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Goode's Armadillo Palace: New Cocktail Creations

Goode's Armadillo Palace: New Cocktail Creations


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The Armadillo Palace has a full service bar, live music several days a week, traditional Texas comfort food, and an ambience that captures the spirit of Texas perfectly.

It should be no surprise that the armadillo haunch has a history of drinks: famed fiddle player, Leon "Pappy" Selph, loved to play at the nearby Original Goode Company BBQ for a payment of a mere $65 and a bottle of Jack Daniel's.

Recently, Levi Goode, owner, chef and namesake of the Goode establishments, has been experimenting with creating original cocktails for the Armadillo Palace. One of Levi's favorites is the brisket-infused bourbon cocktail, which was made by incorporating Texas barbecue elements into a classic drink.


Goode's Armadillo Palace: New Cocktail Creations - Recipes

Hand-rolled, punched, and fresh baked with sea salt honey butter and house-made jam

Blue Ribbon Deviled Eggs

Taquitos Dorados

Smoked chicken and Mexican white cheese in crispy corn tortillas with avocado crema

Pork & Green Chile Empanadas

KENEDY RANCH CARNE DISCADA

South Texas vaquero-inspired stew with tender skirt steak, salsa borracha, and handmade corn tortillas

Green Chile Pimento Cheese

Aged white and yellow cheddar, fire-roasted green chiles, house-made crackers, celery

Deer Camp Quail Runners

Bacon-wrapped and roasted over mesquite, served over a bed of jalapeño cream corn

Cantina Queso

Melted American and sharp cheddar cheeses, served with pickled jalapeños and crispy tortilla chips

Guacamole Made-to-order

Served with your choice of bacon, roasted garlic, chicharron, pickled red onion, and crispy tortilla chips

Chile con carne

Fried Pork Skins

Grilled Chicken Skewers

Served with white BBQ sauce


Armadillo Palace expansion opens with a bang July 2

1 of 27 The El Guapo Viejo cocktail at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. The popular restaruant/bar/music venue is holding a party July 2 to celebrate its expansion that includes a new bar, dance hall and patio.
James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

2 of 27 Goode Co. CEO Levi Goode poses for a portrait at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. The popular restaruant/bar/music venue is holding a party July 2 to celebrate its expansion that includes a new bar, dance hall and patio. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

4 of 27 Goode Co. CEO Levi Goode poses for a portrait at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

5 of 27 The Peach Fuzz Mule cocktail at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

7 of 27 A metal floor plaque for Leon "Pappy" Selph as part of a dedication to Texas musicians at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

8 of 27 A metal floor plaque for Leon "Pappy" Self as part of a dedication to Texas musicians at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace June 30, 2016, in Houston. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

10 of 27 The new dance hall at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

11 of 27 A fiddle from country music artist Charlie Daniels at Goode Co. Armadillo. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

13 of 27 A photograph of country music artist Waylon Jennings at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

14 of 27 Goode Co. CEO Levi Goode poses for a portrait at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace June 30, 2016, in Houston. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

16 of 27 A sign inside the Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

17 of 27 The Well-Traveled cocktail at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

19 of 27 Goode Co. CEO Levi Goode poses for a portrait at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

20 of 27 A vintage concert poster at the Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

22 of 27 A vintage concert poster at the Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

23 of 27 Vintage concert posters at the Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

25 of 27 The Well-Traveled cocktail at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

26 of 27 The Goode Co. Armadillo Palace. James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

Levi Goode is ready to show the city a new Armadillo Palace &ndash about three times the size and maybe 10 times the snazz and honky tonk fun.

On Saturday Goode's Armadillo Palace is throwing an Independence Day bash called Red, White & 'Que with beer tastings, complimentary tacos, passed appetizers and live music. The party will mark the debut of the Armadillo Palace expansion that is in every way impressive think of it as a new generation of one of Houston's favorite dining, drinking and live music venues.

