Menu makeover: Houston restaurant looks to be transformed by bold switch
After a year of running the same menu, BRC Gastropub chef/owner Lance Fegen has changed things up with new starters, salads, burgers and entrees. The changes, specifically the addition of meatballs as featured in both a salad and in mac and cheese, bring BRC closer to Fegen's other concept, seafood and comfort food spot Liberty Kitchen.
"The meatballs at Liberty Kitchen are so popular so I put them on the BRC menu to let more people experience them,” Fegen said in a statement.
According to a representative, Houston's second Liberty Kitchen should open by the end of October in the former Vida Tex-Mex spot on San Felipe. Meanwhile, progress continues on three new projects — Lee's Fried Chicken and Doughnuts behind the original Liberty Kitchen, an Austin location of Liberty Kitchen and taco/burger joint Cowboy Surfers in Oak Forest.
"The meatballs at Liberty Kitchen are so popular so I put them on the BRC menu to let more people experience them."
Alongside CultureMap contributor Marcy de Luna, I sampled a variety of new items on the menu. Among the highlights, the addition of Liberty Kitchen's Wednesday night special fried chicken to BRC's permanent menu makes it a top destination for the comfort classic. The restaurant brines the chicken for three days before soaking it in buttermilk for 24 hours. The chicken emerges from the kitchen moist, juicy and crispy. There's gravy and honey to enhance the flavor, and, thankfully, one of BRC's signature biscuits for mopping up any leftovers.
Pair it with the meatball mac and cheese for a combination that would be plenty of food for two people to split.
The evening breakfast that combines a potato chip crusted chicken fried steak with two eggs and a biscuit is also enjoyable. The thin, crispy CFS comes topped with more of BRC's addictive gravy.
Among the starters, a highlight is a roasted oyster topped with a fried oyster and served with one of three sauces. My favorite was the bacon jam/cherry pepper/butter version, but all three preparations hit the mark.
Two of the dishes didn't work as well. The cold foie gras on poutine had an odd mouth feel with the hot fries, but the poutine's brown gravy, cheese and green onions made a delicious topping for the fries. Both of us took one bite of the duckfat-braised Fatboy's hamburger and decided we'd had enough. Something gave it an odd smell and sour flavor, although we couldn't determine whether the avocado oil-garlic, pickle mayo or raclette Swiss cheese was the cause.
Either way, stick to the standard BRC pub burger unless sour burgers sound appealing.
Two aspects of BRC haven't changed. First, the restaurant maintains a consistently interesting craft beer selection and will fill growlers to go. Second, BRC sources all its desserts from sister restaurant Petite Sweets. For those looking for a sweet ending, the pecan/sweet potato pie makes an excellent final course.