What's Eric Eating Episode 229
Houston's most prominent Black restaurateur looks back at 20 years of wings and waffles
On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," restaurateur Marcus Davis join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his career. Davis recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Breakfast Klub, his game-changing Midtown restaurant.
The conversation begins with Davis sharing how his parents inspired his love of food and passion for entertaining. From there, he describes the process of creating The Breakfast Klub from choosing its location on the border of Midtown, Montrose, and Third Ward to its menu that combines breakfast favorites from the East Coast, West Coast, and South.
To this day, Houstonians and visitors like up daily for signature items like the wings and waffle, fish and grits, and biscuits and gravy. Sandler asks Davis about maintaining a good experience for people who wait in the line, which can run down the block on nice days.
"My recipe for success is quality food, quality service, and consistency. Give the people a great product without compromise, do it through great people with a smile on their face, and do those two things as often as you can," Davis says. "How we were able to build our reputation was through the greatest form of advertising, word of mouth. Because we were very deliberate and very intentional about being who we were and delivering a great experience, it just started to layer. I can't put it any better than that."
The conversation touches on a range of other topics, including the Black Chef Table dinner pop-ups Davis hosts at his downtown restaurant Kulture in collaboration with chef Keisha Griggs (Ate Kitchen). They also discuss the recent growth and success of Black-owned restaurants in Houston.
"I think as much as we have seen, we haven't gotten to the thick of it," Davis says. "I think there's a world of opportunity out there. I think there's talented people out there. I think there's enough proof in the pudding of what's possible. When you see the success of other folks, it encourages you to jump out there and try your hand at it."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Felice Sloan discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: the Houston representatives on Texas Monthly's list of the state's best new restaurants; the final weekend of charity dining event Eat Drink HTX; and the reopening of Heights-area dive bar the Tall Texan.
In the restaurants of the week segment, they discuss their recent meal at Juliet, the movie-themed restaurant near the Galleria. They also share their experience at Bandista, the hidden new cocktail bar at the Four Seasons.
Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 1 pm on ESPN 97.5.