Smashburger Sensation, Best New Brunch, and More of This Week's Scorching Hot Food News

Smashburger Sensation, Best New Brunch, and More of This Week's Scorching Hot Food News

Breakfast at Citizens of Montrose

IT’S MID-JUNE, AND the weather and restaurant scene are already sizzling. Experience Bun B’s smashburger sensation and MasterChef Christine Ha’s new sandwiches, pick up a fancy cake, or devour something else delicious. Here’s the week’s piping-hot food news!

Aussie Breakfast Joint Lands in Montrose

Located next to Velvet Taco across from the Montrose Collective, Citizens of Montrose marks the Aussie-fave cafe-restaurant's first U.S. outpost outside of New York. Expect innovative, "healthy and hearty" breakfast fare, a la banana-bread French toast with miso-butterscotch, all day long, plus a tasty lunch menu with items like a yuzo-aioli-topped burger. Citizens has been name-checked by Architectural Digest as "one of the most beautifully designed" coffee shops in the world. Don't skip the signature flat white!

Trill Burgers Now Open

Bun B’s cult-followed smashburger joint has arrived! Located in the former James Coney Island spot in Montrose, the new brick and mortar Trill Burgers has been experiencing very long lines, so pack your patience (or maybe a lawn chair and bottled water). Once inside, anticipate table dining and a take-out line.

A concise menu with some signature items from its pop-ups makes for easy ordering — think OG Burger with two smashed patties, Trill sauce, caramelized onions and American cheese on a potato bun; or the Triple OG Burger. Expect also a Vegan OG Burger, a Baby G and Vegan Baby G kid’s meals as well as seasoned fries and Dr. Pepper to drink.

To note: This is a six-month location until Trill finds a permanent home. It’s also cashless, and the drive-through will be open any day now.

“It’s been a dream for us, and it’s actually coming true,” Bun B said.

Los Tios Arrives in West U

Los Tios' party room (photo by Rachel Alyse Photography)

The newest location of beloved Los Tios from Adair Concepts has bowed in West University, in the former Buca di Beppo space. Expect plenty of stylish charm including Saltillo floors, an arched brick ceiling, large skylights, carved French oak paneling, and a star-studded entry chandelier fabricated just outside of San Miguel. The multi-level space features roomy booths and a private dining room wrapped in glass barn doors.

Known for its famous Original Puffy Queso, Houston’s first frozen margarita, and classic Tex-Mex combination plates, Los Tios’ new location will provide the same value-driven food and drinks that have earned citywide acclaim at its sister locations.

Christine Ha Opens Savory Sandwich Joint

Fried chicken sandwich at Stuffed Belly

Elevated — and large — sandwiches headline the menu at chef Christine Ha’s third restaurant, Stuffed Belly. The new spot features riffs on her favorite American sandwiches. A few to consider: Humpty Dumpty egg salad (heavy on the mustard) served on crustless Texas toast; Tuna Crunch with tuna salad and crushed potato chips; a fried chicken sandwich with Sriracha mayo, and a smashburger with “Stuffed sauce.” Expect Pudgy’s Cookies for dessert and a menu for the kiddos.

Located in the same Spring Branch shopping center as her still-new Blind Goat, Stuffed Belly operates out of a drive-thru, and offers only a limited amount of interior seating.

Wash Ave Welcomes Passerella

Pasta at Passerella (photo by Jenn Duncan)

Wash Ave has been short on Italian restaurants — until now. To fill that gap, Passerella has bowed at the traffic circle off Westcott. It is the second outpost in H-Town from Gr8 Plate Hospitality. Get your fill of rib-sticking Italian classics like spaghetti and meatballs, pizzas, and seafood-focused main plates including lobster mac ‘n cheese and stuffed flounder with smoked lemon butter. Ready for this? Lasagna is on the dessert menu — a masterpiece of 10 sweet layers topped with pecans and vanilla sauce.

Glam Cake Shop Now Baking at the Galleria

The beautiful Berry MontBanc cake at Lady M

Located in the basement level of The Galleria, popular New York transplant Lady M Cake Boutique, which has expanded globally, now has an official home here. Lauded for its specialties in Bon Appétit and other publications, the upscale French patisserie has celeb fans including Martha Stewart and Oprah. The sweet shop is best known for its mille crepe cake, which doesn’t tout a thousand layers like the French classic, but impresses nevertheless. It’s available in a signature flavor, green tea, guava and lavender. Other cake options include strawberry shortcake, Berry Mont Blanc tart and a special cheesecake named Gateau Nuage, or “cloud cake.”

'Nauti' Viet-Cajun Joint Now Open Out West

Nauti Crab, a Viet-Cajun seafood eatery hailing from New Jersey, recently opened on Briar Forest outside the Westchase area. The menu by owner Ryan Mai touts all manner of seafood, not just the coveted roasted Dungeness crabs, but also seafood boils (buckets) of crawfish, lobster or shrimp boiled with custom spice boil. Guests are also coming hungry for crab cakes and crab fries topped with crab meat, mayonnaise and seasoning, seafood po’boys, lobster stir fry and seafood fried rice. To wash down the seafood specialties, its sports bar offers plenty of cold local beer and cocktails.

Upper Kirby Hot Spot Rolls Out New Social Hour

PS-21's Le Gin et Tonique (photo by Harold Cua)

Chef Philippe Schmit and the team at French-inspired PS-21 recently launched a new social hour with a food menu and cocktail specials. Anticipate savory bites like petite Mediterranean tart with lamb meatballs and harissa sauce; Caesar salad Pincho; escargot with baked baby potato; a salad-like Crab Bomb, and deboned chicken wings with mini toast. Sip on the French margarita, gin and tonic, coffee Old Fashioned or white Cosmo. The Upper Kirby restaurant offers happy hour Tuesday through Sunday from 5pm-7pm.

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