|Chris Williams |
and Fresh Produce
I was very pleased with US Smith’s BBQ, Beer and Garden Opening Menu. This menu, FYI, does not include their usual Blackboard Menu of Daily Specials. Those specials change all the time and could be anything from an old recipe card from the family, to an improvised treat from the beautiful food mind of Chef Williams. The grand opening menu that was offered to us was quite wonderful. It was quite flush with such wonderful dishes as:
|Delciious Babyback Ribs in a sauce made from Cumin,|
Orange Juice, Brown Sugar and various secret ingredients
US Smiths Babyback Ribs
Grilled Oysters On-The-Half-Shell
11 Hot Dogs toppedCollard Green Kimchi
|Patriot Potatoes, Baked Beans and Fish on the halfshell|
Patriot Potato Salad made from Red, White and Blue potatoes, no joke
Garden Cabbage Slaw
Whole Grilled Corn on the Cob
Baked Beans made from 3 different kinds of beans
Craft beer, Wine and Bubbles
|Champagne in a backyard Ice Tub? Looks good to me!|
I've had the pleasure of visiting Chef Williams's projects before. He was one of the main Chef's at Max's Wine Dive when it was finding its legs over on Washington Avenue. When Lucille's was opened, I got to attend a great preview event and he provided some very helpful advice and insight into starting such a business that many of my Economics students found quite valuable.
|Backyard BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with Garden Cabbage Slaw|
and Grilled Whole Corn on the Cob
First of all let me say that the Backyard BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger was a mighty delicious burger, served on a very nice bun that held it all together. The bacon was crispy and thick, the meat sweet and juicy and the toppings were all fresh. I very much enjoyed the Garden Cabbage slaw--it was slightly creamy and finished with some spicy heat at the end. My dining companion and I were both impressed with that unexpected element of the Slaw. The Patriot Potatoes and Baked Beans had similar unexpected flavours show up--much of it part of the creativity of Chris Williams and his Kitchen Staff, often improvising on the job so the same dishes don't always taste the same way twice. While some folks might grouse about this, I consider it the opportunity to witness the chefs' technique evolving as they work up the learning curve of their dishes. Magnificent!
|Chef Williams and Staff pose with Katherine|
Whaley and Frend
I also enjoyed Chef Williams's personal, approachable, affable attitude. We traded some quips about different places while my dining companion who represents Max's Wine Dive & The Tasting Room swapped war stories with him and he posed for photos with KHOU's Katherine Whaley. We also talked about some of the practical business modalities from the 80s comedy movie "Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School." You gotta love a guy who can quote the scene where Dangerfield was telling the management class how to handle building inspectors!
|Party on the Patio, Houston Style|
Personally, a good deal of the food served tonight reminded me of various Southern Comfort Food dishes that my Uncles and Great Aunts served for various occasions in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, but with a bit of a twist--inspirations from Asian, European and Hipster cuisine added to make the dishes spicier, more full of flavour and more interesting for the palate.
FYI: The backyard has been certified by the City of Houston as a dog friendly patio. For reservations please visit OpenTable.com. For more information, please visit Lucille's website.
5512 La Branch (behind Lucille's)
Houston, TX 77002
Hours of Operation
5 pm to 10 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
On every other Sunday, Williams will host a neighborhood cookout.
And remember to do like Houstonian classic rock band ZZ Top and Chef Chris Williams:
PARTY ON THE PATIO!!!!
Eat Happy Y'all!!!