Benjy Levit Rolls Out Maximo in West U, New Local Foods on Post Oak

Julie Soefer
Benjy Levit Rolls Out Maximo in West U, New Local Foods on Post Oak

Local Foods sandwiches

ONCE UPON A time on a charming vintage corner of West University Place, chef Tony Luhrman cranked out tacos and other Mexican specialties in his tiny restaurant El Topo. The newcomer earned recognition from Texas Monthly and elsewhere, but couldn’t pull out of the post-COVID slump. Enter Maximo in the same space, a new Mexican concept owned by Benjy Levit (Local Foods, Lees Den, Eau Tour), Luhrman, and Dylan Murray of Local Foods.


The team has maxed out the menu and the space with extremely impressive upgrades. Working her magic, interior designer Brittany Vaughan of Garnish Design has transformed a simple, small space into a chic, intimate oasis with a dynamite 35-seat covered patio — one that will stay crowded, we’re sure. Interiors have a soothing desert meets ocean vibe with nods to mid-century Mexico and spot on southwestern art from Houston’s Southern Kindness Art Gallery.

Meanwhile, Levit and partners have also just opened a brand-new, 3,300-square-foot Local Foods on Post Oak, complete with new menu items, more wines by the bottle, seafood-savvy weekend brunch, and more. Vaughan decked out this spot, too, including its 1,100-square-foot covered patio. Guests will be thrilled with the ample parking and new specialty cocktails, too.

Back at Maximo: If you recall chef Luhrman’s style at El Topo, the vision for the menu is similar, honoring Mexican and Texan heritage cooking and its place on the Gulf Coast. Levit’s culinary director Seth Siegel-Gardner worked closely with San Antonio-native Luhrman to create an authentic menu showcasing dishes made from scratch, including handmade Tortillas de Nixtamal.

Those tortillas are the star of the extensive taco menu boasting inventive combos like sweet potato with baby kale and cumin vinaigrette; king crab with edamame, asparagus and Baja crema; vegan mushroom tacos; and the more classic crispy fish tacos, and mesquite-roasted barbacoa taco withepazote aioli (Luhrman’s prized signature from El Topo). Also expect specialty burritos and tortas; small plates; soups and salads, and crafted cocktails and margaritas. We can’t wait to tuck into the Watermelon and Cotija Salad with pickled Fresno chili, cucumber and peanut crumble!

“Every item on this menu was carefully selected to ensure all our ingredients are from nearby farms and producers that reflect the bounty of the Gulf Coast region,” said co-owner Benjy Levit, “From farm-fresh vegetables to locally sourced meats and cheeses, every ingredient embodies the ethos of local foods.”

Maximo

Maximo

Maximo

Local Foods

Local Foods

Food
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