Goode, working with Collaborative Projects' Jim Herd, has taken the warehouse space behind Armadillo (formerly an automotive shop) and created a 4,000 square foot Texas dance hall-style venue that is at once brash and romantic, audacious and joyously authentic. At one end guests will find a new bar called the Orange Blossom Bar, inspired by honky tonk fiddler Leon "Pappy" Selph, known for his rendition of "Orange Blossom Special." The bar, designed to look like a bar car (the Orange Blossom Special was passenger train connecting New York and Miami), will sport a new cocktail menu from beverage manager Rob Crabtree who also created an indulgent list of special hooch that includes more than 110 bourbons.

At the other end is a new stage whose backdrop is fashioned from slats of reclaimed wood and emblazoned with the famous Goode logo. In between the bookends is a vaulted hall lined with guitars (Willie Nelson, George Strait, Charlie Daniels, Keith Richards, Tom Petty) and blowups of black and white photos by Henry Horenstein who documented the country music scene in "Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music." The walls also are decorated with music posters from the famed Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin.

"I wanted to create a space that had the intimacy of a cocktail bar but open it up for concerts," Goode said.

To that end Armadillo will be amping up its live music schedule by booking about 80 shows a year. The hall can be configured in different sizes and seating arrangements.

In addition to the bar and music hall, the new space features an expansive outdoor area with its own stage, generous shaded seating, a covered patio the length of the hall, an outdoor bar, and a hearth-style fire pit that can accommodate whole animal cooking for family-style dinners.

As if the new area wasn't cool enough, Goode has another surprise up the sleeve of his pearl snap shirt. On the patio floor he has created a Legendary Texas Musicians Walk of Fame. Think of it as Hollywood Walk of Fame dedicated to 16 iconic musicians born in the Lone Star State, including Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin and Freddy Fender. And, yes, the late Pappy Selph who used to play at Goode Co. Barbecue every Friday night.

Coming soon will be the completion of the Armadillo Palace expansion: a new menu from chef David Luna. A preview of the new menu will be available for purchase on Saturday, including smoked chicken taquitos dorados green chile empanadas campechana made with fire-roasted chiles fried pork skins with cheddar cheese dust and pork carnitas tacos. But that's just a taste. Goode said the new menu is inspired by his family's New World culinary journey that includes the foods of the American South, the Gulf Coast, Texas and Mexico. Dishes planned included wood-fired rotisserie meats, Porterhouse steaks, redfish on the half shell, pig's head "carnitas style" served with house-made corn and flour tortillas, quail, and a shrimp and oyster po'boy.

Tickets for Red, White & 'Que are $15 per person. Doors open at 4 and the party goes until 10 p.m. The party includes music by Roxy Roca, complimentary tacos, passed appetizers and beer tastings from Buffalo Bayou Brewery. Half the ticket proceeds will benefit Lone Star Veterans Association dedicated to serving the local veteran community.

Armadillo Palace, 5015 Kirby, will open to the public at 10 p.m.

Goode said he's excited to show the public a project he's been planning for three years. "We're ready to have this baby," he said.


Goode's Armadillo Palace: New Cocktail Creations - Recipes

Goode Company’s Armadillo Palace received a facelift last year after undergoing a renovation that included a new bar, dance hall, inviting backyard and, perhaps most importantly, a kitchen expansion. The Texas saloon/dance hall – a destination for Texas food, music, entertainment and all around Southern hospitality – launched their new lunch and dinner menu on Friday, April 21.

The kitchen renovation was completed the week of April 10, and owner Levi Goode and R&D chef David Luna (previously of Flora & Muse, Shade, Line & Lariat) have been antsy to debut the restaurant’s new menu. It has everything a Houstonian would want – “flavors rooted in the salt of the Gulf, soul of the South, spice of Mexico and the mesquite smoke of Texas.”

Fried pork skins with white cheddar dust at the Armadillo Palace

We stopped in last week, and Levi and Luna gave us a comprehensive tour of the new menu. There’s lots to choose from, and many of the new options are meant to be shared, like the fried pork skins (photo above) that are dusted with white cheddar. At $4, these are a cheap (and cheesy) eat. They’ll still be poppin’ when they hit the table. And don’t overlook the bread basket ($5, photo below). Freshly baked cornbread and buttermilk biscuits are served with seasonal jams and a beer-shallot butter. Just hope that the rest of your food comes out not long after the basket o’ bread – once you start you can’t stop.

