New upscale Stone Oak Mexican restaurant Cuishe Cocina Mexicana opening Tuesday in San Antonio from Toro Kitchen + Bar team

At special events and festivals around San Antonio the last few years, co-owner Gerardo De Anda of the popular Spanish restaurant Toro Kitchen + Bar has made no secret that the food of Mexico would be his next quest.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, that quest becomes a reality with the opening of Cuishe Cocina Mexicana in Stone Oak, just a few doors down from where he opened the first Toro in 2017. A second location of Cuishe is coming Nov. 3 in St. Paul Square near downtown, close to the second location of Toro, according to Cuishe’s Facebook page.

Named for an agave plant used to make mezcal, Cuishe (pronounced KWEE-sheh) will feature more than 150 bottles of spirits distilled from agave, including tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla and bacanora, served straight up or mixed in a wide variety of cocktails served not just in glasses, but also in clay cups, gourds and even hollowed-out jalapeños.

The kitchen, overseen by Toro executive chef Juan Carlos Bazan, will showcase food from Central Mexico, with familiar dishes like Wagyu steak arrachera, enchiladas, sopes, street tacos made from an al pastor trompo and wood-fired snapper and less-familiar specialties like huitlacoche quesadillas, ant-larvae “caviar” called escamoles, flame-roasted octopus and “bichos,” an assortment of toasted scorpions, grasshoppers and worms served with guacamole.

The elegant space is divided into rooms with rustic accents, such as Mexican vaquero gear and the farm implements used to harvest agave.


Cuishe Cocina Mexicana, in Stone Oak at 115 N Loop 1604 E Suite 1118, cuishemx.com. In St. Paul Square at 119 Heiman St. Stone Oak hours: noon-11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. A brunch and lunch combination menu will be served each day, with dinner beginning at 3 p.m. Hours are not yet available for the downtown location.

Mike Sutter is a food and drink reporter and restaurant critic in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. To read more from Mike, become a subscriber. [email protected] | Twitter: @fedmanwalking | Instagram: @fedmanwalking

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Pismo’s restaurant temporarily closed after 2 small kitchen fires

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Pismo’s Coastal Grill in northwest Fresno is temporarily closed after two kitchen fires broke out on Sunday.

Earlier in the afternoon, crews were called out to the restaurant off Nees and Blackstone Avenues for a small kitchen fire they quickly put out.

Firefighters were called again around 11:30 pm after employees saw smoke smoldering between the kitchen walls while they were closing up.

Fire crews returned to put out the smoke. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“We’re trying to figure out how it got between the walls. If you see the structure of the walls and how the kitchen is designed, it’s confusing a bit to see how it could’ve actually made its way back there,” said Fire Battalion Chief Brad Dandridge.

No one was hurt.

The restaurant owner will now meet with the county health department to determine when the business can reopen.

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Eller’s Restaurant to close until Thursday after kitchen worker tests positive for COVID-19

Eller’s Restaurant in Leicester, Massachusetts, has announced it will close until Thursday after a kitchen worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant — located in the Cherry Valley neighborhood of the town just west of Worcester — announced the news Monday in a social media post.

“We have one kitchen employee that has tested positive for Covid” the restaurant wrote in a Facebook post. “He is asymptomatic and is still feeling well. No other staff are currently symptomatic.”

The restaurant says it reached the decision to close until Thursday after working with a Board of Health agent.

“This is not been asked of us, as all safety measures have been and are are being taken,” the restaurant says. “However, we would like to wait till all employees that worked with said employee, have been tested and are negative before returning to work for the safety of our team and our guests.”

According to Eller’s, the entire restaurant will be disinfected while closed. Upon reopening, employees will be temperature-checked before their shifts.

The Board of Health will be conducting a full inspection before reopening on Thursday at 4 p.m., the restaurant says.

On Sunday, Massachusetts reported 626 new COVID cases and three more coronavirus deaths. The total number of statewide cases now stands at 132,440.

