It doesn't get more Texas than H-E-B, the revered San Antonio-based grocery store with a cult-like following. But the brand isn't satisfied with just being the site of your weekly shop — it has also developed several restaurant concepts that are quickly becoming just as beloved.
True Texas Boil House opened at the end of January in H-E-B's Chinatown-area store, at 10100 Beechnut St. The restaurant serves boiled seafood (crawfish, shrimp, and crab legs), fried seafood (shrimp and catfish), sides (potatoes, Cajun fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, and corn), and six different dipping sauces.
A pound of crawfish costs $6.97, or $5.97 when you order five pounds or more, while the fried baskets — which come with two sides and one dipping sauce — start at $7.97.
But seafood isn't the only restaurant route H-E-B has gone down. True Texas BBQ opened at the Pleasanton location in 2014, and now there are 10 in-store stands and counting across the Lone Star State, including Kingwood (4517 Kingwood Dr.), Magnolia (7988 FM 1488), and Huntsville (1702 11th St.).
Smoked with Texas oak wood for up to 14 hours, the by-the-pound or plated barbecue spans brisket (three ways), smoked turkey, pulled pork, smoked chicken, sausage links, and St. Louis spare ribs. Potatoes heaped with toppings, five different sandwiches, and a salad round out the main courses, with brisket beans, creamed corn, potato salad, mac and cheese, green beans, cornbread, and coleslaw making up the sides.
The joint is so authentic, Texas Monthly surprised smoked-meat snobs around the state by naming it the best barbecue chain in the state.
Speaking of authentic, shoppers at The Woodlands H-E-B also get to enjoy fresh, made-to-order artisan pies from South Flo Pizza. Keeping in line with the grocer's affordable prices, the 8-inch personal pizzas are only $7 while the 16-inch ones are $10. Make sure to visit during the daily happy hour from 4-7 pm, when $10 gets you a 16-inch pizza plus two local craft beers (or, if you prefer, two glasses of wine).
As you drive around Texas, keep an eye out for concepts like True Texas Tacos or simply stock your home fridge with the best of local craft brews. Cheers, y'all.