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Houston’s First Self-Serve Wine Bar Arrives in Eastwood

Plus, Chris Shepherd teams up with Shake Shack for a new sandwich that will raise cash for Southern Smoke, and more Space City dining intel

a breaded chicken sandwich with bacon jam dripping down the side, and topped with shredded lettuce and cherry peppers.
The Southern Smoke Chicken Sandwich, available at local Shake Shacks on March 4 only.
Kirsten Gilliam Photography

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.

Chris Shepherd teams up with Shake Shack for limited edition chicken sandwich

Powerhouse Houston chef Chris Shepherd is teaming up with Shake Shack for a special one-day-only menu item that will benefit Shepherd’s nonprofit organization Southern Smoke Foundation. The Southern Smoke Chicken Sandwich includes a crispy, hand-breaded chicken breast topped with spicy bacon jam, pickled jalapeño mustard, cherry peppers and shredded lettuce, all served on a potato roll. The sandwich will be available Thursday, March 4 only, at the Montrose and Rice Village Shake Shack locations, while supplies last. It’ll cost about $8, with all proceeds benefitting the Southern Smoke Foundation, which helps serve food and beverage industry folks during times of crisis.

James Harden’s restaurant Thirteen donates meals to Houstonian residents, local schools after Winter Storm Uri

Basketball star James harden may have left Houston, but he’s still having an impact on the Bayou City. The athlete, whose restaurant Thirteen opened quietly just a month ago, has partnered with Postmates to provide 100 meals a day to a five Houston-area schools, starting on February 24 with Jack Yates High School in the Third Ward. The restaurant also delivered 150 meals to the Anna Dupree low-income senior housing apartments in Sunnyside on last week, CW 39 reports, and handed out 3,000 meals and cases of water from Thirteen the weekend before. Harden and Thirteen’s efforts are just one example of the staggering number of meals local restaurants have distributed since Winter Storms Uri and Viola.

Self-serve wine bar Roots now open in Eastwood

Houston finally has its first self-serve wine bar. Roots, at 3107 Leeland Street, opened to the public in mid-February. The bar aims to “eliminate the stigma that wine has to be uptight or unapproachable” by providing guests with an “interactive wine experience”. A keycard allows customers to pour and sample their own wines from a wall of taps, with pours small enough to allow for tastes of many different styles of wine — the bar boasts more than 50 taps. The bar also serves up food like fried oysters, cavetelli pasta with gulf shrimp and oxtails and a smoked beet salad.

It’s the first of several self-serve concepts to open in the city, including Shoot the Moon, a project from Anvil and Underbelly alum Kevin Floyd, which is expected to open soon in Spring Branch. The self-serve concept also reduced customer-server interactions, making it a likely draw in the age of coronavirus.