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Hot Houston BBQ joint smokes in prestigious new list of best new restaurants

Hot Houston BBQ joint smokes in prestigious best new restaurants list

Blood Bros BBQ Terry Wong, Quy Hoang, Robin Wong
Terry Wong, Quy Hoang, and Robin Wong of Blood Bros. BBQ. Photo by Will Blunt/StarChefs

Four Texas restaurants are basking in the national spotlight. Bon Appétit has included them in its list of America's 50 best new restaurants. The long list is a prelude to the magazine's annual Hot 10 list, which will be released September 17.

The Texas establishments are Blood Bros. BBQ in Houston, Carpenters Hall in Austin, and two Dallas restaurants, Khao Noodle Shop and Petra and the Beast. That matches last year's total, which also included four spots from the Lone Star State.

For Blood Bros., the nod from Bon Appétit is only the most-recent recognition the Vietnamese-influenced barbecue joint has received. In addition to winning Best New Restaurant in this year's CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the Bellaire restaurant also earned shout outs in the New York Times and from Texas Monthly, which named it one of the state's 25 best new barbecue joints.

Credit goes to pitmaster Quy Hoang's creative cuisine. In addition to classic, Central Texas-style brisket and ribs, Blood Bros. serves variations such as Thai green curry boudin (one of several housemade sausages), brisket burnt end steam buns, and smoked turkey banh mi.

The inclusion of Carpenters Hall, the restaurant inside South Austin’s upscale Carpenter Hotel, may surprise even food-obsessed Austinites. The high-profile project garnered widespread attention when it opened courtesy of chef Grae Nonas (formerly of Olamaie) but had fallen off the media radar. It does have one advantage, however. Christina Skogly Knowlton, the wife of Bon Appétit editor-at-large Andrew Knowlton, consulted on the project.

Opened by chef Donny Sirisavath in August 2018, Khao Noodle Shop has drawn broad acclaim for its boat noodle soup, dumplings, and other Laotian snacks. Sirisavath’s recipes are inspired by childhood memories of his mother’s home-cooking, as well as his travels throughout Southeast Asia. Dubbed “a tiny marvel” by the Dallas Morning News, Khao has earned numerous nods and awards, including a spot on Eater’s list of best new restaurants in America for 2019, and a nomination for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap’s 2019 Tastemaker Awards.

Petra and the Beast, the highly personal restaurant from chef and charcuterie queen Misti Norris (winner of Chef of the Year in the CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Awards), is a critical favorite and one of Dallas’ most lauded eateries, including a spot on Texas Monthly’s best new restaurants list of 2019, and a semifinalist slot for best new restaurant in the 2019 James Beard Awards. Norris was also one of 10 chefs singled out by Food & Wine on its 2019 list of Best New Chefs, the only chef in Texas to earn that nod.

Bon Appétit deputy editor Julia Kramer travels the country to compile the list, which includes three restaurants from New York City, as well as two each from cities ranging from Providence, Rhode Island, and St. Louis to Detroit and Los Angeles. Restaurants open since May 2018 are eligible, and Kramer takes "all aspects of the restaurant into account, including service, overall vibe, and of course the food," according to a representative.


Brandon Watson and Teresa Gubbins contributed to this article.