We can be happy underground
Houston's coolest food court gets hot BBQ restaurant from husband-and-wife chef duo
Houston’s coolest food court is about to get even cooler.
Husband-and-wife chef duo Patrick Feges and Erin Smith Feges announced Wednesday that they’re bringing Feges BBQ to the Greenway Plaza food court that’s already home to Greenway Coffee, the Rice Box, and burger-chan.
Work to transform the former Village Bar-B-Que into Feges BBQ, including the installation of an Oyler smoker, should be completed by early next year. Once it opens, the restaurant will serve Feges’ expansive take on barbecue, which both includes traditional Central Texas style and goes beyond it to include dishes like the beef belly burnt ends he served at Southern Goods and Carolina whole hog. A recent pop-ups at Holler Brewing Co. that featured smoked pork ribs with a Korean-inspired gochujang glaze shows the chef's willingness to incorporate global influences as well.
Smith Feges' influence will be felt on the menu as well in sides like Indian-spiced coleslaw with coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds as well as the use of seasonal vegetables like eggplant and squash.
“We are paying a lot of attention to the sides and we expect some guests will visit just for those,” Smith Feges said in a statement. “In fact, there will be a side-only menu option.”
Breakfast items like breakfast tacos with smoked meat and biscuits and gravy will also be available. Health-conscious diners can opt for salad.
Feges, who recently left his position as sous chef at Southern Goods in the Heights, has earned the status of someone to watch in Houston’s rising barbecue scene thanks to his experiences as both a cook at Underbelly and Brennan’s and a pitmaster at Killen’s Barbecue. He won the CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2015.
Smith Feges brings a similar pedigree from her work for superstar chef Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York and her experience in Houston at restaurants like Plonk in Oak Forest and Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. In 2016, her diverse set of culinary skills earned her a victory on an episode of the Food Network’s popular cooking competition show Chopped. She’s recently spent time at Camerata to learn more about wine and front of the house service.
“Between the two of us we’ve had the opportunity to work in some of the best restaurants in the country, and we definitely will bring that experience to what we do,” Feges said. “This is going to be a new way of thinking about barbecue.”
As for a more conventional restaurant above ground that would allow them to utilize their training more fully, well, that’s still in the works, but the experience they gain serving Greenway Plaza diners will be invaluable experience as the couple plots their future.
"This was an opportunity too good to pass up,” Smith Feges added. “It allows us to get our foot in the door making barbecue every day, develop a following and really learn what we don’t know yet.”