The Back Porch Bread Basket

Wash down the carbs with one of the new cocktails created by Rob Crabtree, like the refreshing Luckenbach Mule ($9) with vodka, Ancho Reyes, ginger, watermelon, lime and soda. It’s light and bright with a tasteful amount of ginger.

Of course, Goode Company’s classics like seafood campechana, Gulf oysters, seafood gumbo and po’boys still find their place on the menu. But if you’re stopping in to check out what’s new, try the already-popular Deer Camp Quail Runners ($14, photo below). Quail legs are bacon-wrapped and roasted over mesquite and served on a bed of white cheddar grits and roasted tomatoes. It’s all about the smoke on these little legs, and the juices that have come together at the bottom of the skillet make for a slightly-sweet and complex dipping sauce.

It’s easy to pass up a salad at a place like this, and, frankly if we were eating on our own, we most likely would have. Thank goodness we had menu guides, because we’ve already developed a craving for the charred romaine salad ($7, photo below). The wedge of romaine has an intensely deep smoked flavor that pairs lovely with the bright pickled red onion, queso fresco and nutty pepitas. It’s drizzled with a creamy Parmesan chive dressing to bring it all together.

A new entree item that, according to the restaurant, represents the aforementioned “four pillars of the Goode’s culinary journey” is the heritage pig’s head carnitas ($26, serves two or more, photo below). Milk-fed pork is cooked carnitas-style and served with fresh salsas and hand-made tortillas. The pig’s head is brought to the table with the same wow factor as a sizzling, steaming plate of fajitas. The head is already pre-scored, so run the knife under the meat and you’ll get chunks of moist pig’s head with crispy, charred skin.

Two other noteworthy entrees that will take you in different directions are the redfish on the half shell ($27), simply prepared and will “save you a sunburn,” and the 12-ounce heritage pork rib chop ($26, photo below) that is house-cured and slow roasted over mesquite coals, served with tomato-bacon jam and a slab of pork belly.

Need help deciding among sides to share? The creamed corn ($6) is jazzed up with Mexican spices, cheese and cilantro for an elote-like take on the Southern side dish. And the rosemary-scented duck fat skillet potatoes ($6) are as addicting as that bread basket.

And we know not to skip out on dessert at a Goode Company restaurant (ahem, pecan pie), and the Armadillo Palace is no exception. The Texas sheet cake ($6, add $2 for vanilla ice cream, photo above) is moist, not too dense and topped with candied pecans, and the strawberry tequila cobbler ($6, photo below) will brighten up your palate after a meal of smoked meat.


Best Of :: Food & Drink

Armadillo Palace serves up some great Texas bistro fries. Thin cut with skins on and ­sprinkled with just enough seasoned salt, these fries are perfectly paired with a side of Goode Company's famous BBQ sauce. The ­secret here is frying them twice, so they're crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. If you like a fantastic burger and fries and don't mind listening to country music and ­being ogled by taxidermy, then Armadillo ­Palace is well worth a visit.

When it comes to stuff-your-face gluttony, no one does it better than the Asian-inspired all-you-can-eat buffet at V Star. Located in a strip mall just off of I-45, this place almost literally has it all. A fruit bar, salad makings, a soup station and a seafood bar overflowing with oysters on the half shell, shrimp, king crab legs and spicy crawfish get your engine revved. Next, choose from more than a dozen types of sushi before ambling over to the two long buffet carts continuously refilled with more than 30 entrées. Selections range from fried chicken wings and pizza to typical Chinese fare you'd expect to see at a buffet, such as General Tso's chicken, Szechuan beef, egg foo young and lo mein. Oh, and don't forget dessert. While gluttony can quickly turn to sloth, diners will feel light and virtuous having paid only $9.25 for this belly-busting treat.

Sure, the food is good, but at The Grove, it's all about ambience. Patrons walk through the entrance and face a soaring wall of windows that look out onto the oak trees and lawns in Discovery Green Park. The dark wood floors and ceiling add a homey touch to this otherwise sleek and modern-looking restaurant that bleeds almost seamlessly into its tranquil park surroundings. Essentially one large room, the restaurant has an open, airy feel it's a great place to relax on a Sunday afternoon or be seen amongst the well-heeled formal diners at night. If a full meal is too much, then take the elevator up to the Tree House, a bar and wooden balcony/patio ensconced within the city skyline that offers one of the most relaxing views around.

