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.
Crawfish Cafe now open in the Heights
Beloved Viet-Cajun restaurant Crawfish Cafe now has a location inside the loop. The restaurant, known for its garlicky mudbugs bagged together with other spices, opened at 1026 North Shepherd on September 19, according to CultureMap. Though it’s not yet Gulf Coast crawfish season, both the Heights location and original Chinatown Crawfish Cafe are serving up live California-sourced crawfish for $11 a pound.
Build-your-own noodle bowl spot opens in former Blackbird Izakaya
Robot Noodle, a build-your-own-bowl spot operated by Delicious Concepts, has opened at 1221 West 11th Street. That’s the address previously occupied by Blackbird Izakaya, and before that, several other Delicious Concepts restaurants, including Witchcraft, Republic Diner and Dragon Bowl Bistro. Delicious Concepts owner Ken Bridge told Houston Food Finder that he closed Blackbird due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and wanted to open a simpler restaurant in its stead. Eater reported Blackbird’s closure in July.
The new restaurant, which opened September 19, offers a smorgasbord of fresh ingredients from which diners can build their own bowl of noodles, including tofu, chicken, seafood and beef, noodles choices like udon, ramen and rice, veggies, sauces and sides like egg rolls and edamame. Orders are places through the restaurant’s proprietary app, Roovy.
Chris Shepherd collaborates with Vinny’s for pie benefiting Southern Smoke
A new pie at Vinny’s Pizza features bacon sausage from Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd. The pizza is part of a monthly collaboration in which the restaurant sources a product from elsewhere in the Houston restaurant community and incorporates it into a pizza. The Underbelly pizza also includes black pepper carbonara and three types of cheese. One dollar from the sale of each pie will benefit Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation, which provides crisis relief for restaurant industry workers.