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Houston Chef's Table: Hugo Ortega believes in a Goode tradition

Houston Chef's Table: Hugo Ortega believes in a Goode tradition

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Hugo Ortega Photo by Terri Fensel

No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them, and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.

Hugo Ortega is our favorite local success story, rising up from busboy to become one of the city's most talented chefs, presiding over Backstreet Cafe and his eponymous Hugo's. Ortega tells CultureMap where he and his wife always celebrate their anniversary, his Saturday seafood tradition and how his own meals usually end before any sweets.

Restaurant for a special occasion: My wife Tracy and I have celebrated our anniversary the past three years at Robert Del Grande's restaurants, first at Cafe Annie and now RDG.

Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: Probably Brennan's, it's been there forever and the food is so unique, they just have so much to offer.

Favorite meal: Every Saturday we go to Goode Company Seafood. I love the catfish, oysters and campechana. I love seafood and we just love to go there and turned it into a tradition.

Breakfast/Brunch favorite: We usually eat breakfast at home, but we like Brennan's for brunch sometimes. My most favorite is whenever we go back for beignets at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Tracy took me there maybe 10 years ago for the first time, and the next morning she was up at 6 o'clock to go down and have more beignets and coffee. It's just a great place, like no other.

Dessert: I'm not a dessert eater personally, but the other day we were celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday and we had these cupcakes from new a place near the Galleria, and they were really fine cupcakes. I wish I knew the name.


Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series:

Lee Ellis loves Les Givral

Sugar hooker Rebecca Masson can't get enough of Catalan's Cake

Beachy L.J. Wiley digs the special occasion simple flavors at Dos Brisas

David Grossman goes for Vic & Anthony's crab cake, Yelapa late nights & some Bootsie

Jeramie Robison appreciates Kata Robata's sushi, Beaver's bangin' meatloaf & foodie chicks

Tony Mandola finds breakfast magic at Sunrise Taquitos

Philippe Schmit craves a Picnic romance & Stella Sola's French toast

Benjy Levit is torn between Indika's salads and Hank's Ice Cream

Flora & Muse's David Luna likes to hang with his fishing buddy and hit the Blue Nile

Asian Bistro's Gigi Huang seeks out spicy fried chicken at a Dive