Five Houston Places to Find Good Chicken, local style
Local chicken is the odd duck out in Houston. Raising local pastured chicken is labor intensive, which makes it more expensive than your average supermarket bird. This means even restaurants that source local foods often don’t include chicken in that bill. Here we highlight some of the places where you can enjoy truly local pasture-raised chicken. You can taste the difference, but don’t take our word for it—give a couple of these dishes a try and see for yourself! Have other recommendations? Tell us about your favorite locally raised chicken-dish eats!
Black’s Market Table
11550 Louetta Rd., Houston
Black’s Market Table is home to wonderful, thoughtfully made farm-to-table food. Their Herb-Roasted Whitehurst Heritage Farms chicken is a show-stopping daily special you have to try. Chef Bart Black’s dishes are distinctive because they’re simple, delicious and focus on fresh and local ingredients that pull their weight. Open for three years now, Chef Bart sources his chicken and other meats from Whitehurst Heritage Farms. He takes pride in supporting farmer Michael Marchand, whom he’s known since high school.
Tejas Heritage Farm
160 Magnolia Trail, Cleveland
Are you a fan of smoked and cured meats? Tejas Heritage Farm’s Cured and Smoked Whole Chicken can’t be beat. It has a rich smoky flavor and juicy firm texture, perfect for your imagination to go wild. It’s my goto for salads, the perfect lunch meat replacement, and have even been the star of smoky chicken salad hors d’oeuvres. The chicken is brined for 24 hours, and smoked at 190° for six to eight hours in an old-fashioned walkin smokehouse. It’s even smoked using oak wood from the farm. To try some, find Tejas Heritage Farms at Urban Harvest Farmers Market @ Eastside and Grogan’s Mill Farmers Market. Tejas’ birds are also served at Chris Shepherd’s restaurants, Justin Yu’s Better Luck Tomorrow and Theodore Rex, and Hugo Ortega’s Xochi.
Season’s Harvest Café
17303 Shaw Rd., Cypress
The Pollo Pibil is the perfect introduction to Season’s Harvest Café’s spread of tasty homegrown dishes. It’s marinated in a grapefruit and pepper sauce, then fire-grilled to perfection. Their chicken source, Whitehurst Heritage Farms, was right across the street from the restaurant when it first opened. While Whitehurst has since moved to another town, the relationship has remained—and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Beket and Joanne Griffith, Season’s owners, also grow ingredients for the restaurant on-site. They use the eight-acre property to raise chickens for eggs, and greens and herbs in their garden.
Better Luck Tomorrow
544 Yale St., Houston
Locally sourced bar food is the name of the game at Better Luck Tomorrow. And the Crispy Hot Star-style Chicken with pickled cabbage is the perfect cure for your friedfood cravings. Think chicken fingers, then imagine something 100 times more natural, delicious, fresh and crispy. Paired with the tasty tart pickled cabbage it’s a crowd pleaser every time. When asked why he uses local chicken, Chef Justin Yu said chickens raised locally just taste better. “There’s a firmness in the texture and depth of flavor to pastured chicken.” BLT sources most of their chicken from Tejas Heritage Farm.
2231 S. Voss Rd., Houston
If you haven’t made your way over to Killen’s STQ by now, it’s time to make the move. Ronnie Killen has shown he knows his beef, but we wanted to make sure that we gave a shout-out to the delicious ½ fried chicken on the menu. Worried about ordering the chicken at a steak restaurant? At STQ, no one will think less of you for ordering this perfectly fried, juicy chicken served with mashed potatoes and spicy collards. When asked why they source local chicken, Teddy Lopez, chef de cuisine, says he loves the flavor of locally raised birds. He started sourcing the restaurant’s chicken from Three Sister Farms in Tomball when STQ opened last year. Oh, and the spicy collards you get with the ½ fried chicken? They’re also local, coming from Gundermann Acres Farm in Wharton county, where Teddy grew up.