Restaurant news typically takes a break between Christmas and New Year's Day, so you may have missed Ronnie Killen's little announcement over Instagram last week:

Being that this is the restaurant world, nothing is sacred: Killen started taking tickets last week, and you can get reservations now for the Pearland spot. We'll have more on Killen's TMX Tuesday, including a rundown of the food, which aims to combine Killen's barbecue prowess with authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. (Spoiler alert: Mission accomplished. You're going to want the barbacoa short rib and the oh-so-perfect creamed corn empanadas.) Here's an enchilada to whet your whistle:

We're starting 2019 off with a bang, folks.

Also recently opened: Mastrantos. Located next to BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures in the Heights, this concept by Venezuelan couple Mari and Xavier Godoy promises a global range of flavors. Tony Castillo, formerly of Tiny Boxwoods, is running the kitchen.  

An early menu shows homemade pasta dishes like agnolotti with gorgonzola, sweet potato, sage and butter sauce; and coconut curry black linguini; plus espresso-rubbed tri-tip; and health-forward small plates. Breakfast includes oatmeal and quinoa bowls, a variety of toasts, and breakfast tacos, plus homemade croissants and cachitos (think a Venezuelan kolache). It's open 7-11 a.m. and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.

 BuffBurger's third location is now operational. First reported by CultureMap, the burgers are being flipped at 10550 Westheimer Rd. We recently tried one of its new cocktails, and we said some good things about its breakfast sandwiches

February is gumbo time. Of course, we here at Houstonia are hosting our annual Gumbo Smackdown on Feb. 9 at Sugar Land Town Square. And later in the month, the Houston Food Bank's f.r.e.s.h Young Professionals are hosting their fourth annual f.r.e.s.h Gumbo Cook Off. That's on Feb. 23; tickets are $25 in advance and now available.

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