main courses. The entree offerings vary from hearty fettuccine Alfredo with chicken to light herb-crusted seared salmon with a quinoa salad topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

Get ready for another El Tiempo Cantina to open. The Webster location at 20235 Gulf Freeway should be open by June. It was announced in January that it would open in May, but the owners are shooting for June instead. According to a statement, owner and executive chef Domenic Laurenzo says that there are a lot of loyal customers in the Webster and Clear Lake area so this was the reason for opening an El Tiempo Cantina closer to where those customers live. This will be the sixth El Tiempo Cantina location.

Photo courtesy of Landry's Inc.
Come get some mudbugs from this food wagon throughout crawfish season.

Is a food wagon the same thing as a food truck? Regardless, Landry's Inc. has opened its first food wagon to cater events at Landry's properties, and it's serving crawfish. The wagon will only operate during crawfish season and can produce up to 1,000 pounds of the mudbugs in an hour. The next two events for April will be today at the Kemah Boardwalk for Crawfish Cajun Fridays, and April 25 until April 27 at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier for Crawfish Weekend. Crawfish on-the-go? Yes, please!

In other truck news, errr car news, Cadillac Coffee kicked off its first service last week. Whether you're a coffee-fanatic or a classic car-fanatic, you'll enjoy this new mobile coffee joint. A 1957 Cadillac Series 62 pulls a 1963 Shasta camper van serving a variety of pastries, kolaches, quiches and even pies to go along with your coffee. Check out the newest mobile eatery's Facebook page for information on where it will set up shop next.

Fans of Marco's Pizza will be happy to hear that the franchise has opened its newest restaurant at 536 E. Tidwell, just one block off Interstate-45 North. The location opened on Tuesday, April 15, making it the ninth location in Houston. According to a press release, the company has plans to expand the restaurant throughout Houston over the next five years -- there should be more than 100 Marco's Pizza locations by then.

Thanks to a comment from jayc13 in last week's openings and closings report, we now know that Pho LN Sushi Bar & Grill at 8408 Katy Freeway has closed. We called the restaurant and the phone number has been disconnected. It appears that many diners enjoyed the six-month-old Vietnamese and Japanese restaurant in Memorial, as noted by the Yelp reviews praising it for its pho dishes and friendly staff.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

Location Info

Piatto Ristorante

1111 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Liberty Kitchen

1050 Studewood St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ruggles Green

748 E. 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Piatto Ristorante

4925 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Country Kitchen - CLOSED

3333 W. 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Warehouse Bar & Chill

3333 West 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Urban Kitchen

14008 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Tiempo Cantina

20237 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kemah Boardwalk

501 Bradford Ave., Kemah, TX

Category: General

Galveston Pleasure Pier

2501 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX

Category: General

Cadillac Coffee

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Marco's Pizza

536 E. Tidwell, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho LN Sushi Bar & Grill - CLOSED

8408 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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gossamersixteen topcommenter

For God's sake people wise up, El Tiempo sucks hard and is grossly overpriced. When you can get better food for a quarter the price why continue to patronize this mediocre garbage? Cough cough los dos amigos..


Crescehnt CIty Beighnets has closed....


* Ei8ht Lounge has closed. The former Washington Ave. bar and club rebranded itself and reopened as an Irish pub named the Galway Hooker last Friday.

* Chuanr, named after the  Xinjiang cuisine style kebabs, opened in New Chinatown/Little Asia's Dun Huang Plaza plaza Monday. It's similar to the recently opened Xin Jiang BBQ, a Chinese BBQ (Xinjiang) restaurant specializing in skewered meats down the street in the Diho Plaza. In addition to chuanr, the restaurant also offers hot pot. Chuanr's address is 9889 Bellaire Blvd., Suite C-314.

* In the same shopping center at Chuanr is a new hot pot offering from The Bubbly Pot (9889 Bellaire Blvd., Suite C-305). The recently opened restaurant also serves Chinese fare.

* Buttz Gourmet Food Truck, a mobile kitchen specializing in pulled pork sandwiches, opened this week for service.

* Rakuu Restaurant opened this week in Spring. The restaurant, which offers Vietnamese fare and sushi on its menu, is located at 5200 FM 2920 Rd, Suite 190.

* BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse recently opened this month in Katy at 20536 Katy Freeway.

* Crawfish 4 U closed and in its place will be a second location for Wild Cajun (13602 Bellaire Blvd.)

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