The number of Massachusetts communities considered at “high risk” for coronavirus spread, according to the state’s latest COVID risk assessment map as of Sunday, has expanded to 23. Those towns and cities are Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Chelsea, Dracut, Everett, Framingham, Haverhill, Holliston, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Revere, Springfield, Winthrop and Worcester.

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Worcester’s medical director advises residents to avoid large venues as Massachusetts enters Step 2 of Phase 3 of its reopening plans

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San Francisco’s Farmhouse Kitchen opens glitzy Thai restaurant in Menlo Park, indoor dining included | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany

San Francisco Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen has opened a glitzy new location in Menlo Park, offering limited indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

Farmhouse Kitchen has revamped the 4,000-square-foot space at 1165 Merrill St., across from the Caltrain station, decking it out with opulent decorations (including handmade gold Thai chandeliers and flower wall), a private dining room, a lounge area with velvet chairs and gleaming full bar. The restaurant opened barely a week after San Mateo County announced that indoor dining could resume at 25% capacity or with 100 people, whichever is fewer.


The ornate dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen in Menlo Park. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

But the “new normal guidelines” for dining in at Farmhouse Kitchen includes a health screening, temperature check, masks required when diners aren’t eating or drinking and parties of no more than six people with reservations capped at 90 minutes. The restaurant also charges a $3 “COVID-19 sanitation fee” per table.

Kasem Saengsawang, a native of Thailand, opened his first Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco in 2015. The restaurant was inspired by the food he ate and cooked growing up in Loei, a rural province in northeast Thailand, but he spent much of his adult years in Bangkok.

Saengsawang now runs five restaurants, including one in Portland, Oregon. He recently moved to Menlo Park so plans to be a frequent presence at this location.


A Farmhouse Kitche appetizer: sesame-crusted ahi tuna with cucumber, seaweed salad, lemongrass and spicy chili lime. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Saengsawang describes his cooking style as “contemporary.” The Farmhouse Kitchen Menlo Park menu spans Northern and Southern Thailand, including dishes like pineapple fried rice, lobster pad thai, 24-hour beef noodle soup and slow-braised short rib served with panang curry, a dish the menu says is “reminiscent” of the large childhood meals Saengsawang would cook in Thailand for his family.


The “Little Lao table set,” a $120 chef’s choice meal set that includes numerous dishes and drinks, is available at the Menlo Park location. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Desserts include mango sticky rice, Thai tea crepe cake and the very Instagrammable “Thai vacation,” a halved coconut filled with sticky rice, coconut ice cream, coconut cream, peanuts and sesame, garnished with a brightly colored drink umbrella.

The Menlo Park restaurant also serves cocktails, beer and wine.

Farmhouse Kitchen is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

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A stone house built in the 1940s is now Colleyville’s newest neighborhood restaurant

A new spot is opening in Colleyville this week: Stone House Restaurant is serving up fresh-food-focused dinners. The new spot, which opened Monday, sits inside a 1940s stone house in Colleyville — hence the name.

Co-owners and Colleyville residents Paul and Lisa Pardo thought they had retired from the restaurant business before opening Stone House. Previously, they owned Coal Vines Pizza and Wine Bar in Southlake.

However, every time they drove by the stone house in Colleyville, Lisa said they were inspired.

“To us, it just kept saying ‘restaurant,'” she said.

A storm brews south east of Rooftop Cinema Club drive-in off Central Expressway in Dallas, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. Catching a drive-in movie is one of our socially distanced date ideas.

And so they moved to open a restaurant and they’ve brought in two partners: a chef and general manager, both with previous careers at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group.

Chef Thomas Dritsas was the corporate executive chef at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group for more than 20 years, according to the restaurant’s website. Lisa Pardo said that the chef’s focus for the Stone House Restaurant menu has been on fresh food and ingredients.