Friendly, accommodating and spotlessly clean, this top-notch barbecue joint has recently opened in Acres Homes not far from the ashes of the late great William's Smokehouse. Owner Clarence Pierson is a bear of a man who knows his smoked meats. He cooks on an honest-to-God, wood-fueled, Houston-made Klose barbecue pit &mdash not one of those gas-fired stainless steel virtual barbecue pits that burn a little wood every now and then. Pierson's deeply smoked brisket is remarkable, and his pork ribs are tender yet chewy. The Louisiana-style beans are mixed with meat and lots of seasonings so they resemble a cross between baked beans and chili. Desserts include homemade peach cobbler and bread pudding. There's one big family-style table in the middle of the dining room &mdash pull up a chair and make some new friends.

If the downtown sausage-fest or the jock-stock in the village are not your cup of tea, the Stag's Head and their quality-over-quantity beer selection can be a haven for hopheads. Rather than trying to carry as many beers as possible or using gimmicks, they put some thought into the beers they pour, including Belhaven, Full Sail Pale Ale and Fuller's ESB. With plenty of beer specials and good food, they even make a decent cocktail. Unlike many beer joints around town, the Stag does more than just pull a beer into a pint glass and charge you more for it than a gallon of gas.

Sure, Houston's is part of a national chain, but boy do they know how to mix one hell of a Bloody. Located on Kirby just south of 59, the upscale eatery doesn't hammer its customers with too much pepper and heat, opting for a less spicy and more flavorful approach to one of America's favorite weekend hangover cures. In addition to tomato juice, their recipe includes homemade cocktail sauce, lots of horseradish and just the perfect hint of Worcester. Many mixes unfortunately don't have enough horseradish, but luckily, that's not a problem at Houston's. Here, a straw is almost useless because of the delicious bits floating throughout the Bloody Mary that for only $7.50 will leave you feeling like you just had the perfect meal.

Owners Laurence and Chris Paul of Café Rabelais fame have managed to create an authentic brasserie experience in the heart of Montrose with their Brasserie Max & Julie. With not too much imagination, you'll be transported to Paris in an instant, and not just by the decor. They have Kronenbourg on tap and an excellent selection of French wines that won't break the bank. Now all that's left is to select from the extensive menu of traditional brasserie favorites like soupe à l'oignon, escargots, foie gras or pâté as a starter. For your main course, you can't go wrong with the steak tartare et frites, the boeuf bourguignon or the cassoulet. Finish with a soufflé. All of these classic dishes are prepared perfectly, and you won't find a more charming place than this one.

The farmhouse loaf made by brothers Louis and Robert Wu is a dense loaf of bread, about 15 inches long, in the shape of an elongated football that is dusted with flour, which makes everything it comes into contact with white. And it is so crunchy that taking a bite may cause scratches in your mouth. This loaf is served in many of the finest Italian restaurants in town and is absolutely the best for dipping in olive oil. Served with nothing but butter, it is addictive, whether it's the day it's purchased or the next day and, once it has begun to harden a little, as toast. There's only one thing wrong with this loaf, and that's that it sells out quickly.

It's a good thing this taqueria is a weekend-only breakfast spot. If not, we'd be sinking our teeth into the migas seven days a week. You might have to wait in line to place your order, but once you have, sit back and have some of Goode Company Taqueria's fresh-squeezed orange juice on the relaxing patio or the funky indoor area, and soon enough, your name will be called. Hot plates of gorgeous pecan waffles are light with real homemade flavor. Savory egg dishes are all over the menu have them with meats mixed in, or go for a succulent side of quail. The coffee's great, but with Taqueria's laid-back vibe, no one will look twice if you insist on getting one of the thick cinnamon chocolate shakes to start your morning right.

