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Pondicheri Will Raise Money for COVID-19 Relief in India For the Rest of the Year

Plus, Houston’s ‘Top Chef’ contestants will appear at the final Montrose Night Market and more dining intel

a morning thali spread with crispy carrot paratha and a fried egg
Pondicheri’s morning thali

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.

Pondicheri’s Community Breakfasts will benefit India through the end of 2021

Upper Kirby Indian restaurant Pondicheri will donate the proceeds from its monthly community breakfast program through the end of the year to COVID-19 relief in India, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Since the start of 2021, the COVID-19 virus has spread exponentially in India, with cases nearly doubling and leading to more that 220,000 deaths in just a few months. Pondicheri owner Anita Jaisinghani, who is from Gujarat, told the Chronicle that she doesn’t know a single person in India who has not experienced illness or a loss during the pandemic.

Pondi’s community breakfast program, which began in 2012, takes place the second Saturday of every month. Fifty percent of proceeds from sales on that day go towards the month’s chosen non-profit, usually an organization that benefits women and children in the U.S. and in India. According to the Chron, Pondicheri donates between $15,000 and $20,000 every year through the program.

he dates benefiting India COVID relief are May 8, June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11.

Houston ‘Top Chef’ contestants to join final Montrose Night Market

Sasha Grumman and Dawn Burrell, the two Houston chefs competing on the most recent season of Bravo reality cooking show Top Chef, plus Gabriel Erales, a Top Chef competitor form Austin, will all make appearances at the final Montrose Night Market on Saturday, May 15.

The market began in 2020 as a way to help chefs and other small food businesses reach their customers while dining out was limited. Each market featured a different collective of chefs and restaurants, live music and more.

For the final market, Burrell, Grumman and Erales will be joined by Underground Creamery, Burger-Chan, Click Virtual Food Hall, Two-Headed Dog and more. The market takes place May 15 from 6-9 p.m. at 4100 Montrose Boulevard. More details can be found here.

Tacos A Go Go to open ‘taco lab’ near Greenway Plaza

Popular taco shop Tacos A Go Go will open its sixth Houston location later this summer at 3773 Richmond Avenue. The new location, which owner Sharon Haynes is calling a ‘taco lab’, will feature some post-pandemic touches, like a large 2,200-square-foot patio, smart phone ordering, and a coffee bar serving Mexican-inspired coffees and coffee cocktails. The restaurant will also feature a two full-service bars — one indoors and one o the patio — plus tortillas made in-house daily. When it opens later this summer, it will be the taqueria’s largest location to date.