Greg Kalina was formerly general manager for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in Fort Worth. Now, he’s part of the Stone House team as a partner and general manager.

Opening a restaurant in a pandemic proved a “blessing,” and Lisa said it gave them more time to prepare and the ability to move at a slower, more relaxed pace in the process.

With the menu focused on fresh fixings, Lisa brought attention to the variety of what they call “shareables,” with items like queso, hummus, oysters, shrimp, biscuits and more.

Their menu boasts a variety of steaks and chops, from a hand-cut filet mignon to lamb sirloin, and other entrees like shrimp and grits and “roasted 7 spice chicken.”

Lisa noted that one of their signature cocktails, The Boulevard, is named for the street the restaurant sits on: Colleyville Boulevard. She called it a pineapple martini and said it’s “absolutely delicious.”

Stone House Restaurant serves dinner Monday through Saturday at 5201 Colleyville Blvd. in Colleyville. You can reach them at 817-576-2629 or 817-576-2626.

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New Vietnamese restaurant is immigrant cook’s dream come true


Meet the family behind Yen’s Kitchen in suburban Lake Worth

Liz Balmaseda
 
| Palm Beach Post

Years before Manh Trac was born in Ho Chi Minh City, his mother performed at the local circus, balancing her petite frame upon spinning barrels. She had terrible motion sickness, but she also had six siblings to help feed. So if it took some daredevil stunts to accomplish that, so be it. 

When that wasn’t enough, Yen Nguyen learned to cook. She set up a lunch stand in an industrial neighborhood and sold steaming bowls of her homemade noodle soups to factory workers on break. Her long-simmered beef pho and pork-broth soups picked up a following. Soon she had a food cart to roll into the local zoo, where she could sell bags of homemade Vietnamese street snacks to visiting families. 

When her son was born, she moved the food enterprise to her front porch. At 25, Manh Trac tells that story as if he witnessed all of it himself, with details so vivid you can taste the chili oil in his mother’s popular spicy beef vermicelli bowls. 

He tells the story today from Yen’s Kitchen, the bright, month-old restaurant his mother opened in a suburban Lake Worth plaza that’s home to three churches, a pizzeria and a new-ish Asian market. Manh may be standing a world away from that front-porch stand of their native Vietnam, but the scents and flavors of their homeland surround him in the small, casual eatery. 

“Everything you see here is made by my mother,” says Manh, referring to the neat shelves of street snacks and spices his mom makes and packages. “We’re just her supporters.”

A hand-painted mural lights up a wall with a sign that translates to “Second Sister of Saigon” — it’s a popular Vietnamese movie title that seems made to order for his mom. Not only is she a second-eldest sister from the city formerly known as Saigon, she’s an industrious woman like the film’s protagonist.  

That’s his mother in the kitchen, ladling 18-hour broth into deep bowls. What you don’t see: The many hours Yen Nguyen spends making the snacks she packages, the desserts displayed in the cooler, the traditional teas she brews, the sandwich meats for her banh mis and the batter for her Vietnamese crepes. 

Manh, who was 8 when his family came to America in 2003 and who holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and communications, handles the operational side of the restaurant while his father Hung Trac and sister Phuong Trac, who helped fund the restaurant startup, help out in the kitchen. Manh is the restaurant manager who sources the ingredients, pays vendors and schedules staff. He does this so his mother can do what she loves to do best: cook. 

Theirs is a quintessential immigrant story in which faraway flavors keep a family grounded and inspired. Yen’s home-cooking nourished the Trac/Nguyen family, body and soul, through several moves in their new country, from Alabama to Tampa to West Palm

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New Vietnamese restaurant tells family’s immigrant story

Years before Manh Trac was born in Ho Chi Minh City, his mother performed at the local circus, balancing her petite frame upon spinning barrels. She had terrible motion sickness, but she also had six siblings to help feed. So if it took some daredevil stunts to accomplish that, so be it. 



a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Family portrait at Yen's Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Family portrait at Yen’s Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

When that wasn’t enough, Yen Nguyen learned to cook. She set up a lunch stand in an industrial neighborhood and sold steaming bowls of her homemade noodle soups to factory workers on break. Her long-simmered beef pho and pork-broth soups picked up a following. Soon she had a food cart to roll into the local zoo, where she could sell bags of homemade Vietnamese street snacks to visiting families. 

