Lina Wang owns and operates The Runaway Plate and Cast Iron Southern Grill Both of Lina Wang’s original concepts can be located 28533 Spring Trails Ridge.
The Runaway Plate menu is available through the drive through and is healthy, delicious home-made dishes served in a quick fashion. It is great food for people on the go to pick up for families or after a long day. Cast Iron Grill is a beautiful designed, quaint inside dining room with a full bar and fun contemporary dishes like Korean Beef Tacos, salads and sandwiches, all hand crafted in house.
Lina Wang was born in Malaysia and loves traveling. She’s been in over 30 countries and has taken a cooking class in every one of them. She’s loved to cook ever since she was 6 years old.
She learned how to make pancakes from scratch and loved cooking for other people at a young age. She says her parents probably got tired of her cooking pancakes every weekend.
When she was young she wanted to follow her passion and go to cooking school, but was encouraged to pursue another course. She graduated with a Business degree from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. She joined the corporate world doing sales and recruitment for large companies. She met and married her husband, Ryan in Canada. He worked in oil and gas and 10 years ago, his work brought him and Lina to Houston.
During college, she worked at various restaurants and during her career she enjoyed taking baking and cake decorating classes. She loved learning about food, and how to make quality, healthy food tastes great.
Lina believes in eating well. She says after a long day of work she’d cook a fresh home-made dinner. 15 years ago she had a vision of a quick service restaurant that specialized in scratch made healthy dinners instead of processed foods. She says she did not see that in Malaysia, Australia, Canada or any countries they visited. Seven years ago, she decided to turn her dream into reality. She came up with a business plan and tried getting a bank loan and finding a realtor. She knew she wanted to be in the Rayford/Riley Fuzzel area, but had difficulty finding a realtor to take her seriously because she was a woman. She couldn’t get a loan because she had no prior restaurant owner experience. It took her four years and she wound up having to invest her savings to buy her property in the end. She believed so much in her dream!
She designed every facet or her restaurant herself from her state of the art drive through with 4 big screen TV’s to showcase her daily menu to her quaint dining room and patio. She says opening a restaurant isn’t easy and explained how, before opening some neighborhood kids came by and stole her sign, and her lead cook was intentionally burning dishes.
The restaurant started as Runaway plate over two years ago to be able to offer a fast food environment, but with real hand-made food, not laden with chemicals or GMO’s. Something I have personally never seen before, but absolutely love the concept. But then, Lina decided to innovate and get really creative and decided to run two different concepts out of the same business. Again, something I have never seen before. Her service is incredible, her passion for food inspired and her creative menu is amazing!
Lina spent months redesigning her dining room to accommodate the new concept. She improved her bar, lighting and did a complete remodel to match the vision she had for Cast Iron Southern Grill. She hired contractors, spent her own money, designed a modern café with a Southern flair. Everything looked beautiful. Then Harvey came to town and brought a foot of water into her restaurant, destroying everything she worked so hard for. Well, not only is Lina inventive and passionate about food, she is also determined and loved by her supporters.
After the flood waters receded, Lina and her friends went right to work rebuilding Cast Iron Southern Grill and The Runaway Plate and now they are back and better than ever.
People like different cuisine and that’s what she enjoys cooking. Her menu changes daily and she can cook Greek, Italian, Thai and Korean with precise execution using all scratch-made ingredients. The Runaway Plate is an original concept that delivers (literally) hot, wholesome meals that are accessible to everyone in a fast food setting. Their reviews are exceptional, almost 5 stars across the board and Lina is an incredible lady with a vision trying to live out The American Dream! You can find her daily menu on her website, therunawayplate. com. Eat healthy. Eat well. Support local!