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Restaurants / Openings

New Bacon Restaurant Proves Houston’s Suburbs Do Innovative Food

Getting Funky (and Fresh) in Sugar Land

BY // 07.12.17

The Houston restaurant scene is brimming with new culinary enterprise. Just last month, the city welcomed upscale Japanese sushi and steak restaurant Roka Akor; Seaside Poke debuted in EaDo; and Houstonians learned that Brenham barbecue joint Truth BBQ will soon join the Bayou City dining scene.

But in the midst of Houston’s burgeoning food explosion, the restaurant landscapes of Houston’s surrounding suburbs are often forgotten. It is a dilemma Houston native Travis Cook seeks to tackle with the opening of Bacon Bros. Public House in Sugar Land.

“[When I was looking for a location,] I kind of decided that you shouldn’t have to be in The Loop to be able to go to a really exciting, farm-to-table, locally sourced restaurant. It’s something that’s been missing from a lot of Houston suburbs,” Cook tells PaperCity.

“I live in The Loop now, but I grew up in Cypress. It was a really big deal for us when I was growing up to go out to Buffalo Wild Wings, because it was one of the best restaurants in the area. So I just felt like this was a need that needed to be met.”

Cook, who serves as the restaurant’s operating partner, fell in love with the Bacon Bros. brand when his previous job required him to frequently travel to Greenville, South Carolina — Bacon Bros.’ home state.

He became a regular customer of the Southern, bacon-centric restaurant, and soon he was pitching a Texas location to proprietors Jason Callaway, Eric Bergelson, and Mike Porter.

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“The reason I fell in love with [Bacon Bros.] was because if I could open [a restaurant], it’d be this exact place. It’s exciting innovative food that’s still connected with its Southern roots as well as the local farms and ranchers,” Cook says.

The Bacon Bros. Way

With the help of Bacon Bros.’ original chef Anthony Gray, Cook and chef de cuisine Joseph Zerwas are channeling the brand’s down-home ethos with a farm fresh menu loaded with house-made and locally sourced dishes at the new Sugar Land restaurant.

Given the restaurant’s name, it’s easy to guess that the star of this menu is swine. In fact, Bacon Bros. cures, smokes – with local hardwoods – and dry ages all of its meat in-house. An on-site cure chamber welcomes you upon entry.

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House-cured sausage at Bacon Bros. Public House

Diners can sample the restaurant’s porky concoctions via the meat board which features everything from country paté and head cheese to pancetta and salami.

Or indulge in Bacon Bros. traditional barbecue — think pulled pork shoulder, salt and pepper beef brisket, St. Louis ribs, and fresh sausage — which is smoked daily.

If preserved and smoked meats aren’t your thing, meaty standouts like the B.E.T, a mouthwatering sandwich stuffed with pork belly pastrami, Swiss cheese, a fried duck egg, green peppercorn mayo, and arugula; the house-made potater tots made with pit-cooked pork shoulder and American cheese, then topped with pig ears, and sorghum barbecue sauce; and the pimiento cheese jar finished with bacon jam are sure to please.

“I obviously wouldn’t call [a pork heavy] menu healthy, but I’d definitely say it’s nutritious because we source everything ourselves and make every dish component in-house,” Cook says. “I can go down the menu and tell you where every single ingredient comes from.”

But the pork-centric plates shouldn’t be this restaurant’s only claim to fame. Bacon Bros.’ side dishes stand out as the real winner with the braised local greens alone warranting a second trip. The classic butter beans clock in at a close second.

Also on hand: prohibition cocktails, a diverse bourbon and whiskey collection, craft beer and wine.

“I hope guests will find the food at Bacon Bros. as addictive as I do,” Cook says. “There is something instinctual about the effect a whiff of smoke has on your appetite. It’s what gives us a certain funk to our food.

“We match that with a great place to meet up with friends to share some snacks, platter of BBQ and a great shot of whiskey.”

Bacon Bros. Public House, 2110 Town Square Place, Sugar Land, baconbrospublichouse.com

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