As the landscapers and painters fussing over final details demonstrate, the Houston area’s second outpost of Goode Company Kitchen & Cantina. After opening the first location in The Woodlands in September, the local restaurant group’s new Tex-Mex concept will debut in the Memorial area on Monday.
Located in a former Mason Jar on I-10 just east of Campbell Road that’s a stone’s throw from the almost 30-year old second location of Goode Company Barbeque, owner Levi Goode tells CultureMap the company has had its eye on the location for three years. When the landlord finally indicated he’d be amenable to a long-term lease, the company jumped on it.
The company spent almost all of 2017 transforming the space. Relocating the entrance away from the frontage road allowed the company to install a 50 seat patio and children’s play area. Inside, diners will find a bar that features hand-carved panels below and the barrels used to age the company’s private label Milagro tequila above.
In the dining room, windows provide a look into the kitchen — including a view of the mesquite-fed wood-burning grill that powers much of the menu — while kitchen implements on the wall pay homage to the border cuisine that inspired the restaurant’s food. All in, the 6,600-square foot restaurant will seat about 180 diners.
“We wanted to create an environment that complemented our style of cooking and food: non-kitschy, straightforward, honoring the techniques and style of food...Very approachable but not stuffy or feel like it’s too polished or too refined,” Goode says. “Where we had opportunity to hit the details, we wanted to do that. We didn’t want to be a Monterrey House either, so we ended up here.”
That approach continues with the menu. Tex-Mex classics like fajitas and enchiladas are available, as well as Goode Co classics like the signature campechana. Those looking for something a little lighter can opt for seafood options like grilled redfish on the half shell or a salad. As at Armadillo Palace, the family’s heritage in South Texas gets a nod with dishes like pork and green chile empanadas and grilled Texas quail.
“In some ways, (the menu) is a current interpretation of and inspired by our taqueria, which was inspired by my grandmother’s style of cooking,” Goode says. “Whatever you find at your favorite Tex-Mex, you’ll find something similar here from the menu items, but we put our own style on it. Tried to hit every detail we could with the food and drink we offer here.”
As the spacious bar area implies, cocktails are an important part of the concept. The agave-focused beverages include a number of margarita options — everything from the classic rocks or frozen to a roasted poblano and strawberry mezcal — along with palomas, house cocktails, and tequila flights.
“We’re not setting any drinks on fire or anything,” Goode says. “We wanted to focus on every detail. Whether that’s fresh squeezed juices or syrups, you’re going to see something that’s very approachable in nature, but also has a unique spin to traditionals.”
Goode says that so far the restaurant has been well-received in The Woodlands, but he’s eager to see how the Memorial crowd responds to the concept. As he notes, the area is changing as younger families move in and Spring Branch becomes more affluent. While the concept certainly seems like it could grow to multiple locations, Goode says he’s just trying to take it one day at a time.
“We’ll see what our feedback is and where we go from here,” he says. “Right now, we’re focused on the task at hand and trying to put the best plate of food we can day in and day out, customer in and customer out.”