The founders of Houston’s CBD coffee shop and dispensary Grinder’s Coffee Bar are opening another location, and it’s safe to say, this one is getting a little wild. On Monday, September 19, the hemp connoisseurs will open the second location of its coffee shop, dispensary, and cocktail bar, Wild, at 1609 Westheimer Road in Montrose — and this time, they’re venturing into what might be Houston’s first legal cannabis-infused fine dining experience.
Led by executive chef German Mosquera, Wild Montrose will serve high-end plates and tapas that offer the chef and owners’ interpretation of “international coastal” cuisine with heirloom ingredients and a Latin spin — all with the option to infuse or “dose” the experience with hemp-based CBD, a chemical from the cannabis plant that has a calming effect, or THC, a cannabinoid that elicits psychoactive properties or a “high” feeling similar to that of marijuana.
The newer offerings at Wild Montrose are particularly noteworthy considering that most hemp- or cannabis-infused foods were likely happening under the radar in private homes or settings thanks to Texas’ strict laws, Mosquera says. According to Texas Health and Safety Code, the state allows hemp products that do not exceed 0.3 percent of Delta-9, a cannabinoid or popular form of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that elicits the psychoactive effects of the cannabis plant, similar to that of marijuana. Anything over 0.3 percent THC would be considered marijuana and would be considered illegal, though an ongoing lawsuit is challenging the legality of another less potent cannabinoid, Delta-8.
Abiding by legal limits, Wild is pushing through with its latest hemp-based endeavor, and Mosquera says he’s confident that they’re at the forefront of this style of dining in Texas. Mosquera says the team has been working especially hard the past two months to make the latest Montrose location come together, which has called for collaborations with local hemp company and food companies, plus a host of scientists and chemists to ensure that the menu is infused properly with adequate doses.
“We’re not only offering unique things but we’re also being playful so people can have a destination space in Montrose that feels like they’re not here in Houston,” says Mosquera, who previously worked a four-year stint crafting vegan fare at the now-closed Verdine and what has now been rebranded as bellagreen.
Brunch will include a pain perdu, a croissant cube French toast made with banana brulee and chantilly cream, with maple syrup that comes with the option of being infused, and the crispy plantain-style Migas with chorizo made from an heirloom Iberico pork — a childhood favorite of Mosquera.
Dinner will offer an entirely different experience, he says, with small plates like a Delta-9 infused caviar served on the oyster of the week and the Tiradito, a charcoal-kissed bluefin tuna belly that’s paired with aji amarillo, rainforest honey bubbles, and fragrant oil. Larger standout sharable dishes will include the crispy Thai-style fish, which comes to the table whole, and the restaurant’s branded wagyu beef tomahawk.
And per the “Wild” experience, diners will have the choice of opting for “virgin” dishes or infusing their plates with CBD or THC for a hemp-filled experience. Pre-dosed options, or dishes containing THC or CBD, will be available along with cocktail, wine, and cannabis pairings, and Mosquera says there are already plans to host most customized private experiences, including multi-course dinners on its patio.
As for sweets, Mosquera says they’ll be just as exciting. The chef will offer desserts and pastries, like a gluten-free gold-wrapped honeycake with white chocolate and popcorn cream, and an Hoja Santa, or Mexican pepperleaf-oat and coconut milk ice cream with mascarpone that incorporates his Latin roots. Edibles, including a host of infused bonbons, chocolates, and gummies made in-house, are also slated to be served after the meal.
Drinks, including Wild’s wide selection of cocktails, coffees, and elixirs, many of which are also combined with THC or CBD, will also be available at the new Wild location. The cocktail list will be similar to that of the Heights’, with its classic espresso martini; the Hanoi Hai Five, a green gin-based concoction topped with a fresh hemp leaf; and fruitier renditions like the Mango Rye Tie, made with Old Forester 100 Rye whisky, triple sec, Mr. Black coffee liqueur, mango, orgeat syrup, lime, and angostura bitters.
Decor will also be reminiscent of Wild Heights. The owners have morphed what was once Underbelly Hospitality’s UB Preserv, morphing it into a jungle-like paradise and Bali-inspired lounge, outfitted with greenery and nods to its coastal theme throughout the space.
For its founders and cousins, Adyson and Andrew Alvis, the new location all started with the opening of Grinders Coffee Bar & The CBD Apothecary in West University in 2019. The duo then opened Wild in the Heights in February 2022, debuting the first hemp-infused cocktail and coffee program in Texas.
Wild Montrose will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily, with brunch served until 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.