Millie’s, Photo via Instagram

Millie's, Photo via Instagram

For years, the Westheimer Curve was the only part of Houston widely acknowledged as a foodie's paradise — rightfully so, of course, as it's been home to several James Beard-winning institutions over the decades. But now, it seems like every neighborhood in H-Town is a delicious district worthy of attention and accolades in its own way. In Oak Forest, for example, a slew of mixed-use developments is transforming W. 34th Street — and fast.


Valencia's Tex-Mex Garage (2001 W. 34th St.) is now open in Aztec Rental's former warehouse, converted into a hip center by Braun Enterprises. Owned and operated by brother-sister duo Ricardo Valencia and Vienna Valencia Bement — whose parents founded famed chain Cyclone Anaya's — the new spot is funky, colorful and Covid-conscious, with garage doors that open up to the patio. Expect a menu of Tex-Mex's greatest hits.



Just a block off 34th is Millie's Kitchen & Cocktails (3542 Oak Forest Dr.) a comfort-seafood-savvy restaurant in a former gas station. It quietly opened back in April, offering plates like scallops, shrimp, clams and cod lightly tossed in housemade batter, and a lobster roll that Yelpers rave is "unreal." Millie's recently completed its back patio; both outdoor dining areas boast modern picnic tables, umbrellas and ample shade. And the new happy hour special includes $5 margs and house wines, and $3 domestic beers — and $2 oysters to boot!

Speaking of converted auto shops: Vietnamese drive-through concept Saigon Hustle will open inside a former tire shop on the corner of 34th and Ella early next year, citing Covid-related delays to its timeline that initially had it opening this summer. It's currently operating out of Blodgett Food Hall near UH.



Down the street, an anticipated warehouse-like development dubbed Stomping Grounds at Garden Oaks (1225 W. 34th St.) has finally bowed — and it's hoping you have a sweet tooth. Fat Cat Creamery and Becca Cakes are the first two tenants to open their doors. There's plenty more to come at this mixed-use center, which features a communal lawn and ample parking.


Food

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

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