Restaurants / Openings

New EaDo Ice House Brings a Dallas Following — and Powerhouse Burgers: This is No Cookie-Cutter Chain Spot

BY // 04.02.18

Beloved Dallas burger joint Rodeo Goat Ice House has made a new home in Houston. The treasured Texas spot is known for its oversized patio and powerhouse burgers with names that are as funky as it gets.

Rodeo Goat has set up shop in the East End at a renovated warehouse at 2118 Lamar, right at the corner of St. Emanuel and Dallas. It’s close enough to Minute Maid Park for a bite before Houston Astros games.

Rodeo Goat has been on Houston’s horizon since it first revealed its Bayou City intentions back in 2016. After extensive Hurricane Harvey delays, the burger haven finally opened last Monday. Rodeo Goat fans who had their first bite in the DFW area will find the Rodeo fair flair and burgers they know and love, but Houstonians are sure to recognize some Space City touches at the new restaurant.

Restaurateur Shannon Wynne, the mind behind Rodeo Goat and Flying Saucer, was born in Dallas, but there’s no end to his Bayou City love.

“I love Houston. I love the art, the funkiness. The no zoning,” he tells PaperCity. “People are so pro-Houston. It’s so much fun to be in a town that’s proud of itself. A city that knows its culture.”

Wynne has known Houston since the 1980s, when he opened club 8.0 on Greenbriar. Club 8.0 was another Dallas transplant. His restaurant chain Flying Fish is also on it way to The Heights, set to open at Durham and 19th street.

A Houston Vibe

The new Rodeo Goat feels at home in EaDo.

First, the Houston decor: a vintage Rodeo sign hanging on the wall that Wynne plucked from a flea market in Bowie, Texas. Next, the food: burgers named for Houston icons, like the veggie patty named for ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons. Then there’s the Marvin Zindler, named for the sharp, white-haired investigative journalist who struck fear into the hearts of restaurant owners across the city.

Wynne remembers the news anchor’s heyday. “He wore sunglasses and a suit and he would cause a ruckus,” Wynne says. So naturally, Wynne dubbed the burger with apple-wood smoked bacon, barbecue sauce, pickle chutney and jalapenos after him.

Rapper Mike Jones also has his own burger, called 281-330-8004 after the rapper’s phone number. “Everyone knows Mike Jones. We don’t have anything like that in Dallas, a local rapper that literally everyone knows,” Wynne says. “It’s amazing.”

Other burgers have toppings like hydroponic sprouts, grilled peaches, brisket chili, bacon and onion marmalade, pickle chutney and more. All the ingredients are fresh and organic, Wynne notes.

And getting down to basics, the patties themselves are from grass-fed 44 Farms cows.

“We just have an honest burger,” Wynne says. “We grind the meat ourselves, we make all our own patties. We’re not like Hopdoddy or anybody else.”

That goes double for the drinks. Rodeo Goat offers a wide variety of beer in addition to cocktails. One in particular will make you feel nostalgic — and more than a little buzzed.

“The signature drink is called Moontang,” Wynne says. It’s straight up Everclear in Tang, the childhood neon orange drink known from NASA.

You could always go for the Fighting Goat with Cellis White, but you’re only allowed two. The craft beer selection is extensive. You can enjoy them in the rustic interior or head out to the patio, which seats 250. It’s got a laid-back rodeo vibe, of course

“It’s casual enough that people feel comfortable,” Wynne says. You’re welcome to head over whatever your current duds: tux, Bermuda shorts, couture or blue jeans.

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