This Week's Food News: A Tex-Mex Newcomer, Rice Village Turns 'Blue,' and More

This Week's Food News: A Tex-Mex Newcomer, Rice Village Turns 'Blue,' and More

Avocado Smash at Bluestone Lane

WHAT POST-VALENTINE'S slump? The restaurant scene is still booming, and we have proof. Here's this week's tastiest food news, in small bites.

Bluestone Lane Opens in Rice Village

Lemon-ricotta pancakes at Bluestone Lane

Australian-inspired coffee roaster and café Bluestone Lane is now open in Rice Village. Located at 2412 University Blvd., near CB2 and West Elm, the coffeeshop is known for its award-winning coffee and healthy-leaning menu. This outpost is set to be one of the brand’s largest among its 60 locations nationwide; in the Houston area, cafes are open in the Heights and on Post Oak.

Bluestone Lane’s inviting décor scheme is a combination of Aussie-chic with a nod to the Houston area via details like an outdoor mural by local artist Shelbi Nicole. With all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch — plus smoothies and signature bevs like a Draught Oat Flat White — Bluestone Lane will surely be a popular destination in the ever-evolving Rice Village. Other recent newcomers include Navy Blue restaurant, Parachute, Allbrids, Viori, King Ranch Saddle Shop and SkinSpirit.

“The booming city of Houston is a natural fit for Bluestone Lane given the community is so passionate about delicious coffee, food and hospitality,” says Nick Stone, Bluestone Lane founder and CEO, in a release. “Our cafes have quickly become a beloved part of our locals’ daily rituals, thanks to the airy, inviting aesthetic, smooth, well-balanced coffee, and nourishing menu items.”

Bosscat Kitchen Heads North

Bosscat Woodlands (photo by Dylan McEwan)

With its whiskey library, Champagne wall and infinitely Instagrammable brunch menu, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is on the move! An outpost is now open in The Woodlands, designed by owner Leslie Nguyen and Abel Design Group's Jeffrey Abel. The fun spins on comfort food — cornmeal-crusted catfish, sweet-and-spicy-glazed pork chops, PB&J beignets for dessert — have garnered Bosscat a dedicated following since it first opened near River Oaks District in 2017. Situated at the intersection of Market St. and Six Pines Dr., the prime location is well matched with the area's "high-energy patrons," said Nguyen in a statement.

Mi Cocina Plots Houston Expansion

Mi Cocina

This fall, a Tex-Mex classic will open in the River Oaks space previously occupied by Seasons 52: Dallas-based Mi Cocina, which has been operating for more than 30 years, will finally launch its first Houston location. Get ready for brisket tacos and the restaurant's famous margarita-sangria swirl dubbed the Mambo Taxi — and, per what is undeniably the most prominent dining trend of the past year, a "speakeasy vibe."

“I’ve been a guest of this brand and a fan of this brand for 20 years. My kids grew up eating Mi Cocina. Now, I get to run the company, and I’ve always thought that Mi Cocina had great lengths to grow outside of Dallas,” says Edgar Guevara, who runs Mi Cocina's parent company M Crowd. “With our Houston location, we’ll be able to continue doing what we love — sharing authentic food and culture with a neighborhood that will be able to count on us.”

Local Table Opens Flagship in Cinco Ranch

Ahi tuna poke bowl (photo by Jenn Duncan)

A sprawling new flagship location of Local Table is now open in Cinco Ranch, touting a parent-beloved and kid-approved menu (pizza, tacos, pitas, vegan bowls), and a giant patio and private dining room. Within Local Table is Local Bar, the 21-and-up concept with craft cocktails and a long wine list. And as always, kids eat free on Mondays!

The restaurant first opened down the block in 2016, and later expanded to Cypress, Fulshear and Garden Oaks; The Woodlands outpost opens later this year.

Great Meals at a Steal! Eat Drink HTX Is Back

The second annual Eat Drink HTX, the sister event to Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW), runs now through Feb. 28. The two-week long fundraiser was developed for the casual dining category, with a lower price point ($15-$25) for the two-course prix fixe brunch, lunch and dinner menus. This strategy allows more casual and fast-casual eateries the opportunity to participate in the fundraiser to help Houstonians in need. Similar to HRW, participating restaurants will make donations based on their sales. Read more here!

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