Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable opening and closing of the week.
Montrose's identity continues to shift and change by the day, as restaurants blink in and out of existence within the ever-expanding celestial fabric of mattress stores. Mattress stores everywhere! Joining a recent list of closures that includes both the Eatsie Boys and Eleven XI, Radical Eats announced last Friday that its final service would take place this past Sunday.
Fans of the original vegan Tex-Mex joint on Fulton were surprised when owner Staci Davis made the move to Montrose in the summer of 2013, but that was nothing compared to the surprise Davis had in store a few weeks later: adding meat to the previously all-vegan menu. "The majority of my customers are not vegan or vegetarian," Davis told me at the time. Having carnivorous options available for the enlarged customer base at the big, new location made sense, though not all of Radical Eats's initial supporters saw it that way.
Indeed, when Davis announced the restaurant's closing on Facebook, bitter former patrons were quick to allude to meat—as opposed to sharply rising rent costs in Montrose—as the culprit. For her part, Davis told CultureMap that she was hoping to return to the restaurant business in a less expensive location. I hope she does too, because Radical Eats kept Green Seed Vegan company as the two best vegan restaurants in town, meat on the menu notwithstanding, and I hate to think I've eaten my last of Davis's tamales or fried avocado tacos.
Meanwhile up north, The Woodlands is hard at work filling out the fancy new Restaurant Row in its 66-acre Hughes Landing mixed-use development with a mix of national and local chains. (Hey, it's The Woodlands; what did you expect?) In the case of Restaurant Row, however, I have to admit the line-up of chains is pretty terrific: Escalante's, Local Pour and Del Frisco's Grille, which opens to the public for the first time today at 4 p.m.
Del Frisco's Grille
1900 Hughes Landing Blvd., Ste. 500, The Woodlands
In addition to being one of our favorite grills/grilles and offering one of our favorite cheeseburgers in all of Houstonia, this new Woodlands location of Del Frisco's Grille also boasts a 3,000-square-foot patio with a view of Lake Woodlands, a large private dining room and a nearly 8,000-square-foot floorplan, which it will need to house wine director David O'Day's collection of over 250 bottles.
In addition to wine and cheeseburgers, Del Frisco's Grille will stock a selection of local craft beer and Woodlands-exclusive dishes such as warm kettle chips with blue cheese sauce, fresh-baked pretzels, and a spicy pork meatball flatbread with banana peppers and house-made ricotta cheese. Expect the new grill to be a hit for Sunday Brunch, too, and not just for the sprawling, umbrella-shaded patio: Red Velvet Belgian Waffles are on the menu, as is a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. See—we told you there are cocktails worth finding in The Woodlands.