The meat used for the barbacoa de Borrego is lamb, and it's lighter in color and slightly sweeter than the traditional beef used in most barbacoa found in the finest taco joints in Houston. It makes for a great taco, whatever the time of day. The lamb is slow-cooked in traditional Mexican spices until it falls apart. In a homemade corn tortilla smeared with refried beans and topped with nothing but chopped onions, cilantro and hot sauce, it is one of the best tacos you'll ever eat &mdash and at $2, one of the cheapest, as well. Pity it's available only on weekends. Readers' Choice: Taco's a Go-Go

Apart from the fabulous food served here every Sunday, it's also the best bargain in Houston with a sumptuous buffet priced at an incredible $12.99 per person. And as if that weren't enough, bottomless mimosas go for $7.99 and bottomless sangria for $8.99. Start out with a warming bowl of sopa de camarones, a cream-based soup that is as chock-full of seafood as it is with veggies. Skip the made-to-order omelets and waffles &mdash unless you just have to have them &mdash and try the shrimp-stuffed jalapeños, the Salvadoran pupusas wrapped in banana leaves, the migas or the corn or spinach enchiladas. End with the chipotle beef or the pan-fried tilapia. But make sure you try the unbelievable desserts, which include a flan, an incredible tres leches and a bread pudding with whisky sauce.

The 105 Grocery & Deli is located in the rural hamlet of Washington, not far from Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. Inside, there are a lot of cold drink cases and about six tables scattered around the interior. The burgers are made on a griddle behind the cash register. They come wrapped in tissue paper in a paper-lined blue plastic basket full of golden fries. The meat bulges out of the bun. It is unevenly shaped, with a lot of charred crispy areas along the edges. Each patty appears to be around two-thirds of a pound. A round piece of iceberg and two tomato slices are positioned underneath the burger in the "upside down" configuration with a modest sprinkling of chopped onions and a couple of pickle slices. The puffy oversize bun is well toasted and spread with yellow mustard and Miracle Whip. If they switched from salad dressing to real mayo, it would probably be the best burger in Texas.


Goode Company Restaurants to launch Goode Bird new fried chicken to go concept

Goode Company announced on Friday that Goode Bird, which operates out of the kitchen at Armadillo Palace at 5015 Kirby Dr., will debut on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

One of Houston&rsquos most recognizable restaurant chains has launched a new to-go only concept.

Goode Company announced on Friday that Goode Bird, which operates out of the kitchen at Armadillo Palace at 5015 Kirby Dr., will debut on Sunday.

The menu shines the spotlight on Southern fried chicken. An all-natural whole or half-bird is brined with thyme, coated with seasoned buttermilk and honey, and dusted with flour before being deep-fried.

Instead of fried, you can opt for a spit-roasted chicken seasoned with fresh rosemary, lemon and garlic and roasted over a mesquite fire.

Starters range from biscuits with sea salt honey butter to green chile pimento cheese, while sides include collard greens, fried okra, pimento mac and cheese, jalapeno creamed corn, mashed potatoes, Cajun dirty rice, fried okra, hand-cut fries and red beans and rice.

Salads (think the BLT Chopped with thick-cut bacon, heirloom tomatoes, Blue Cheese crumbles, scallion buttermilk dressing and cornbread croutons), a house burger and chicken sandwich and chicken tenders are also on the menu.

For dessert, choose from Goode Company staples such as Brazos bottom pecan pie and chocolate cream pie.

The drink menu features three champagnes by the bottle, beers by the can or by the bottle and cocktails like the Mezcal Margarita with fresh watermelon syrup, orange liqueur and lime juice.

Chef/owner of Goode Company Restaurants Levi Goode said his love for fried chicken inspired the new concept.

"For years I&rsquove been wanting to open a &lsquochicken joint&rsquo where I could really let my Southern roots shine, and I decided that if there was ever a time when people needed a bit of comfort, it&rsquos definitely now,&rdquo Goode said in the release. &ldquoWe want Goode Bird to bring back memories of casual weekend meals with the family, dishes made from scratch with simple ingredients and soulful seasonings and served with love. The only difference is we&rsquoll do all of the work and you can spend more time with family and friends making new memories.&rdquo

Goode Bird&rsquos menu will be available weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Orders can be placed by calling 713-999-4180 for pick-up at 5015 Kirby Dr. Delivery is available via Doordash and Grubhub.

One percent of all purchases will be donated to various Houston charities.


