Openings & Closings: Construction Woes Take Down 60 Degrees Mastercrafted

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Troy Fields
60 Degrees Mastercrafted has been closed and sold. Chef Fritz Gitschner is taking time to plan his next move.

60 Degrees Mastercrafted served its last meal on Sunday, March 8. This falls in the "damn shame" category of restaurant closings. Road construction has plagued restaurants and other businesses in the area on Westheimer as well as on Shepherd. Helmed by chef Friz Gitschner , it earned an overall positive review from the Houston Press, two stars from Alison Cook at the Houston Chronicle and was No. 51 on her Top 100 Restaurants list.

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This Week in Houston Food Blogs: Don't Scoff at Canned Beer

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Brian Birzer
Hank On Food takes a look at recently-opened Gray's Public House in Midtown, which specializes in canned beer and pub food.
It's been raining and chilly for the past several days in Houston. When the weather's like this, some of us just want to stay indoors and cook at home. A Southern Fairytale is ready to accommodate that wish with an easy broccoli and beef stir fry . It includes plenty of garlic, hoisin and fresh ginger and there's also some chili sauce to warm you from the inside out. Make plenty so there are leftovers for lunch the next day.


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This Week in Houston Food Events: 1252 Tapas Celebrates Five Years

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Cristina Terrill-Kooker
1252 Tapas in The Woodlands is celebrating five years in business with discounts on sangria and tapas, like this Spanish Grilled Cheese.

Monday, March 9

Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet Wine Dinner at Aura Brasserie

The wine dinner starts with a reception with passed hors d'oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. Then, dive into a five-course dinner at 7 p.m. that includes Duck Confit Ravioli with Foie Gras Nage and Baby Vegetables paired with Crozes Hermitage Rouge 2009. Dessert is and Blue Cheese Cake, Candied Pecans, Red Wine Poached Strawberries and Buttermilk Gelato alongside Hermitage Rouge 2009. 15977 City Walk. 6:30 p.m. $89 plus tax and gratuity.

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Openings & Closings in Houston: Willowbrook Has Deep Dish Pizza Now

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Maine-ly Sandwiches is regrouping and starting a Kickstarter campaign

The Willowbrook area got its very own Chicago-style deep dish pizza place on February 26. Gino's East at 17116 Tomball Parkway is now open in the former Bikinis spot. (ATX Brands, is the company behind both businesses. They own the Bikinis chain and are a franchisee of the Gino's East brand.)

It's the second Houston-area location, and follows one that opened in The Woodlands in December at 25657 I-45 North. Deep dish pizza takes a long time to bake, so wait times at The Woodlands location have been a regular source of customer complaints. To resolve the issue, the company will add and carry-out service to both places starting on April 1. The Woodlands location will also offer deliver and the Willowbrook one will follow suit on May 1.

The first traditional, free-standing Texas location of PJ's Coffee of New Orleans is opening at 2155 Durham on Monday, March 9. It's run by a native of New Orleans, Jessica Taylor, whose history with the brand goes back to her college days. A press release quotes her as saying, ""When I left New Orleans to attend college at Texas A&M, I began ordering PJ's online to bring that taste of home to Texas." The company's specialty is cold-drip coffee and has over 80 locations in six states.

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Thai Pop-Up Dinner in Houston by New York Chef Hong Thaimee

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Photo by Narin Nirundarangkul
Chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam in New York City's East Village.

There are pop-up dinners and then there are must-not-miss pop-up dinners, and this coming Sunday and Monday, Paper Co. is going to be playing host to two must-not-miss pop-up dinners that will showcase the cuisine of visiting chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam Thai Restaurant in New York City's East Village.

Thaimee, whose restaurant, Ngam, was named Best Thai Restaurant in New York City by The Village Voice in 2013, is acclaimed for her scratch-made modern Thai cuisine utilizing fresh, locally sourced, sustainable products. She has competed on Iron Chef America against Bobby Flay. She has been a guest chef at the James Beard House. Her cuisine and restaurant have received numerous accolades in the press, where she has been featured in Saveur, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and more.

