On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chefs Erin and Patrick Feges join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Feges BBQ, their eagerly-anticipated restaurant that's set to open later this month in Greenway Plaza (sadly, they aren't ready to commit to a firm date). The couple begin the conversation by sharing how they first started dating and the career paths that led them to work at some of Houston's top restaurants.
While most barbecue joints can treat vegetables as an afterthought, Erin Feges has used her culinary training to create sides like roasted eggplant and Korean-spiced cucumber salad. As she explains, they're going to be an important part of Feges BBQ's appeal, especially in an environment with a diverse set of office workers.
When we first started talking about opening a restaurant, my first thought was that I would want to be able to eat there every day, which means you've got to have an expansive enough menu that nothing gets too repetitive, but it also has to be healthy. No one thinks of 'barbecue' and 'healthy' in the same sentence. We're going to have options that lean towards someone who's trying to eat somewhere without any guilt. I think of barbecue as an indulgence, and we all love to indulge, but we want to see people there multiple times per week. The only way we can do that is if our menu is a little bit healthier. You'll see that in the sides, but you'll also see that in the meats. We're going to have smoked chicken and smoked turkey. We'll have offerings on our menu that are build-your-own-sides plate, kind of like if you went to Local Foods.
Other topics include how Patrick Feges first developed an interest in cooking Carolina-style whole hog, their thoughts on opening their first restaurant with their own names on it, and the lightning round.
Prior to the chefs joining the show, Urban Swank blogger Felice Sloan and Sandler discuss the news of the week. Their topics include the news that Richard Knight has joined Harold's as executive chef and that chef Brandi Key has signed on to be the culinary director for Lasco Enterprises (The Tasting Room, Max's Wine Dive). They also share their thoughts on the news that Pizza Motus is coming to West U, Cedars Tapas Bar is coming to Montrose, and Revelry on Richmond owner Ted Baker's acquisition of The Harp.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Sloan and Sandler rave about their dinner at Nancy's Hustle and share first impressions of East Hampton Sandwich Co. after attending last week's pop-up. Finally, Sandler shares his first impressions of the El Topo food truck, which is making a splash courtesy of its tacos made with handmade corn tortillas and locally-sourced fillings.