Get a Look at the New Goode Company Armadillo Palace

By Goode Company Armadillo Palace 11/23/2016

Get a Look at the New Goode Company Armadillo Palace

Goode Company Armadillo Palace has been offering up live country music, and serving up popular Texas-style dishes, for more than a decade. But, like any quality business, the Goode Company - which opened Armadillo Palace in 2004 – isn’t one to get complacent.

So rather than being content with one of the city’s most popular country music venues, the owner of Armadillo Palace undertook a full-scale expansion and renovation. The new-and-improved Armadillo Palace was on display in July with an Independence Day bash titled, “Red, White and ‘Que.” The all-day event featured beer and food tastings with live music.

While Armadillo Palace remained open during construction, locals have been treated to a new experience since the Kirby Drive institution was unveiled this summer. What was once a 5,400-square-foot restaurant has now morphed to include an indoor live music venue with a cocktail bar, outdoor beer garden and live music stage. The venue, which has since tripled in size, is now able to hold more than 1,000 people. That includes converting what was once a warehouse space into a 4,000-square-foot Texas-style honky-tonk.

Armadillo Palace regulars, and those new to the venue, are in for a real treat with the country joint’s new and updated amenities.

A Celebration of Live Music

Armadillo Palace, prior to its renovation, already ranked among the city’s finest and most popular honky-tonks. But with an expanded space and larger dance hall, Armadillo Palace has staked its claim as one of Houston’s premier live music venues. Major players on the country scene are beginning to take notice Chris Knight and Houston’s own Charlie Robison are playing a gig at the Armadillo Palace’s new backyard stage on December 16. Other upcoming shows include Southern Slang and the Black Lillies.

Houston, particularly from October until April or May, is patio weather at its finest, something the Armadillo Palace owner took into account when planning its future. The venue’s backyard area now includes a live music stage, large patio, lounge-style seating and Airstream satellite bar. And for the months of May-September, when the city can safely be labeled balmy, Armadillo Palace’s outdoor space features sun shades and climate-controlled areas with fans.

Armadillo Palace isn’t just a Texas-style country joint it also wants patrons to remember those musicians who helped blaze the trail of Texas country. The venue now showcases a Texas Musicians’ Walk of Fame, a tribute to 16 legendary singer-songwriters born in Texas. That includes such iconic artists as Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin and Joe Ely, the latter of whom signed his Walk of Fame plaque following a recent performance.

And because the Goode Company is all about celebrating its roots, Armadillo Palace has a plaque celebrating the late Leon “Pappy” Selph, the famous Houston fiddler who once played every Friday night at the original Goode Company Barbeque Restaurant (which resides across the street from Armadillo Palace). Armadillo Palace also pays tribute to Selph via its Orange Blossom Bar. The fiddler often performed his rendition of the Orange Blossom Special, and is sometimes credited as the song’s writer. The song and bar were inspired by the Orange Blossom Special, a deluxe passenger train that connected New York and Miami. The bar features an expansive cocktail menu, including more than 100 different bourbon selections.

The Armadillo Palace’s look wasn’t the only thing to get an overhaul. Goode Company will use the venue’s renovation as a chance to shake up its food menu. Current favorites campechana, venison chili, and the yardbird sandwich will remain, while new offerings will include smoked chicken taquitos, pork carnitas, fried pork skins, and many more dishes that celebrate culinary offerings of the Gulf Coast, Texas and Mexico.

Whether it be for an office holiday party, rodeo festivities or even a birthday party, Armadillo Palace has always been a hotspot to host private events. With an expanded bar and backyard, not to mention a brand new dancehall, Armadillo Palace continues to rank among the top private event spaces in the city. If you are looking to host a corporate event, or even if you and some friends simply want to blow out one big crawfish boil, Armadillo Palace has you covered.


New Rolling Bar Brings Goode Company Drinks and Food to You

Yonderlust is making moves. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

The cocktail of the night featured gin, Prosecco, watermelon and chile.

Chef Troy Guard showed off his style with lamb sliders.

You haven't lived until you've tried this pickled shrimp.

The party inspired the mesquite grilled oysters recipe.

You can't say no to Guard's pickeld shrimp.

Mark Stalling provided the tunes.

The dinner collab was a great success.

People couldn't get enough of Yonderlust.

The dinner drew quite the crowd.

