What the Fork? Breakfast Options Abound And A New Wine Bar Is Coming

As the winners of the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition are still basking in their buckle-winning glory, we’re looking ahead to what’s next on the dining scene. The biggest trend in Houston these days is breakfast, and along those lines a one restaurant is launching an early-morning option while and a Heights gathering spot debuts brunch.

Meanwhile, a fast-casual favorite expands operations and so does a burger joint with a cult following. Finally, find out why national chefs are invading a Midtown bakery and get ready for yet another wine bar.

Recent Openings

Local Foods, 714 Yale: The casual, local chain known for fresh, healthy options opened the doors on its fifth location, this time in The Heights, on February 16. It’s in the Heights Mercantile complex (behind Melange Creperie and Cloud 10 Creamery). The 4,500-square-foot restaurant has 120 seats divided among table, booth and banquet areas. Diners can get a gander at the JOSPER Charcoal Oven in the open kitchen, a powerful oven-grill combination that lends smoky-sweet flavor to the beef, chicken and fish offerings.

Upcoming Openings

Picture of bruschetta and glasses of wine.
Postino Winecafé opens this spring with a menu that includes cheese and charcuterie and bruschetta. Photo courtesy of Postino Winecafé.

Postino Winecafé is making its Houston debut this spring—also in the Heights Mercantile center. It will occupy a repurposed 1940s-era warehouse on the corner of Yale and 7th and feature Italian-inspired bites such as bruschettacharcuterie and cheese boards with large slices of toast and toppings like brie and apples with fig spread, ricotta with dates and pistachios, and roasted peppers with goat cheese. Look for a carefully curated list of wines from around the world. Some of the 30+ wines by the glass will be a mere $5 as will selected 32-ounce pitchers of local beer.

Shake Shack continues its takeover of Houston. Swamplot reports the Danny Meyer concept has leased space on the corner of Westheimer and Lincoln. Also, Paper City noted about a week ago that the Rice Village location is very close to opening.

Shake Shack is one answer to the Jeopardy question, “Burger chains way cooler to Houston than In-N-Out Burger.” 

Picture of Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros is now available seven days a week at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos. Photo by Nick de la Torre.

Picos Adds Breakfast

Arnaldo Richards’ Picos Restaurant, 3601 Kirby: You know what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Houston diners might want to build some time into their commute so they can scope out the new one at Picos. The popular Mexican spot is serving the morning meal seven days a week from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles Enmolados (pulled chicken with mole, cotija cheese, crema Mexicana and onions). “Breakfast is something we’ve always enjoyed doing at Picos. Now, with more demand, it is time that we offer it on a daily basis,” Arnaldo Richards said in a press release. “I think the new program is ideal for a diverse set of audiences. It is expedient for business people conducting meetings because of the efficient nature of the menu. It is also perfect for a more leisurely outing among friends and family members.”

Who doesn’t think Huevos Rancheros beats a bowl of Corn Flakes? Whoever you are, we don’t want to know you.

Picture of a Reuben sandwich and variety of sausages.
King’s Bierhaus launches brunch next month, but diners can get previews starting Sunday. Photo courtesy of King’s Bierhaus.

Brunch and Beer? Why Not?

King’s Bierhaus, 20144 East T. C. Jester: Speaking of morning dining, the Heights beer house is getting into the brunch game. It launches on March 11, but early birds can preview the menu on February 18, 25 and March 4. Look for King’s favorite dishes as well as custom brunch creations.

Upcoming Events

February 21

Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella: Check out wines from Mexico paired with chef Marc Schmidt’s light bites. The walk-around tasting features wines from Cada Madero, the oldest winery in the Americas. Look for Chardonnay with marinated vegetable ceviche, a Cabernet, Merlot and Tempernillo blend with a smoked duck tostada and Shiraz with dark chocolate mole. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person and reservations are required. Call (713) 861-8666 or email the restaurant.

Photo of Chris Shepherd
Chris Shepherd takes over at Fluff Bake Bar February 22. Be there to check out what he’s thinking of for UB Preserv. Photo by Julie Soefer.

February 22

Thursday Night Chef Takeovers Begin At Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray: Houston’s Sugar Hooker Rebecca Masson launches a new monthly event series this week: Thursday Night Take Over. The country’s hottest chefs are offering three or four a la carte items from 6 to 9 p.m. Chris Shepherd is kicking it off and previewing options being considered for his reinvention of Underbelly, UB Preserv. Upcoming chefs include Christine Rivera of Galaxy Taco in San Diego (March), Justin Brunson of Old Major in Denver (April) and Richie Nakano of IDK Concepts in San Francisco (June).

Central Market, 3815 Westheimer: A one-hour lunchtime class will help home cooks up their brunch game. Taste cream biscuits with ham and jam, buckwheat crepes and sour cherry pecan granola yogurt parfait and get insider tips on how to replicate each. The class is from noon to 1 p.m. and the cost is $22.50 per person. Register online.

Febraury 23

Italian Cultural and Community Center, 1101 Milford: Meet Piero Rossi Cairo, owner of theTenuta Cucco and La Raia wineries in Italy’s Piemonte region. Participants will get to taste the wines and learn about the creation process. The event is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased online.

February 28

The Slanted Frog, 815 Plantation, Richmond: Chef Frédéric Perrier (formerly of Aura Brasserie in Sugar Land) pairs his cuisine with wines from Walla Walla, Washington in a four-course wine dinner. Selections include venison mixed grill served with the 2014 Cavalry Cabernet Sauvignon and a mixed berry cobbler paired with Tranche Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. The cost is $85 per person, excluding tax and tip. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (281) 762-0663.

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