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Vegan and Mediterranean Eats Await at Rice Village’s Anticipated Food Hall

Politan Row Houston just announced a trio of new tenants

Amanda Altman plans to bring colorful health foods to Politan Row with the opening of Nice Sprout.
Alexa Altman/Nice Sprout

Rice Village’s very buzzy food hall Politan Row Houston just announced a trio of incoming options that include Thai dishes from a “Chopped” winner; street foods from an Egyptian native; and vegan nachos and juices from a health nut duo.

The indoor-outdoor, 7,350-square-foot dining hall, from the team behind NOLA’s legendary St. Roch Market, is expected to debut in November at 2445 Times Boulevard. The Politan Group has opened similar food halls in Miami and Chicago. Politan Row Houston will 12 unique vendors, with 10 outposts from chefs, a coffee shop, and a craft cocktail ball called Bar Politan. Here’s a look at each newly announced vendor:


Chef and “Chopped” winner Evelyn Garcia will focus on Southeast Asian flavors with the debut of Kin. Her fresh take on Thai food calls for scratch-made curries, rice bowls, and salads. Born and raised in Houston and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Garcia has worked for Jean Georges’ lauded Spice Market, Masak, and Kin Shop in New York. She’s also cooked in top kitchens across Thailand, India, and throughout Asia. More recently, she’s been on a pop-up streak around town and was chef-in-residency at Decatur Bar and Pop Up Factory.


Rafik Abohattab will import his two-year-old Egyptian eatery in New Orleans’ St. Roch Market to Houston. Born and raised in Egypt, Rafik learned to coo alongside his mom and grandmother and was running a cart in Cairo by age 17. In 2007, Rafik moved to the U.S. and worked his way up to the debut of Torshi. Now he’s based in Houston and plans to serve Mediterranean dishes like shareable dips (hummus and rich labneh) and street foods like fresh falafel and shawarma.

Nice Sprout

Amanda Altman and Nais Sanchez, who worked together at the St. Roch Market in Miami, plan to serve house-made juices, toasts, colorful salads, and vegan specials like loaded nachos at their first restaurant venture. Altman founded Sprout’s Kitchen in 2015, a private cheffing company big on meat-free foods, and Sanchez worked in front-of-house management and events coordination roles.