I have participated in a discussion on HAIF and also polled this blog's Facebook page regarding food in the Heights. All of us know that we have become something of a foodie destination with the openings of several high profile restaurants. However, there are a couple things we residents want to have without the fanfare or without cause for our wonderful food writers to give us sneak peaks. Just simple things, like decent Chinese food. Perhaps that wish will be granted. Meet Heights Asian Cafe:
Now, you may be skeptical but I have to say, I have always had luck with Asian food in some sort of repurposed fast food building. Could there be a better use for this old LJS on Yale @ 22nd? I think not! I will grant you "Asian" food doesn't necessarily mean Chinese but that is what many people have suggested we are missing so I am just trying to be optimistic. Now, I do recognize that many Heights folks are fans of Empire Seafood. I get delivery from there often and it's good enough but it honestly wouldn't be hard for something to come along and be better. Fingers crossed this might be it.
Back in March we were treated to a sneak peak at what will soon be Love Street Coffee Shop on 19th. Well, looks like 19th St is going to continue to pick up some night life (and by that I mean dinner time). Our good friends at Sew Crafty are getting a new neighbor.
According to a small flyer on the windowsill, Serendipi Tea is going to be a cafe with a focus on... you guessed it: Teas! The flyer says it is locally and family owned and operated, which we all love! I have a message in at the number listed and am excited to get more information. I know some people will be concerned about places like this pulling away from old favorites like Cricket's Creamery and Carter & Cooley. Personally, I think that this area can sustain multiple casual establishments. Plus, it's our job as residents to frequent the places we love. I also think it will just bring more general casual traffic to 19th Street and our wonderful local retailers can use that. With more choices, it becomes more of a destination for people outside of the neighborhood as well. Often Hubby and I will decide where we want to have lunch/dinner with "area of town" as our only criteria.
ETA: A friend posted on the FB page that Seredipi Tea will be open until 4 pm and then reserved in the evenings for events. She questioned if they can sustain with that business model but nothing other than Shade is open on that strip now, so I guess it can work.
I also want to take this moment to remind you guys of a great bubble tea and smoothie place on 20th. Pila Tea House is locally owned and operated with a great, great front patio under some gorgeous trees. Business has been tough for them due to lack of foot traffic in their immediate area but they are great people worth stopping in to say "hello" to grab a beverage.
There has been a lot of talk about Lance Feagan and Shepherd Ross's pending project at Studewood and 11th. Originally, it was going to be called Burgerzilla and be high end burgers and comfort food. However, rumor mill has it that the concept has changed. Whatever it's to become, I hope they get working on it. Shepherd told me at one point that BRC was their priority and that Burgerzilla would get underway in earnest once BRC was up and running. Well, BRC just opened- to good reviews- and I hope this means some action on 11th St. Whatever they will decide will be great. They know food; they know wine; they know the neighborhood.
EDIT: A bit of an update, courtesy of Eating Our Words blogger Katharine Schilcutt at The Houston Press this afternoon:
Be on the lookout for Liberty Kitchen opening this summer in The Heights. Same bunch of guys - including Lance Fegen, Carl Eaves and Lee Ellis - but a different concept.
If you have been really, really, really busy or possibly living under a rock, you may not be aware that Jenni's Noodle House is opening their 3rd Houston location on 20th Street this summer. Jenni posted on their FB page today that permits are in hand and they're looking at 8 weeks until opening. Yay! Last I heard, they plan on casual counter service and lots of kid friendly amenities. I know not everyone likes to hear that "kid friendly" part but the reality is this: if you are a casual restaurant in the Heights and you are not kid friendly, you might as well put a sign out front that says "We will turn away 1000 customers at random each month." After all, we all know Heights Kids Group (or The Heights Mommy Mafia, as we are sometimes referred to) has over 700 families and I can tell you from message board discussions, all of them go out to eat with their kids.
Also sure to please adults and children alike will be the summer opening of Jus' Mac, an all macaroni and cheese establishment. They have been pretty secretive about what the menu will be other than many, many types of mac'n'cheese. I'm going to be honest here, too-> I am not 100% sure where the restaurant is going to be. The old Yale St Pharmacy is what I heard but I guess I am just missing something as I drove up and down Yale 3 times yesterday looking for it. Anyone?
Besides some supplement place opening next to Lola, this is all I have on deck for now. If you know something coming soon to the Heights, do tell!