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Apparently, Houston Texans Star JJ Watt Is Really Into Yerba Mate

Plus, Malaysian favorite Phat Eatery lands inside the loop, and more Houston dining intel

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.

JJ Watt shares his love of yerba mate

Texans defensive end JJ Watt is apparently a fan of yerba mate, the naturally-caffeinated herbal tea popular in South America. The brewing and drinking of the beverage is steeped in routine and tradition which varies by region. Responding to a fan on Twitter, Watt sahred his own mate-brewing routine. “Fill gourd 2/3 full, cover with hand and shake to settle, tilt at 45 degree angle, pour a bit of room temp water in, insert bombilla, add 160 degree water,” he wrote.

Watt also said he picked up mate-drinking tips from Manchester City striker Sergio Kun Aguero, who is Argentine. When consumed, yerba mate is said to induce feelings of relaxation and also mental clarity. Several mate fans responded to Watt’s tweet with photos of themselves drinking the brew, along with the recently-added yerba mate emoji.

Phat Eatery’s ghost kitchen now open at Blodgett Food Hall

Phat Kitchen, the much-anticipated restaurant from Phat Eatery owner Alex Au-Yeung, is now open. The restaurant, which offers takeout and delivery only, is the first of three concepts Au-Yeung eventually plans to open inside the food hall, including a banh mi shop and a Chinese barbecue restaurant. Au-Yeung’s Katy restaurant Phat Eatery gained a loyal following for its Malaysian street food. Au-Yeung said in a press release that he hopes opening inside the loop will help introduce more diners to his cuisine. Phat Kitchen will serve some of Phat Eatery’s most popular items, including flaky roti canai, beef rendang, chicken curry, curry laksa and dim sum. Diners can order on the restaurant’s website,

La Table reopens with a revamped menu

La Table, the modern French restaurant in Uptown park, is reopening November 18 with a new menu and a refreshed interior. The restaurant has been closed since March, when the coronavirus first hit Houston. Management group Bastion used that downtime to update the menu with the goal of making the restaurant more approachable for Houston diners. When it reopens, La Table will focus on seasonal French-inspired cuisine with ingredients sourced from local artisans, ranchers and producers.

Rooftop Cinema Club announced final drive-in schedule for Sawyer Yards

Rooftop Cinema Club’s drive-in movie theater at Sawyer Yards, is closing November 29, the theater announced. A final lineup of films for the location had been announced, and includes favorite like Hook and The Incredibles, plus a bevy of holiday-themed movies. The drive-in theater has plans to reopen at a new location, which has yet to be announced. The Sawyer Yards location, which opened in May, was never intended to be permanent. In fact, it was supposed to close earlier this fall but a construction delay on another project at Sawyer Yards made the space for Rooftop Cinema to extend their run through November. Tickets for the final run of films are expected to sell out quickly. See the full schedule and buy tickets here.