Goode Company bringing Texas fare to Woodlands this summer

February 5, 2017 GMT

For Goode Company owner Levi Goode, creating four dining concepts - each with their own signature style - boils down to his heritage and a collection of cultural influence. It began with Goode’s father Jim, who founded Goode Co. in 1977 after word-of-mouth made his homemade, slow-cooked briskets famous.

Forty years later, Goode Co. is a Space City staple, providing the Houston area with Goode Co. Barbeque, Hamburgers and Taqueria, Seafood and Armadillo Palace, which is a saloon-style restaurant and music hall. Seven locations spread across Houston and spilling into Katy, enticing Woodlands residents to commute downtown for a taste of Texas cuisine.

But in April 2016, Goode announced the Goode Co. would be premiering in The Woodlands in a big way. Not one but two restaurants were said to open side-by-side on Research Forest Drive and Six Pines Drive: the original concept, Goode Co. Barbeque, and the newest flavor in the chain, Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina.


In April, Goode estimated the grand opening to be scheduled for January 2017, but January came and went with no big leaps in construction to be seen. So The Villager caught up with Goode to find out when residents can actually expect the restaurant duo to open, as well as what to expect from the premiere of the Kitchen & Cantina.

As of February, the groundwork has been laid and the roof is about to be sealed, which would allow a more solidified timeline of the restaurant’s progression to be set. However, Goode did say construction should be completed by May, allowing for an early summer debut.

Not only will Goode Co. Barbeque and Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina be neighbors, but they will share a large, communal front patio. Goode said all the concepts in the Goode Co. are connected by the idea of being the “trinity of regional Texas food fare,” combining barbeque, Mexican food and fresh Gulf Coast seafood.

“The common thread between our restaurants and concept is regional Texas fare,” he said. “Fajitas and Mexican food are very much a staple in the diets in myself and fellow Texans, as well as BBQ - they fit very well together. They’re like the cornerstones of Texas fare.”

Although Goode Co. is known for traditional cooking, Goode said the concepts are not contrived. Instead, each concept is a product of the Goode family heritage and influenced by communities and experiences, representing the multicultural heart of Texas.

“I’m a fifth-generation Texan,” he said, “but by no means does that mean I’m not a mixed bag of cultural influences.”

The same multicultural infusion goes for all the Goode Co. concepts. The way Goode Co. Barbeque prepares sausage, for example, was taught to Jim Goode in the early 1980s by a Czech immigrant in Central Texas who was a butcher and sausage maker.


“All barbeque is very much immigrant, cultural based,” said Goode, pointing to Central Texas, East Texas and South Texas barbecue having their own distinct flavors influenced by the surrounding cultures.

Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina’s concept built off another brand, Goode Co. Hamburgers and Taqueria on Kirby Drive. Goode’s grandmother was a Mexican immigrant, and it was her recipes that inspired the menu of the taqueria.

The menu at the upcoming location will put an emphasis on specialty grilled meats and seafood, with two large mesquite grills facing the dining area and a full-service bar. Fresh, homemade tortillas will be prepared continually. While Goode wants the menu to be familiar, he also wants to provide The Woodlands with a Tex-Mex restaurant that prepares “straight-forward, high-quality food in an understated way.”

“We’ve had a consistent request to go to The Woodlands from our customers that work in Houston and live in The Woodlands,” Goode said. “We take our customer feedback to heart. We were looking at opening some more restaurants; we looked at the metro area and took it into consideration. But we thought The Woodlands would be a great place.”

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