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Houston’s Most Anticipated New Steakhouse Finally Has a Chef

Plus, new vacation spots popping up around the area

Chef Louis Maldonado, laughing.
Chef Louis Maldonado will lead a new steakhouse that borders Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park.
Louis Maldonado

Owners of anticipated steakhouse Andiron (3201 Allen Parkway, Suite E110) have announced that Ann Arbor’s Louis Maldonado will use his Michelin-star chops to lead the restaurant as executive chef.

Maldonado previously worked at award-winning restaurants, including French Laundry, where he served as chef de cuisine and was named People’s Sexiest Chef Alive in 2018.

Maldonado will work alongside Miami’s Mario Da Silva, who will serve as chef de cuisine, to offer a traditional steakhouse experience complemented by “live-fire techniques” and a host of small plates, according to a release. The building, which real estate developer Radom Capital recently renovated, was formerly home to the Houston Children’s Museum and Star Engraving Company.

Houston-based restaurant group Sambrooks Management, which also owns and operates The Pit Room, 1751 Sea and Bar, and Candente, announced the restaurant last year, with plans to debut it by early 2022. New plans note that it will officially open by the end of this year.

New resort breaks ground in Webster
Self-billed as “the largest family of indoor water park resorts” in North America, Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. broke ground on its second resort in Texas in Webster on September 23.

Great Wolf Lodge, the 532-room resort, will boast a 95,000-square-foot indoor water park complete with a variety of slides, raft rides, activity pools, splash areas, and family activities. Its 58,000-square-foot Great Wolf Adventure Park, another amenity, will feature a variety of different attractions including its live-action-adventure game MagiQuest, where players use interactive magic wands to battle fictional creatures.

A family of four peering into Great Wolf Lodge’s indoor water park.
Great Wolf Lodge is opening its second resort and indoor water park in Texas.
Great Wolf Lodge

The resort, which opened its first Texas location in Grapevine, has received more than $200 million in investment from Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners and is expected to hire 500 full- and part-time employees to prepare for its opening in mid-to-late 2024.

Galveston-area RV Park gets a new look
Come this winter, Crystal Beach’s Bolivar Beach Club & RV Resort will be transformed into a Margaritaville oasis.

Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts, which is owned by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, will rebrand the vacation spot as Camp Margaritaville RV Resort Crystal Beach by the end of this year, implementing a new beachside concert venue, a large pool with a swim-up bar and 60 private poolside cabanas, a turf playing field, and access to more than 20 miles of Texas beaches. The resort will also offer additional food options with its new Fins Bar & Grill and a License to Chill Bar.

Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts’ A License to Chill Bar with a pool with a swim-up bar and pads to lounge in the water.
Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts is bringing the vibe of Margaritaville to a resort park in Crystal Beach.
Margaritaville Hotels & resorts

RV amenities will include large concrete pads for big rigs; full electric, water, and sewer hookups for all styles of RVs; free Wi-Fi; dog parks; shower and gym facilities; laundry service; and nearby retail locations.

Food-prep company opens first brick-and-mortar after decade in business
Honest Eats, a food prep company that caters to paleo, ketogenic, and vegan diets, officially opened its first permanent location at 600 North Shepherd Drive, Suite 122, in the Heights’ M-K-T on September 17. The company, which was founded in 2013, originally offered meals devoid of gluten, processed sugars, and preservatives for pick-up and delivery only, but now it is offering a variety of takeout options, and meal plans for pick-up at its 1,600-square-foot storefront. Items include cashew burgers, ketogenic barbecue brisket, cauliflower mac, and a paleo brownie with “crack,” in its name — a reference to the drug that has caused some upheaval in the food world, most notably with Christina Tosi’s renamed Milk Bar pie.

tacos topped with shredded carrots and radishes, with slices of avocado and jalapeno on the side, and a side of sauce.
Honest Eats offers packaged meals to go that are free of preservatives, sugar, and gluten.
Everly Brilliant/Honest Eats

Chicago thin-crust pizza chain opens in Pearland
Joining other food establishments like Chicken Salad Chick and Spicy Panda, Woodlands-based pizza chain Crust Pizza Co. will open a location in Pearland Parkway Marketplace (2110 Pearland Parkway off Barry Rose Road) in early 2023, offering its version of Chicago-style thin-crusted pizzas, calzones, hot subs, and pasta. The restaurant, which also has a location under construction in League City, will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with specials like “Kids-Eat-Free Tuesdays” and half-off on wine on Wednesdays.