Chef Michael Gonzalez, who's known for his gourmet sandwiches and more served from a cart in Towne East Square's food court, will open his long-awaited Metro Grill II next month at 321 S. Andover Road. A few facts about the new place:
1. The menu: It'll be mostly the same as the Metro Grill in the mall and will include hits such as Gonzalez's Infamous BOB and Cuban sandwiches plus a few additions.
2. VIP Sundays: Gonzalez is most excited about his Sunday evening plan, which will offer seatings by reservation only and a five-course meal that shows off the chef's culinary know-how.
Hana Cafe owner Eunice Kim has been working on an expansion of her restaurant in Old Town Square for a while now, and it's finally ready to go. The new section of the restaurant opened earlier this week in the spot formerly occupied by Picture Framing & More. The original space is under construction and will close again early next week for some finishing touches but shouldn't be closed for long. The bigger space will feature new sushi and sake bars.
New name for Yuca
The restaurant at 602 N. Tyler Road formerly known as Yuca Latin Bistro has a new name and a new approach. Chef and owner Roni Attari now is calling his business Pita & Paninis and has moved away from table service, opting instead for a more casual, order-at-the-counter approach. He also has started opening at 7 a.m. so he can offer breakfast items, and he's added a drive-through. For more information, call 316-978-9288.
The return of Lil' Mexico
Lil' Mexico at 1601 E. Pawnee was closed for about a month but recently was reopened by Cheryl Powell, who took over the restaurant from the previous owners. Powell, who also owns the Burger Barn on West Central, kept the previous menu intact. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-267-0594.