Yonderlust is available for all your catering needs.

I t’s time for a hell of a good drink on wheels. Goode Company, of barbecue, taqueria, seafood, cantina and giant Armadillo fame, has created a roving bar. Think of an all-new concept in old-school digs.

Yonderlust Mobile Airstream Bar is beefing up Goode Co.’s catering business, bringing eight to 10 draft cocktails, frozen drinks and handy bartenders to your door. Or garage. Wherever, really. It’s a well-oiled watering hole on the move.

And it promises updates on classic cocktails like Pimm’s Cups and Old Fashioneds — all served instantly. The official “debut” took place at Armadillo Palace on Wednesday night, even though Yonderlust’s already made a River Oaks splash.

It’s about 6 pm on a Wednesday, and Goode Co. Armadillo Palace is heating up — literally. A delicious-smelling cloud pours out of the smoker, set off by the breeze that’s been picking up, along with the cloud cover.

Chefs and cooks are slicing and dicing for the night’s special collaboration dinner between Levi Goode and Denver chef Troy Guard, who’s opening his very own steakhouse called Guard and Grace in Downtown Houston this November.

Guard may be from Colorado, but this isn’t his first Texas rodeo. This is the third of these collaboration suppers — other hosts include Drake Leonard at Eunice — but it’s the first that isn’t a sit-down kind of deal.

Goode had suggested a more casual ambience, with waiters passing around the hors d’oeuvres like Redfish dip on house-toasted baguettes. Guard was all for it.

Standing tables were set up on the sprawling patio, flanked by food stations, with four to five dishes from each of the chefs.

The crown jewel sat at the far back, a gleaming silver Airstream bearing a “BARTAY” license plate because of course.

Goode is winding his way through the growing crowd in his tan-colored cowboy hat, greeting familiar faces and strangers alike.

“I just thought it was kind of a cool project I wanted to do. It’s a 1968 Airstream Trailer called a Globetrotter,” Goode tells PaperCity. It may just trot around Texas, but it’ll go all over.

“I purchased it right about three years ago with the idea of turning it into a mobile bar. What better than having a cool prop for an event that’s also functional and can handle quenching thirsts at parties? It’s a great extension to the Armadillo Palace catering and events business,” Goode says.

There isn’t anything like it in town, which he proved at its unveiling at the Mens Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club last month.

“It was out there nine days. Available for people to just walk up and get a cold drink. Everybody loved it,” Goode notes.

It’s just about ready to roll. “Phones are already ringing. People want to be the first ones to have it at their event or backyard party. I’m looking forward to making some memories and getting it out on the road,” he adds.

Meanwhile, beverage director Kyle Bell is running around the outdoor space, handing people the night’s signature cocktail: the Feisty Sardía, a drink of gin, watermelon, chili liqueur, lemon and prosecco. It’s got a little kick, just as it should in the Texas springtime.

“It’s been pretty popular, that’s awesome,” he laughs.

A woman standing at one of the tables accidentally knocks over an almost-empty cup with the ice-cold dregs of a Damne Good Margarita. Bell is over in a flash with a whole new round of margaritas, with a cocktail for everyone at the table.

“Yonderlust will obviously have frozen margaritas. They’re a staple for us at all of our concepts. I’ll go toe-to-toe with any other house margarita in the world. I’m biased, but the name fits,” Bell says.

People couldn’t get enough of Yonderlust.

Bell’s tasked with creating Yonderlust’s array of seasonal and rotating specialty cocktails. “We’ve barely kind of chipped the iceberg here on what we can do. I’ve got ideas for frozen Lynchburg Lemonades, whiskey Cokes,” Bell notes.

“Sometimes I close my eyes at night and it looks like a rolling Daiquiri bar in New Orleans with big Styrofoam cups,” he laughs. “Maybe at another time, we’re not ready for that yet.”

Guest’s recommendations helped catalyze a lot of the specialty cocktails. The new French 75 features a little elderflower, with floral notes to bring out the season.

Yonderlust has excited the whole team at Goode Co. “It’s not a new restaurant, but it feels like it,” Bell says.

Like Goode, Bell is most driven by the ease and convenience of the trailer. “It’s real simple. A quality, hand-crafted cocktail at the pull of a handle. We can literally pick it up and move it any time, any place. Wherever the call needs,” he adds.

