Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, April 11, 2021 — Houston, TX 63°

It takes a village: Rice Village revamps its restaurant scene with latest updates

mendocino-farms-channing-wang
Channing Wang/Thresher

By Katelyn Landry     8/27/19 9:50pm

Rice Village has long attracted a diverse clientele: The fusion of college students with residential populations creates a complex crowd of consumers that all want different things from their stroll down Rice Boulevard. The popular shopping strip has been around since the 1930s and has gotten several facelifts over the years to address the demands of its vibrant and ever-evolving consumer audience. With a major change in property ownership earlier this year, the Village is now experiencing its first flux of major real estate developments intended to reinvigorate the historic strip’s dining scene. If you’ve grown tired of routinely jumping between Torchy’s Tacos and Hopdoddy Burger Bar for your off-campus cravings, prepare for some new and upcoming food destinations in the Village that are sure to surprise and satisfy. 

New in town — Mendocino Farms 

Mendocino Farms is bringing a wholesome slice of sunny California to Houston with fresh, upscale twists on classic sandwiches and salads. Wedged between Hopdoddy Burger Bar and D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe on Morningside Drive, Mendocino Farms’ Rice Village location marks the California chain’s first venture outside the Golden State and the first of three Houston storefronts. You certainly won’t find your typical BLT or run-of-the-mill Caesar salad at this modern sandwich market, which prides many of its dishes on their deviance from typical recipes. Expect to find innovations like barbecue-smoked tempeh sandwiches, vegan taco salads with Impossible Chorizo, chimichurri steak on pretzel rolls and much more. With numerous vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, this sandwich shop is sure to have something for everyone in search of something new.




Channing Wang/Thresher

New in town — sweetgreen

Popular salad bar chain sweetgreen proves that you can have a delicious salad that is equally as good for you, the planet and your Instagram feed. This restaurant boasts a flavorfully diverse menu with dishes like the Chicken Tostada Bowl and Spicy Thai Salad that draw inspiration from a range of cultural palettes. Like Mendocino Farms, sweetgreen’s Rice Village storefront will be the chain’s first Texas location. The salad bar chain operates with a strong ethos surrounding sustainability, placing a high value on building relationships with local small and mid-size growers who farm responsibly. In an effort to make a positive impact on the communities they serve, sweetgreen aims to increase accessibility to authentic, organic food by providing transparency around the ingredients they source. Sweetgreen will not only satisfy devout locavores but will also serve as a beacon for anyone looking to eat more sustainably or healthily. 

Coming soon — Politan Food Hall 

If you’re like me and are not familiar with the food hall phenomenon, I advise you to imagine a luxurious cafeteria with accomplished local chefs taking the place of lunch ladies, each doling out a different kind of unique cuisine. Politan Group, a company formerly known as Helpful Hound, is bringing the staggering success of New Orleans food halls St. Roch Market and Auction House to Rice Village with Politan Row Houston. The food hall will sit a block away from Torchy’s Tacos at the corner of Kelvin Street and Times Street and is projected to be completed by October. Politan Row Houston will offer 12 chef-driven dining concepts according to their website, and if it’s anything like its sister location in Chicago, you can expect a spread of local vendors that represent Houston’s diverse food landscape. Already announced chefs include Phillip Kim of local food truck Breaking Bao, Victoria Elizondo of homestyle Mexican restaurant Cochinita & co., Niken and Ecky Prabanto of Indonesian coffee and dessert shop Susu Kopi and Boba.  

Coming soon — Sixty Vines

If you’ve ever thought that the phenomenon of beer-on-tap should be extended to wine, Sixty Vines is going to make your dream come true. This swanky, high-end bar has already earned a reputation in Dallas as “one of the city’s best wine bars,” according to Eater Houston. The bar transports their customers to Napa Valley with an extensive collection of wine labels as well as elevated cafe fare, wood-fired pizza, charcuterie boards and more. Not only does their wine-on-tap perfect the art of enjoying wine by the glass, but it has also eliminated 33,500 bottles from waste, according to their website. Sixty Vines was slated to open in late July; however, according to Eater Houston, the wine bar will open sometime this fall at 2540 University Blvd. near Gap. 



More from The Rice Thresher

A&E 4/6/21 9:25pm
5th annual Houston Latino Film Festival displays Latinx diversity, tackles timely issues

The 5th annual Houston Latino Film Festival, which ran from March 19-28, featured films from all over Latin America and the United States, highlighting and promoting Latinx culture to the Houston community. The festival, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, showcased its selection of both feature and short films over virtual streaming platforms and in-person drive-in theater venues.  

A&E 4/6/21 9:11pm
Texas on his mind: Remembering the literary legacy of Larry McMurtry

Prolific novelist, screenwriter and Rice University alumnus Larry McMurtry died at his home in Archer City, Texas on March 25, 2021. McMurtry’s novels are known for their striking realism and ability to present the complexities of life in Texas. As an author, McMurtry gained international acclaim and a particularly devoted Texan following. Many of the novels he penned could be considered Texan and Western classics, all written on a typewriter — a method he held onto despite the rising popularity of computers during the digital age. In memory of McMurtry — who proclaimed himself a “minor regional novelist” despite his widespread and enduring acclaim — here are a few of his most influential works that capture his lasting impact on the literary world.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.