Koffeteria is now open. The East Downtown pastry spot run by Vanarin Kuch, former pastry chef at Tiny Boxwoods and contestant on Top Chef: Just Desserts, is in its soft-opening phase and will be open 11 a.m–8 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Look for a beef pho kolache and Instagram-friendly Hot Cheeto (!) croissant. Also, Koffeteria is showcasing coffee roasted by Little Dreamer and fun beverages like a hot chocolate in a tea cup called the Mad Hatter.
Rishi Singh, formerly of Boheme Café & Wine Bar, has been named the new executive chef of Hotel Derek in the Galleria area. Singh will oversee all aspects of the hotel's dining program, from banquets to in-room dining to leading the kitchen and changing the menu at Revolve Kitchen + Bar. Singh's new menu, which will incorporate flavors found across the city along with a heavy dose of smoke (oak-smoked jalapeños with naan, campechana with smoked poblano, chargrilled chicken banh mi, Cajun chicken with boudin pilaf), is set to debut in January. The change here is part of a number of alterations at Hotel Derek, which is under new management with California-based Evolution Hospitality.
Per a reader tip and first reported by Eater, a construction permit application and investment documents reveal a new food hall is planning to open at 2300 Louisiana St. in Midtown. 1-800 Lucky Pan-Asian, already a popular hall in Miami, is reportedly coming to Houston and may open in the first quarter of 2020. There's not a lot of information on what to expect in Houston, but the Miami version of the hall from restaurateurs Sven Vogtland and Alan Drummond is described as a blend of Asian concepts inside a Tokyo-designed space with a hip-hop soundtrack. That hall has ramen, Vietnamese sandwiches, Japanese ice cream, and Thai street food, plus poke.
McDonald's is jumping into the Great Chicken Sandwich War with two offerings: a crispy chicken sandwich with dill pickles and a deluxe version with tomato, lettuce, and mayo, because apparently you can add a couple salad ingredients and mayonnaise and call it "deluxe." But here's the thing that deems it necessary for me to write about: McDonald's is testing the sandwich through the end of January in just two markets. One is Knoxville, Tennessee (maybe they got it mixed up with Nashville), and the other is—oh, look at that: Houston. The sandwich is available here. Maybe call ahead to your local McDonald's to see if they're carrying it or have it ready. Meanwhile, how about bring the Shamrock Shake here, guys?