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Houston Bakery Dessert Gallery Celebrates Its Anniversary With a Willy Wonka-Esque Scavenger Hunt

Plus, Second Draught opens in the Ion

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A person holds up purple and white cookie ticket in front of views of Houston’s Downtown skyline.
Will you find the purple ticket?
Dessert Gallery

For nearly three decades, Houston bakery Dessert Gallery has been slinging out fanciful themed butter cookies, top-notch tres leches cake, and old-fashioned diner cake — and ahead of its 27th birthday on September 19, the dessert shop is ready to celebrate with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque scavenger hunt.

On Friday, September 16, The Kirby Drive bakery will hide 10 cookies outfitted to look like purple tickets at “high profile” and iconic locations around Houston, says CEO and founder Sara Brooke. Nine people who successfully find a purple ticket will win a 6-inch cake. The grand prize winner will win a free slice of cake once a month for an entire year.

Dessert Gallery will announce winners on its Instagram Stories on the day of the scavenger hunt, followed by a post on September 20 with the recap of the winners.

Dessert Gallery’s purple ticket cookie held in front of its shop.
Those who find Dessert Gallery’s purple ticket cookies around Houston are in for a sweet treat.
Dessert Gallery

Dessert Gallery’s decorated butter cookies have offered reflections of the community with customized designs throughout the year, whether it be highlighting Houston Rodeo season, cheering on the Astros, raising money for Ukraine, honoring local legends, or celebrating cultural holidays like Ramadan or Diwali.

New taproom to serve up pints of Houston beer at the Ion

Taproom Second Draught will finally make its debut Monday, September 12, at 4201 Main Street, Suite 130, in Houston’s mixed development hub, the Ion.

Owned by neighboring brewpub Baileson Brewing Company, the 2,000-square-foot taproom, which is will serve pints from more than 70 Houston breweries. Second Draught will start with a rotation of two wines and 18 beers on its taps, including pours from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Great Heights, True Anomaly, Eureka Heights, and Frost Town, and will offer seating for 66 people indoors, and an outdoor patio area for 20 that faces Ion Plaza.

Second Draught’s seating area, with a mixture of round tables, high-top seating, and a bar area.
Second Draught in Houston’s Ion is slated to offer beer from more than 70 area breweries.
Taylor Cooper

North Italia opens its second Houston location in the Woodlands

Arizona-import North Italia is bringing its Italian cuisine to 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive in The Woodlands this fall, marking its second location in the Houston area and its seventh in Texas. Known for its Italian dishes, freshly made pasta, seasonal salads, and pizzas, the single-story restaurant will officially open on October 5, with an indoor-outdoor bar and a covered patio that wraps around the building.

Diners grab at slices of pizza at North Italia.
The Woodlands gets a slice of North Italia this September, with its first location.
North Italia

Interactive stir-fry restaurant headed for the Heights

The Chicago-founded Asian Fusion stir fry restaurant Flat Top Grill will open its first Texas location 2795 Katy Fwy in Houston’s Heights this December.

The 2,200-square-foot restaurant, which debuted in Chicago in 1995, features a “create-your-own bowl” experience, offering customers more than 80 ingredients to add to their stir fry, including a range of spices, vegetables, homemade sauces, meat, and seafood. Diners can opt to dig into the experience, customizing a rice, poke, or ramen bowl themselves, or they can order in the restaurant at the table or online.

East Downtown restaurant is blind-folding its diners

Indianola, the self-billed “modern Texas” restaurant in East Downtown (1201 St. Emanuel Street) is testing its customers’ taste buds with its most recent event “Dining in the Dark.” Held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, and September, 29, the event will allow diners to experience their surprise menu blindfolded in hopes of taking their senses “to a new level,” according to a release. Tickets are $80 per person and are available for purchase online.

Indianola’s dining room.
Indianola is putting diners’ senses to the testing with a blindfolded food experience.
Ralph Smith

Dutch Bros. moves to Montgomery County

The Houston area clearly can’t get enough caffeine. Dutch Bros is opening yet another location in the Houston area — this time, in Montgomery County. NewQuest Properties announced in a release that the Oregon coffee chain has signed a lease for a 25,000-square-foot space in the Willis Town Center. The coffee company will break ground within two months, building a shop with two drive-through lanes where Kroger’s former gas station and convenience store were located.

Dessert Gallery

3600 Kirby Drive, , TX 77098 (713) 522-9999 Visit Website

North Italia

7535 North Kendall Drive, , FL 33156 (305) 669-7987 Visit Website


1201 Saint Emanuel Street, , TX 77003 (832) 582-7202 Visit Website