The Houston Texans have announced their lineup of starters — and entrees, sandwiches, and snacks —for the upcoming season at NRG Stadium.
As the Texans enter their 17th year, two rookies have made the team: Antone’s Famous Po’Boys and the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation. Two superstars are returning: award-winning Chris Shepherd with a menu from his new restaurant, Georgia James, and barbecue wizard Ronnie Killen waving beef ribs that would tip over Fred Flintstone’s car.
Texans president Jamey Rootes and Aramark district bossman Joel Nash recently revealed the new food items at the big stadium on Kirby. Rootes calls Houston the “most diverse city in the U.S.” and “culinary capital of the South.” He also says that “Texans love to eat.”
If Hotels.com ever needs a new Captain Obvious, Rootes is their guy. (I kid — because I love.)
How are the Texans doing? Rootes noted that the waiting list to buy Texans season tickets is comparable to the current number of Houston Rockets and Houston Astros season ticket holders — combined. Yeah, Houston is a football town.
Football and...lobster rolls?
As the media grazes tables showcasing high-falutin’ concession items, I ask Nash: “Even with all this haute cuisine (lobster rolls and quinoa salad at a football game?), what percentage of fans will buy a couple of hot dogs and a beer and be happy?” He says, “between 60 and 70 percent.” So take that, Korean Barbecue Eggroll Lettuce Wraps with rice wine vinaigrette, which will be available in suites, where they belong — and better stay there.
Hot dogs at NRG Stadium are from Holmes Smokehouse, so they’re legit franks, not generic, no-name mystery franks.
By the way, those two-pound monster beef ribs from Killen are $40 each — the highest priced single food item in Houston Texans history. They’re incredibly fantastic and worth the money — if you have that kind of money.
Texans exhibition season at NRG Stadium begins August 18 against the San Francisco 49ers. And much like the action on the field, concession stands will feature a lot of newcomers and rookies. In my best Marc Vandermeer "rock 'n' roll" voice, here are the players and their numbers.
Video: See what's cooking at NRG Stadium
Taco Trio — Chicken tenders breaded in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, mango pico, and Sriracha mayo. ($12.50, Sections 103, 123)
Corn Dog Nachos — Mini corn dogs, chili, cheese, pico de gallo, and mustard. ($11, Sections 101, 112, 121, 132, 520, 546)
Antone’s Sandwiches —Fresh po’boys, including original, turkey, and tuna. ($8, Sections 129, 109, 546, 520)
Killen’s Beef Rib — Thick cut, smoked in-house, served on the bone. Bring a doggy bag. ($40, Sections 109, 129)
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation Fajita Tacos — Beef or chicken, flour tortilla, onions and peppers, and red or green salsa. ($14)
Chips and Ninfa’s Queso — House-made tortilla chips with Ninfa’s queso. ($5.50)
Chris Shepherd’s Georgia James Carved Roast Beef Sandwich with Wedge Slaw — 44 Farms beef, horseradish cream, pickled red onions, blue cheese, bacon, onions, and tomatoes. ($14.50)
Texas-style Smoked Meatball Sub with Homemade Chips — ($14.50)
Texas-style Jalapeno Lobster Roll — ($22)
Korean Barbecue Eggroll Lettuce Wraps — Mint, cilantro, bean sprouts, pickled carrots, and rice wine vinaigrette.
Quinoa Salad — Quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and lemon vinaigrette.
Crab Cake with Elote Corn — Crab cake, sweet corn, peppers, and pico.
Lentil Salad — Lentils, baby kale, roasted peppers, and lemon vinaigrette.
What do you think of the Texans new roster (of food)? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter.