Food + DrinkLifestyle

A Ghost Kitchen Materializes

Urban Eats’ Salt & Sugar

Breakfast sandwiches and more at Salt & Sugar

Salt & Sugar popped up several weeks ago, a ghost kitchen with no physical address. People craving the sweet and savory noshes—such as the delicious deli sandwiches, bagels, and praline French toast bread pudding—they saw on the website had to use a delivery service like Uber Eats, Doordash, and Grubhub to get the goods.

“But people started figuring out where the food was coming from and started showing up at Urban Eats,” says Levi Rollins, co-owner with his partner of 19 years, Eric Munoz, of Urban Eats Bistro + Bar + Market in The Heights. The eatery and market reside in a two-story former auto repair shop. The first floor is a market filled with artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegars, pastas, and other locally sourced food specialties as well as coffee drinks and fresh baked goods from the kitchen. The upstairs is a bistro serving everything from cowboy sliders to meatloaf dinners and lobster ravioli. There’s also a cozy side porch and a rooftop terrace. On some nights there is live music after 9 p.m., and there are always local artists’ paintings featured on the walls. It’s a unique food emporium that the couple opened in 2014, but the kind of deli delights Rollins was thinking about just didn’t fit the Urban Eats menu.

Asian chicken salad

“I thought, I have the space, I have the product, I have the staff,” Rollins says. “With all the stress related to inflation and the cost of goods going up, I was noodling around trying to find a way to utilize our space more. So why not start a ghost kitchen?” Thus, Salt & Sugar was born. Offering sandwiches like truffled egg salad and a classic Reuben, deli meats, fresh salads, and crispy potato wedges—as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options—Salt & Sugar has become quite popular in the neighborhood.

People started coming into Urban Eats asking for bagels with a schmear, scones, and fried chicken biscuits.

“It got to the point where I just said okay,” Rollins says. “So, in a few weeks, we’re going to set up a deli counter downstairs in the market to sell Salt & Sugar products. They’ll still be two separate businesses but will share the same address and hopefully support each other.” While waiting for your deli delights, you can pick up some local food staples, grab a specialty coffee drink, check out the art for sale, and maybe take a peek upstairs to make plans for a luncheon.

What else will be new?

“I want to add some homemade kolaches to the Salt & Sugar menu,” Rollins says. “Do you know there’s nowhere on Washington Ave. to get a homemade kolache? The same with the bagels.”

If you’re in the mood, try Rollins’ favorite bagel offering, the funky monkey bagel.

Funky monkey bagel

“It’s a schmear of strawberry cream cheese with peanut butter,” Rollins says. “I know it sounds weird, but it is really good!” 

Visit Salt & Sugar online at eatsaltandsugar.com.

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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