House of Pies on Kirby is Back, and We Love it More Than Ever W/ Video

Photo courtesy House of Pies
Welcome home, indeed.
A few glorious weeks ago, House of Pies on Kirby reopened after a fire shuttered the beloved landmark back in November, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Initially, the popular pie place promised to be back in business in time for the pie-centric holiday, but unfortunately, the repairs and ultimately, a total face lift of the old restaurant took a little longer than the owners anticipated.

I am sad no more, though, for House of Pies, in all its greasy spoon glory, is back in business, and I must say, it looks fabulous. There's new iridescent tile work, a brighter and less dingy main dining room and a lovely patio overlooking Kirby Drive for those who want to soak up some exhaust fumes with their Bayou Goo.

One thing hasn't changed, though: The pie. The phenomenal, perfect pie.

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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.

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Openings & Closings: Dirk's Coffee Ceases to Brew After 15 Years in Business

Categories: Restaurant News

Iced Coffee Crawl 021.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Say goodbye to the Mayan Mocha at Dirk's Coffee.
It's always sad to see a long-standing restaurant shutter, but, after 15 years, Dirk's Coffee, formerly Diedrich Coffee, has decided to close its doors. The coffee shop on Montrose Boulevard closed on Tuesday, April 8, according to Eater. Back in 2012, Katharine Shilcutt ranked the Mayan Mocha at Dirk's Coffee as the no. 6 best iced coffee drink in Houston, and in 2011 it was awarded the no. 10 spot on the list of top 10 coffee houses in Houston. On the day of closing, an employee of the coffee shop told Eater that Dirk's was shutting its doors, but didn't provide any additional information. The idea of the coffee shop reopening at a different location is still up in the air.

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Openings & Closings: Bradley's Fine Diner Officially Opens & the Heights Gets More Crawfish

Categories: Restaurant News

New month, new openings. April may bring showers, but the month hasn't brought us any notable closings yet, just lots of openings and announcements of openings.

Thien An has reopened at its new location, 2611 San Jacinto, according to CultureMap Houston. After closing in 2012, the Vietnamese restaurant has began cooking again, and the space is much larger than it was at its former location -- there's also a bigger parking lot.

The second Mercantile opened in Montrose, at 3321 Stanford Street on Saturday, March 29, according to an announcement from Eater. This new location comes just six months after the opening of the original location in Rice Village.

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Hallelujah! Kirby House of Pies Reopens

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Been missing your Bayou Goo? Well, all is back to normal now at House of Pies, which was damaged in a fire in November of 2013.

It happened back in November of 2013: A fire damaged the beloved House of Pies on Kirby, and it was forced to close its doors, giving untold numbers of Bayou Goo addicts severe anxiety attacks.

Well, after much construction and renovation, a new and improved House of Pies has reopened, so you can now make your way over there and sit for a spell with your favorite slice. And be sure to tell the staff hello, because most of them are back as well.

The owners of the restaurant carried out extensive work on the interior space, and have even added a patio for outdoor dining. In addition, the kitchen is home to new and improved appliances and equipment. (But don't worry, the pies will still be the same ones you fell in love with all those years ago.)

UPDATE: Where to Eat on Easter Day (2014)

Photo by Robert S. Donovan
Easter is almost here. Make your brunch reservations ASAP.
Some of you may be wondering, "When is Easter?" And I bet those of you who gave something up for Lent know exactly when Easter is (you've been counting down the days). Well, this special holiday is Sunday, April 20, and the best way to celebrate any weekend holiday is with brunch, no?.

Many restaurants in our city and its environs are hosting Easter brunches, and some are offering dinner, too. So, to help make your life easier when deciding where to dine out this Easter, we've compiled a list of restaurants offering specials. As always, make your reservations sooner rather than later to ensure you, your family and your friends have somewhere to eat. So, hop to it and check out our guide to Easter brunching.

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Openings & Closings: Midtown Gets A Food Truck Park

Categories: Restaurant News

In not-so-shocking news, another Washington Avenue bar bites the dust. The Houston Chronicle reports that Blue Moose Lodge at 5306 Washington shut its doors on Thursday, March 20. The sports bar posted the closing announcement on Facebook; Blue Moose Lodge had been in business for three-and-a-half years.

But in good news, guess what, Houston? We're getting another food truck park, and it's in Midtown! Midtown Mobile Cuisine will hold its grand opening on Friday, April 4, after a soft opening on Thursday, April 3. The new food truck park is located at 4002 Almeda, and as reported by CultureMap's Eric Sandler, it will have on-site electrical power, unlike other food truck parks such as My Food Park HTX and Houston Food Park. What does this mean? It means you get to stuff your face with your favorite food truck offerings late at night and get to listen to live music, rather than those annoying diesel generators. Pretty sweet, right?

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Openings & Closings: Do You Want Doughnuts With That Ice Cream?

Categories: Restaurant News

The Daily Review Cafe closed due to water issues, according to the Houston Chronicle's Syd Kearney, but it seems like things have been going downhill for the restaurant for a while. Recently, Yelp reviewers have been giving the River Oaks cafe many poor reviews, saying it was "awful all around" and that patrons waited nearly 45 minutes to be served their food. One reviewer even remarked that the restaurant needs Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" to help them with their struggles. There's no news as to whether the restaurant has closed for good, or if it is only temporary.

Thanks to commenter justthefacts, from last week's openings and closings report, we now know that Papa Joe's BBQ in Memorial City on Kingsride Lane has closed. The restaurant's website states that a Starbucks will be taking its place.

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First Look at Dish Society: Casual Farm-to-Table Dining

Photos by Molly Dunn
Every meal served at Dish Society features ingredients from local producers.
Texas (especially the Houston region) is blessed with a multitude of produce farms, breweries, meat producers and dairy farms. While it is common for Houston restaurants to showcase a few local producers' products in menu items, there aren't many restaurants that are solely farm-to-table. And that's why restaurateur Aaron Lyons decided to create Dish Society.

Dish Society was a concept Lyons developed while attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. He originally planned to open Dish Society in Austin, but decided to bring his concept to Houston after finding "greater demand and opportunity" here for his farm-to-table restaurant, according to Dish Society's website.

Each item on the menu features ingredients sourced from local producers throughout the state, including Atkinson Farms in Spring, Houston Dairymaids, Slow Dough Bread Co., and Texas Hill Country Olive Company in Dripping Springs. Most of the menu items list the source of the ingredients in the dish's description, and at the bottom of each menu you will find a complete list of sources.

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Fish & the Knife Was Not Designed By Tony Chi

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Mai Pham
Inside the new restaurant not designed by Tony Chi

On February 13 we posted a first look at the just-opened Houston restaurant Fish & the Knife and included the news that New York-based restaurant and hotel designer Tony Chi was involved in the project. As it turns out, he says he wasn't.

We had received this information from Samantha Tran, the publicist for the restaurant:

"The long anticipated waited is now over. Fish and the Knife will finally be opening its door to the public on Thursday, February 13th. Houstonians spent these past few years speculating the cause in the delay, but there was never one. The owner commissioned Tony Chi, famed architect and interior designer, to fit the restaurant into his relentless schedule. Based in New York City, Chi owns and operates a global design powerhouse that has an unrivalled reputation in the hospitality industry. Some of Chi's designs include restaurants for Wolfgang Puck, Alain Ducasse and Michael Mina. In addition to restaurants, he designed many Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, Intercontinental and Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world."
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