Foodie Events / Restaurants

Houston Restaurant Coronavirus News — Themed Dinners, Pop-Ups, Baking Kits and Armandos’ Incredible Margarita Power

A Reeling Industry Fights On

BY // 04.15.20

In the time of COVID-19, the Houston restaurant scene is constantly in flux as chefs and owners struggle to develop new business plans that will attract customers and aid the sinking bottom line. Themed dinners, a classy food truck, delicious take-out options, and more are on the table for Houstonians stepping up to help the ailing food industry.

Clearly, the experimental Annie Café food truck pop-up last week was a success. Restaurateur Benjamin Berg announced midday Wednesday that the fine-dining food truck would again be serving chef Robert del Grande’s specialties this Thursday and Friday, April 16 and 17, from 3:30 to 7:30 pm, and on Saturday, April 18, from 11 am to 3 pm.

To encourage visits each day, the food truck will feature five to six dishes and a cocktail to-go each night. On Saturday, Hardie’s Fresh Foods will join the Post Oak Boulevard party with the Mobile Farmer’s Market, which will sell produce boxes for $20. Add Merchant Café to the mix, and those with a sweet tooth will surely want to sample a selection of their famous chocolate chip cookies.

Del Grande and operating partner Sam Governale will be on site to welcome visitors.

Themed Dinners

Coppa Osteria, aka Coppa Marketplace, has begun offering themed dinners dubbed Clark Cooper Family Meals. Chefs Jane Wild from The Dunlavy, Michael Hoffman from Brasserie 19, and Jorge and Davide from Coppa are involved in the nightly specials.

Think Thanksgiving Thursday, Ibiza’s Paella Sunday, Taco Tuesday, Mediterranean Wednesday, Gumbo Friday, Chicken and Dumplings Saturday. The meals — which include a salad, entree and sides — can be portioned for couples or families of four or six and range from $14 to $22 per person. The family love also includes pizza kits for an entertaining at-home diversion. Order here.

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  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - DALLAS (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - DALLAS (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - DALLAS (ROOMS)
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  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - DALLAS (ROOMS)
  • Christopher Martin Gallery 1 - DALLAS (ROOMS)
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Bake-at-Home

While all of Landry’s Inc.‘s Houston restaurants are serving full menu take-out, we’re over the moon with Vic & Anthony’s bake-at-home family packs. In particular, baked lobster and crab mac (& cheese). At $45, this richness can easily feed six. if not eight. Then there is the creamy, better-than-ever chicken pot pie for $40.

All four home family packs (also meatloaf and shepherd’s pie) include a huge house salad with choice of dressing. Order by calling 713.228.1111.

Takeout Quick Hits

The boneless beef short ribs from A Fare Extraordinaire, perhaps with a side of Parmesan and herbed polenta, are getting rave reviews. Of course, the pork empanadas and the maple-brined pork tenderloin are earning high praise for the catering/events firm.

a’Bouzy‘s daily specials are winners, particularly the fish freshly caught in Gulf waters by major domo Shawn Virene. Being prepared sous vide ensures that the fish arrives as moist and tasty as imaginable, not to mention still warm in the cooking broth. As a bonus, Virene suggests champagne paired with the menu items.

We were thrilled to see Etoile Cuisine et Bar‘s Raviolis aux Champignons and chef Philippe Verpiand’s succulent and deliciously tender Magret de Canard à L’Orange on the to-go menu.

What could be better comfort food than Tony’s Famous Chili, made with melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin? Tony’s fine dining remains available with offerings as rarefied as Dover sole and as elegantly down-home as a whole roasted chicken with mashed potatoes. Understanding family needs, Tony Vallone has included a children’s selection on his menu, which includes chicken tenders, mac ‘n’ cheese, spaghetti marinara, and fettuccine Alfredo, choice of two for $15.

Chef Justin Yoakum – State Fare2
State Fare Kitchen & Bar Chef Justin Yoakum

At State Fare Kitchen & Bar, chef Justin Yoakum, who offers specials throughout each week, is lending a helping hand to essential workers by offering them a 50 percent discount on all orders and Kids Eat Free on Tuesday when the order includes a dining adult. He’s whipped up some fun make-it-at-home kits including Frito pie, H-Town Hot Fried Chicken kit, and Big Ol’ Breakfast, which that includes a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon, and four cathead biscuits.

Armandos … There is really no need to tout this popular hot spot during the pandemic other than to give you an update on its continuing success. From the beginning, the sophisticated Mexican cuisine with its killer frozen margaritas has been drawing a line of cars every night. In fact, the first Saturday night that take-out was the only option, reports are that Armandos did better than on a regular Saturday night.

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