RECAP: Tomball and Magnolia eateries featured throughout 2020

The Shrimp Brochette ($18.84) from Aguirre's Tex Mex features eight bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp stuffed with peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and grilled vegetables. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Shrimp Brochette ($18.84) from Aguirre's Tex Mex features eight bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp stuffed with peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and grilled vegetables. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Shrimp Brochette ($18.84) from Aguirre's Tex Mex features eight bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp stuffed with peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and grilled vegetables. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

In the past year, Tomball and Magnolia eateries were faced with business closures and other challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. Read on to learn more about

Red Flame Steak & Grill owner aims to offer international cuisine, high-end meals for affordable price in Magnolia

Growing up in Mexico, Red Flame Steak & Grill owner Julio Amer said his family has always been involved in the restaurant industry. He said he helped out at his family’s restaurants and eventually started working at bigger restaurants in Mexico until he moved to the U.S. in January 2006.

“I worked in construction [when I first moved here], and I didn’t like it, so I went back to restaurants,” he said. “I set up my mind that I wanted to have my own restaurant someday.” Read more.

Magnolia Coffee House Bistro co-owners carry on family legacy


For Vickie Patterson and Janna Hartigan, Magnolia natives and co-owners of Magnolia Coffee House Bistro, opening a local bistro is carrying on a family tradition of hospitality and food service. In the '70s and '80s, Hartigan said, the two friends’ families would sell barbecue sandwiches to Texas Renaissance Festival patrons. Read more.

Owner of Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen in Tomball honors late father’s legacy

The idea for Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen stemmed from Brad Aplin—father of owner Brittney Aplin—and his career as a commercial crabber, shrimper and oysterman, Brittney said.

“We lived along the Southern coasts, like Florida, Louisiana and Texas. I’ve lived in Corpus Christi, Rockport and San Leon [in Texas],” Brittney said. “We were raised on the water, you know?” Read more.

Tressie's Southern Kitchen trades upscale dining for to-go menu

Tressie’s Southern Kitchen opened in early November to offer fine Southern dining in Magnolia. Just months later, Tressie’s was forced to cease dine-in services and offer only carryout amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ & Catering adds permanent drive-thru to weather pandemic

When co-owner Chris Clarabut catered his brother-in-law’s wedding four years ago, he did not know it would be the start of 2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ & Catering, he said. Clarabut started the catering business with his father-in-law, Richard Rodriguez, before opening a restaurant in July 2019 in Tomball. Read more.

Magnolia eatery Patra's Thai Cuisine introduces community to Thai food

Owner Yuwaree Staley opened Patra’s Thai Cuisine in Magnolia last July to give the community its first taste of Thai food, she said.

“Out here, [there were not] any Thai restaurants,” she said. “So I [thought] a Thai restaurant would be a good option for the local people.” Read more.

Grab N Go Tacos lives up to its name during pandemic

Co-owner Denia Ferguson said Grab N Go Tacos started because she wanted a place that served fresh and high-quality food. Denia and her husband, Darren, opened Grab N Go Tacos Tomball in February 2019. Read more.

British-American fusion restaurant Pengus's Place in Magnolia serves ‘real food for real folk’

Serving up British classics, from fish and chips to bangers and mash, Pengus’s Place is the city of Magnolia’s small piece of northeastern England, situated just off FM 1488.

After years of working in pubs in the U.S. and U.K., Magnolia native Lori Gwynn and her English husband, Stephen Gwynn, opened Pengus’s Place in late September 2019 with hopes of offering a sit-down family restaurant for local and foreign clientele. Read more.

Aguirre’s Tex-Mex in Tomball weathers pandemic with low prices

Five years ago, Aguirre’s Tex-Mex co-owner Sam Sahragard and his brothers, Masood and Julio, took on the challenge of moving from Missouri City to the west Houston area with the dream of establishing a Tex-Mex restaurant. After opening a second location along Hwy. 249 in Tomball in 2018 and weathering the coronavirus pandemic, Sam said the key to standing out is championing quality food with competitively low prices. Read more.

Family-run eatery Market Street Cafe is ready to bounce back

After less than six months of business, the coronavirus pandemic caused Market Street Cafe to furlough employees, suspend dine-in service and adapt to curbside pickup. During this, restaurant owner Forrest Edmonds said he relied on his daughter, Elaine, and his wife, MaryEllen, to keep things going. Read more.

Magnolia's Havana House offers Cuban cooking

Mary Sanchez and her aunt, Marcela, opened Havana House in December 2018 with the goal of providing authentic Cuban fare, a business idea they credit to Mary’s late father.

“We decided after his passing ... to pursue this new venture ... and bring some of our culture to Magnolia,” Mary said. “And that’s where it came from. We love to cook; we have a passion for cooking.” Read more.
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