When her son was born, she moved the food enterprise to her front porch. At 25, Manh Trac tells that story as if he witnessed all of it himself, with details so vivid you can taste the chili oil in his mother’s popular spicy beef vermicelli bowls. 

He tells the story today from Yen’s Kitchen, the bright, month-old restaurant his mother opened in a suburban Lake Worth plaza that’s home to three churches, a pizzeria and a new-ish Asian market. Manh may be standing a world away from that front-porch stand of their native Vietnam, but the scents and flavors of their homeland surround him in the small, casual eatery. 

“Everything you see here is made by my mother,” says Manh, referring to the neat shelves of street snacks and spices his mom makes and packages. “We’re just her supporters.”



a person cooking in a kitchen preparing food: Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen's Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen’s Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

A hand-painted mural lights up a wall with a sign that translates to “Second Sister of Saigon” — it’s a popular Vietnamese movie title that seems made to order for his mom. Not only is she a second-eldest sister from the city formerly known as Saigon, she’s an industrious woman like the film’s protagonist.  

That’s his mother in the kitchen, ladling 18-hour broth into deep bowls. What you don’t see: The many hours Yen Nguyen spends making the snacks she packages, the desserts displayed in the cooler, the traditional teas she brews, the sandwich meats for her banh mis and the batter for her Vietnamese crepes. 



a bowl of soup: A pho bowl is served at Yen's Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
A pho bowl is served at Yen’s Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.

Manh, who was 8 when his family came to America in 2003 and who holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and communications, handles the operational side of the restaurant while his father Hung Trac and sister Phuong Trac, who

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Restaurant review: Belfast’s Ginza Kitchen taking steps to ensure a creative taste of the Orient

New restaurants have been opening in Belfast in the face of appalling economic and social conditions imposed by the pandemic. Stove on the Ormeau Road, Yugo in Ballyhackamore and now Ginza Kitchen on the Lisburn Road are signs of defiance by the restaurant trade and a mark of confidence in the future. There is nothing more reassuring than to see sensible people invest in something perceived as risky at the best of times, never mind during Covid.

nd even more reassuring is the presence of Ben Tsang, one of the city’s most polished and able restaurant managers, who has popped up in Ginza a few doors down from French Village where he established it as one of the Lisburn Road’s best lunch houses.

Ben has form so for Ginza to appoint him to front of house and chef Chee Keong Lau formerly of Dublin’s Zakura in the kitchen shows they mean business.

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Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant is losing $300,000 every week

  • Olive Garden’s Times Square location is losing $300,000 every week. 
  • Olive Garden same-store sales fell by 28.2% in the most recent quarter, parent company Darden reported on Thursday. Fifty basis points — or 0.5% — can be linked to the Times Square location. 
  • New York City has been slower to reopen restaurants than the rest of the US, and has not yet allowed indoor dining rooms to reopen. 
  • “I went up to a rooftop deck and it was two deep at the bar,” Darden CEO Gene Lee told investors. “It’s just a different life in Georgia. I know it’s hard for you guys in New York to even imagine that.” 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant is burning through $300,000 every week, as New York City restaurants struggle to survive. 

Pre-pandemic, Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant was the chain’s best-preforming location in the US, bringing in $15 million a year. Now the location is losing $300,000 every single week, according to Olive Garden parent company Darden’s CEO Gene Lee. 

“We start every single week $300,000 in the hole from a comp store basis … just from that one restaurant,” Lee said on a call with investors on Thursday. 

