Russell Ybarra, the founder and owner of Gringo's, the successful local group of Tex-Mex restaurants, has opened his new fast casual concept. Bullritos. The menu features custom-made burritos, bowls, and tacos. Margaritas and beer are available as well.
The first store is located in LaPorte, a bit off the beaten path for many Houston foodies, but our sources say it's worth a visit. More locations in the Houston area are planned.
Legendary Tex-Mex restaurateur Matt Martinez, Jr. passed away recently. He and his family owned Matt's El Rancho in Austin, Matt's Rancho Martinez and Matt's No Place in Dallas.
While Martinez didn't have a restaurant in Houston, he is a very significant figure in the Texas restaurant scene, and is considered by many to be one of the first to popularize Tex-Mex cuisine.
Godspeed, Matt. You'll be missed.
Escalante's has opened its fifth Houston location in Sugar Land's bustling Town Square. Escalante's offers Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine in a casual, upscale setting.
Swirll Frozen Yogurt is also open, offering a variety of frozen desserts and treats for kids of all ages.
This summer, Taisho will be opening a contemporary Japanese eatery in Town Square. Taisho features a variety of Japanese dishes, as well as the popular hibachi grill popularized by the Benihana chain.
Many of our friends who live ITL (Inside The Loop, a Houston term for the part of town inside I-610) maintain that there's nothing OTL (Outside the Loop) worth the drive. In our experience, they couldn't be more wrong.
We'd been hearing good buzz about a small cafe that had opened in a strip center at the far northwest corner of the Woodlands, and finally got a chance to check 'em out last night.
Eden Cafe is a small family owned establishment that serves a wide variety of cuisine. They're serious about variety: They have daily specials that are based on a specific cuisine. Tex-Mex Tuesdays, Italian Wednesdays, Comfort Food Thursdays, and Seafood Fridays (the day we visited.)
I ordered one of the specials - blackened tilapia. It was a beautiful tilapia filet expertly prepared, tender, moist, and nicely spicy. The sides were ver good as well: A mild Greek salad with plenty of feta, and a scoop of sweet potato casserole, rich, earthy, and loaded with nuts.
We also sampled their chicken-fried chicken, which was superb. Very moist, hand-breaded with a light, crispy breading, it was accompanied by a grilled squash/zucchini side that was delicious.
Another winner was the Pasta Marsala. A large serving of penne pasta with plenty of grilled chicken, mushrooms, squash, and a rich marsala wine sauce.
Prices are surprisingly modest. There's nothing on the menu over $13.
The restaurant was packed on Friday night, but the service was still friendly and professional. The owner, Ulises Larramendi, was greeting guests (many of whom were obviously regulars) and making sure things were flowing smoothly.
Browsing the menu, we discovered that Eden Cafe also has a full breakfast menu on Friday and Saturday ('till 3pm on Saturday.) They're closed Sunday and Monday.
Eden Cafe is a winner. It's a comfortable, casual cafe that serves very well-executed food. It's a worn phrase, but there's really something for everyone.
For those coming from ITL, it's a bit of a hike, but we think it's worth it. There are hundreds of small, family run cafes in Houston, but we've yet to find one that offers such a wide variety of food that is so expertly prepared.
We'll be back.
Eden Cafe: 33418 Egypt Lane, Suite 16, Magnolia, 77354, 832-934-2800, edencafe.net