What's Eric Eating Episode 197
Acclaimed barbecue joint's new Spring Branch spot sets Father's Day debut
Father's Day will be even more special than usual for husband-and-wife chef duo Patrick Feges and Erin Smith. The couple will unveil the new Spring Branch location of their restaurant Feges BBQ this Sunday, June 20 (8217 Long Point Rd.).
While the original, Greenway Plaza location of Feges BBQ already earned a spot on Texas Monthly's list of the state's 25 best new barbecue joints for its well-executed smoked meats and creative vegetable sides, the Spring Branch location will offer an even broader menu. As Smith explains during this week's episode of CultureMap's "What's Eric Eating" podcast, diners can expect new dishes such as sandwiches (including a burger), salads, more sides, and entrees like a Southern fried chicken platter and a bulgogi beef rib inspired by the time Feges spent stationed in Korea during his army service.
Even better, the restaurant will be open for lunch Tuesday - Sunday and dinner Tuesday - Saturday, which will allow customers who can't make it to Greenway Plaza during weekday lunch hours to experience Feges BBQ for the first time. Service will be a hybrid model where diners order at a counter and have food and drinks brought to them by a server.
Beyond the expanded menu, Feges BBQ Spring Branch will also serve wines selected by Smith, who worked at acclaimed Montrose wine bar Camerata, and sommelier Chris Poldoian. The 16-bottle list includes wines designed to pair with smoked meats such as the Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco, rosé from Austrian winemaker Heidi Schrock, and Chateau Combel La Serre Malbec. Patrick Feges has assembled the restaurant's beer selection, which Smith jokes they've divided into "craft" and "crap."
The dining room features projectors that will screen classic Westerns or relevant sporting events as well as a children's play area — relevant for the couple's son Wyatt who is regularly featured on the restaurant's social media — and custom, Western-themed artwork by Denver-based artist Laura Goodson. Inside, the restaurant seats 120 people with another 50 seats available on an outdoor patio.
Taken together, the new Feges BBQ transcends what many diners typically expect from a barbecue restaurant. It will have a broader menu of non-barbecue options and a more sophisticated beverage program than many of its peers. Smith shares some of her thoughts about the topic of what kind of restaurant she's running with Sandler.
When people ask about our restaurant, 'are you a barbecue restaurant?' I don't know how to answer that question," she says. "Yeah, we're a barbecue restaurant, but I also think we can also legitimately be mentioned in Wine Spectator magazine because we fit in that realm, too. As much as we want to be on barbecue lists, I think we also have a fair shot at being on restaurant lists, non-barbecue. Does that help us or hurt us? Maybe a little bit of both. Maybe the barbecue isn't the highlight because some salad is.
Patrick puts a lot of effort into the barbecue. Barbecue should always be a highlight of your visit if you have it, but we do much more than barbecue.
The interview touches on a number of other subjects: including the various steps Feges BBQ took to survive in Greenway Plaza when its core customer base of office workers suddenly started working from home due to the pandemic; Smith's involvement with local non-profit I'll Have What She's Having; and expectations around the next edition of Texas Monthly's top 50 barbecue joints in Texas list, which will be published later this year.