Olive Garden same-store sales fell by 28.2% in the most recent quarter, Darden reported on Thursday. According to Lee, 50 basis points can be linked to the Times Square location’s losses. 

While Olive Garden has higher costs as a massive, three-story restaurant in the heart of Times Square, most New York restaurants are struggling to turn a profit. According to a recent survey by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, 87% of the city’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments could not pay full rent in August. 

New York City has been slower to reopen indoor dining than the rest of the country. Restaurants will not be allowed to reopen dining rooms at 25% capacity until September 30. 

Lee told Wall Street analysts that outside of cities “life is normal,” with people happy to return to restaurants inside. The majority of Olive Garden restaurants are now profitable, with sales being dragged down by restaurants in areas with greater restrictions, according to Lee.

“I landed at an airport the other day and not one person had a mask on. I was in a hotel, I went up to a rooftop deck and it was two deep at the bar,” Lee said. “It’s just a different life in Georgia. I know it’s hard for you guys in New York to even imagine that.” 

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Avram Hornik comes home to the Main Line with Lola’s Garden, an indoor-outdoor restaurant in Suburban Square

Avram Hornik, who has built a career on restaurants and clubs in Center City and the Delaware riverfront over the last 24 years, is planning a long-rumored, indoor-outdoor restaurant/wine bar called Lola’s Garden in a prime spot on the Main Line, near where he grew up.

Hornik’s Four Corners Management has an agreement with Kimco Realty for the center courtyard of Suburban Square in Ardmore, taking the storefronts of the now-vacant Kate Spade and Jack Wills boutiques and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor area.

The design of the 260-seat project, with an anticipated opening next spring, is now under review by Lower Merion Township. The look borrows from his city projects, including Harper’s Garden and Morgan’s Pier.

A press release said Hornik himself would direct the project — “an eclectic garden setting that will feature lush greenery and flowers [complemented] by repurposed and recycled natural materials and found objects, with comfortable and community living room style seating and stylings. Even the inside dining spaces will have the look and feel as if you are in the great outdoors.”

Lola’s Garden’s cuisine will be American with a full bar, including 15 draft lines.

Lola’s Garden will be one of two full-service restaurants on the way to Suburban Square, now home of Not Your Average Joe’s as well as fast-casual concepts such as HipCityVeg, Oath Pizza, and a forthcoming Shake Shack. (Ruby’s Diner shut down last January and Besito, a Mexican restaurant, closed last spring.) A liquor application on the window of a long-shuttered restaurant next door to Lola’s Garden, once known as Parlor and St. James, bears the name DanDan, a Chinese restaurant with locations in Center City and Wayne.

The Main Line is not only a homecoming for Hornik, 47, who was born in California but raised in Merion Station. The move helps brings his overall career path full circle.

In the early 1990s, Hornik, then a young Vassar College graduate, said he had approached Suburban Square’s previous management with an idea for an outdoor coffee kiosk with seating — coincidentally at the very same spot as Lola’s Garden. He was rebuffed. In those days, he said, shopping centers were built exclusively around commerce. Now, they are seen as community-gathering spots.

Hornik took the idea to Old City, where in 1996 he and a partner opened Quarry Street Caf, a mellow coffeehouse. He followed with Customs House Cafe before opening a string of bars, including Lucy’s Hat Shop, Butter/Proto Lounge, SoMa Lounge, Bar Noir, Drinker’s Tavern, Drinker’s Pub, Loie, and Noche, some of which pushed the patience of neighbors. He revived South Philadelphia’s Dolphin Tavern and Boot & Saddle and opened a William Street Common, an indoor beer garden near the University of Pennsylvania and Union Transfer, a live-music venue.

Then he shed most of the bars and settled primarily into venues aimed at a more mature clientele, including Morgan’s Pier, a warm-weather beer garden on the Delaware; Parks on Tap, a summertime beer garden with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the

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