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Openings & Closings in Houston: A Stand-Alone Restaurant for Asia Market

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Gary Wise
Although the cramped, casual dining area inside a small grocery store has always been "part of the charm," it's good news that Asia Market is expanding to a full-fledged restaurant.

An email from Asia Market on February 23 shared the joyous news that after years of being part of a grocery store-restaurant combination, the restaurant part is finally getting its own building. Asia Market has long been known for its shamelessly spicy curries and is a favorite of Thai food aficionados and industry professionals alike. The new location will be at 4822 Fulton right next to the Metro Red Line station, making it easy to get to from downtown and other stops on the line. Check out the new building and the interior demolition in progress here. The grocery store will remain in the existing location at 1010 West Cavalcade.

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A Preview of Foreign Correspondents Restaurant Coming to Houston

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
A bowl of Gaeng Om Fak Tong, which roughly translates to dry golden squash curry. This rendition from a Foreign Correspondents preview dinner included butternut squash from Gundermann Farms, ground Asian rooster meat and no coconut milk. It's just one of the Thai dishes that Houstonians will be introduced to when the restaurant opens in two or three months.

Way back in September 2013, Treadsack, the group behind Down House and D&T Drive Inn, announced that P.J. Stoops would be the chef for Thai restaurant Foreign Correspondents. Seventeen months later, it's still not open, but the good news is that it's now only two or three months away. Construction is under way at 4721 North Main, and diners got a preview of what's to come at a Kipper Club dinner this past Saturday night.

One of the P.J.'s most significant accomplishments -- and the thing he may perhaps still be best known for in Houston -- is that he helped bring awareness to fish known as bycatch. During commercial fishing operations, the nets bring in more than just the intended targets. For example, an expedition might be after lucrative, popular red snapper but a Warsaw grouper might come along for the ride.

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Openings & Closings: Montrose, How Much Mexican Food Can You Eat?

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo courtesy of El Tiempo Cantina
El Tiempo president Roland Laurenzo and executive chef and son Dominic Laurenzo are going to be very busy in the Montrose for a while.

Well, this was surprising. A press release from Roland Laurenzo that came out on Wednesday, February 18 says that there's a delay in the construction of the new apartments that were replacing El Tiempo 1308 Cantina. The release reads (and yes, it's really in all caps): "1308 WILL BE STAYING OPEN UNTIL END OF THIS YEAR, MORE OR LESS." Furthermore, the plans to open in April at the the old La Casa Del Caballo space at 322 Westheimer continue apace.

That means the Laurenzos are about to pull off a hat trick of concurrently running two Mexican restaurants that are within a mile of each other for most of this year--and one of them is quite large.

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Houston Has Another Big Batch of James Beard Semifinalists

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Will another Houston chef come home wearing a James Beard medal around his neck in May as Chris Shepherd did last year? Only time will tell. This year, Bobby Heugel (second from left) has yet another reason to be happy, as the bar he co-founded, Anvil Bar & Refuge, has been named a semifinalist a third time.

Last year, chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly brought home the first James Beard: Best Chef Southwest award for the first time since Robert del Grande did it in 1992.

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Gatlin's BBQ Kicked Out of Its Space; Will Make Do With a Food Truck for Now

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Mai Pham
Don't you know you can't keep a good pitmaster down?

Don't look for Gatlin's BBQ at 1221 W. 19th Street anymore. According to Syd Kearney at the Houston Chronicle, it's gone--for now.

After five years in the same space, it's had to close up shop. Back in December, Greg Gatlin announced that he was making a much-needed move to a 4,200 square foot space at 3510 Ella Boulevard. Lines at the little house on 19th for brisket, ribs and stellar dirty rice were commonplace.

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