Houston Barbecue Couple Plans Their First Restaurant In Unexpected Venue
Houston barbecue fans have awaited news for years on when Patrick and Erin Smith Feges of Feges BBQ would open their own restaurant. Their endeavor, Feges BBQ, has long been a favorite in the local food scene. Well, the news is finally here, and the new place will be in an unusual locale for a barbecue joint: Greenway Plaza.
Specifically, the first Feges BBQ restaurant will debut in the Shops at Greenway Plaza as a counter-service spot early next year. The couple hopes to use it as a springboard for a second, larger concept at some point in the future. (In fact, the Feges has been looking for a brick-and-mortar restaurant location, but haven’t found the right spot yet.)
Greenway Plaza has an unusual distinction as an office complex that has hosted the startups for some of the most notable players in Houston’s food scene. This includes Greenway Coffee, which led to Blacksmith, Morningstar and Prelude Coffee & Tea; The Rice Box, which opened its own brick-and-mortar in January of this year, and burger-chan, which just relocated to a shiny new space at The Inner Hub at 3 Greenway Plaza.
Both Feges have impressive culinary résumés. Erin’s experience as a chef was gained at Per Se and Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in New York City before moving back to Houston. Since then, she has been executive chef at Plonk, Blacksmith and Main Kitchen. She later worked at Camerata specifically to increase her wine knowledge (which may be showcased at a restaurant in the future).
Patrick taught himself how to barbecue while in culinary school in Austin before going on to work at Underbelly, Killen’s Barbecue and Southern Goods. Their Feges BBQ pop-ups have been a standing and welcome fixture at the annual Houston Barbecue Festival.
Making barbecue is usually an outdoors proposition, but the Feges have a workaround so they can make it on-site at Greenway Plaza. A J & R Oyler pit will be installed with a vent hood system that will whisk away the smoke.
When it opens, Feges BBQ will serve breakfast (such as biscuits and gravy and tacos—amped up with brisket, of course) and lunch Mondays through Fridays. Catering services on nights and weekends will also be available, once the restaurant is up and running. Beyond barbecue standards like ribs, brisket and sausage (made in-house, by the way), Feges BBQ will bring back some favorite spins that Patrick used to make at Southern Goods: pig wings and beef belly burnt ends. Believe it or not, they also plan to occasionally serve up a whole roasted-and-smoked hog.
While Patrick will take the lead as pitmaster, Erin will focus her chef experience on the sides. Plans are in the works for an Indian-influenced coleslaw with coriander, cumin and caraway seeds and made creamy with yogurt. In addition, she’s applying a technique learned at Per Se to a dish called 15-step Hasselback Sweet Potatoes. Seasonal vegetable dishes will also make appearances on the menu.
For those who have not been: the underground parking garages at the Greenway Plaza are much easier to navigate than you might think and restaurants in the food courts usually validate parking for up to two hours.
With Feges BBQ joining the culinary talent that has already set up shop there, it may be time to convince your office to move.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.