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.
HEB adds meat purchasing limits in Houston
After loosening purchase limits on some goods like toilet paper and pantry staples, HEB has added new limits to what customers can buy in the meat aisle, according to the Houston Chronicle. The move comes after several meat plants, many of them in Texas, have seen coronavirus cases soar among employees, leading to a shortage of workers and slower production. The limits apply to fresh ground beef, fresh and frozen chicken, fresh and frozen hanmburger patties and brisket.
Arandas Bakery offers free cakes to new grads
Tex-Mex panaderia Arandas Bakery is offering a free personal-sized cakes to anyone graduating high school or college in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, ABC 13 reports. “It’s our way to say congratulations and help celebrate YOU! We are proud to serve and give back to the community,” the bakery shared in a Facebook post. Arandas, which is known for its made-from-scratch tres leches, pan dolce and more, only asks that recent grads show a school is and proof of graduation. The offer is valid through the rest of May.
Weights + Measures gets a makeover, new chef
Following a change in ownership, Midtown restaurant Weights + Measures has made a few adjustments, according to Culturemap. Silent partners Gene Frazier and Katherine McNeal purchased the restaurant from founders Jon Deal, Ian Rosenberg, Mike Sammons, and executive chef Richard Kaplan in February, and commenced with a remodel of the kitchen and dining room, as well as promoting Fernando Rios to executive chef. Rios, who tells Culturemap he hopes to add more international flavors to the restaurant’s lineup, was previously at Da Marco, and worked alongside Kaplan at Weights before the former retired.
Salad bar chain Sweet Tomatoes closes for good
The post-Covid world is no place for an all-you-can-eat buffet chain. Garden Fresh Restaurants, which operated four Sweet Tomatoes locations in the Houston area, is closing for good and plans to file for bankruptcy, Houston Business Journal reports. The company is closing 97 restaurants nationwide, include the terribly-named chain Souplantation, most of which are located in California.