Watson-Backed Cheesesteak Place Heads East, Opening Second Location off I-10

THE SECOND LOCATION of Lefty's Famous Cheesesteaks, Hoagies & Grill opens today in East Houston, at Federal Road and I-10. Founded by 36-year-old cancer survivor Sam Berry in Michigan — where there are 25 locations of Lefty's — the chain newly boasts Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson as a co-owner.


The Federal Road outpost opens less than a month after Lefty's first entered the Houston market; the original bowed on Kirby near NRG Stadium, and has been frequented in the weeks since by Texans players and local rappers like Z-Ro. Watson and Berry also packaged up meals for frontline workers at nearby Houston Methodist last week. The new location is the first with a drive-through, an acknowledgment of the importance of takeout and to-go during Covid times.

Expect 8- and 12-inch classic cheesesteaks, and innovative versions like the Munchin with Michael — fried popcorn chicken, buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. There's also burgers, reubens and cold-cut subs. The franchise is expected to add 150 Texas restaurants in the coming years, including a location at 5588 North Freeway, slated to open by the end of the month.

Food

“I WISH I came here sooner to experience this amazing city,” says advanced sommelier Rachel Van Til of her move to Houston just one year before the pandemic lockdown. When Covid appeared in 2020, along with layoffs and closings, it led to a career swerve for Van Til, a working mom who was a sommelier at Pappas Steakhouse. She took over the wine program at The Clubs at Houston Oaks, a posh (initiation fees can range into the six figures) members-only club northwest of the city with 10 lodges, 17 lakes, 900 acres and six dining options. Speaking of lots of good food and vino, the club’s 2022 Wine and Food Classic is this February 12 — it’s a great chance to taste hundreds of wines from around the world and learn about them from winemakers and professionals. “It’s our largest event of the year and it’s open to the public.” In our Q&A, Rachel dishes on her favorite date night, best wines to try this year and her brush with the me-too movement!

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