Ready to Roll

This new rolling bar stands for what the Goode Co. brand strives for. “Being ready to do anything that’s asked. We don’t ever want to say no to somebody,” Bell says.

Goode feels it fits in with the philosophy, too. “It’s right in line with what we stand for. Fun, love, good time, food and drink, spending time with people,” he says.

“I don’t think there’s anything more special than being able to share the bounties of our region and state. Our little slice of hospitality is making sure people enjoy them. Plus, people tend to be a little happier with a drink in their hand and a bite of food in their mouth.”

On Goode’s side, that looked like a new recipe: mesquite grilled oysters with chile de arbol-epazote butter and seasoned breadcrumbs.

Plus crawfish tamales and his personal favorite, the rotisserie prime rib.

“We’ve got bone-in ribeye rolls that have been cooked over mesquite fire since early this morning, very slowly. You know, like you might do on the range, like cowboys might have done a couple hundred years ago,” Goode chuckles.

He topped it off with aged chimichurri, fresh horseradish cream and marinated roasted heirloom tomatoes.

Guard boasts a wide variety in his dishes, highlighting his personal flair. “I wanted to showcase what Troy Guard is all about, this is what we do. We did a Colorado lamb, sous vide for 48 hours, then barbecued with green chili, pineapple and ramp pico,” Guard notes.

Then, grilled hot links with housemade beer mustard, pickled gulf shrimp with fennel, Thai basil and olive oil, and even an octopus ceviche.

You’ll note a lot of Guard’s choices were inspired by the ocean. “People down here like a lot more seafood than in Denver, which is exciting and fun, so I definitely recognize that,” he laughs.

These collaborative dinners are teaching Guard what Houston is all about, prepping for Guard & Grace’s opening this fall. He’s all in on the city.

“I’m invested. I love the city, I love the community. We want to be down here as much as we can,” he says. He even closed on a condo this week.

“I’ve learned a lot. The people are great. What I’ve seen is everyone is excited about food, everyone loves food and going out and having a ball. They like big bold flavors,” he adds.

Keep your eye out for Guard & Grace’s opening this fall — and for Yonderlust. You’ll find the impressive aluminum bar drifting from Goode Co. concept to Goode Co. concept. And maybe even at your well-connected friend’s backyard barbecue.


Houston’s New Fried Chicken Hit is Flocking to The Woodlands for a Pop-Up Test — Goode Bird Has Wings

Levi Goode is taking his Goode Bird fried chicken to The Woodlands for a two-day pop-up. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

Levi Goode, the chef/restaurateur behind Goode Bird and the entire family of Goode Co. restaurants. (Photo courtesy of Goode Company)

Goode Bird sides range from fried okra, to green chili pimento cheese, Cajun dirty rice and more. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

This image of Goode Bird's buttermilk fried chicken could not look any more delicious. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

It's to-go only and orders required in advance for Goode Bird offerings. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

The Goode Bird menu includes adult beverages to-go. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

Goode Company Yonderlust mobile bar (Photo by Allison Moorman)

C hef/restaurateur Levi Goode’s newly-launched fried chicken venture, Goode Bird, has already proven so wildly successful at Goode Co.’s Armadillo Palace kitchen on Kirby that he is taking wing to The Woodlands for two days of pop-ups. If all goes well, Woodlands residents could expect a permanent finger-lickin’ Goode offering.

Goode began serving Southern style fried chicken and made-from-scratch sides and desserts in mid-July in a to-go only format that has been such a hit that most days are sellouts.

“I have a serious love for fried chicken and cooking it at home for meals around the table,” Goode says in a statement. “For years I’ve been wanting to open a ‘chicken joint’ where I could really let my Southern roots shine, and I decided that if there was ever a time when people needed a bit of comfort, it’s definitely now. We are so happy with the response from our diners Inside the Loop, and are excited to see how our Woodlands-area diners like Goode Bird.”

Goode’s fresh, hormone- and antibiotic-free, all-natural chicken from the Texas Hill Country is bathed in a thyme brine, seasoned buttermilk and Texas honey and dusted with flour. It’s deep-fried golden and crunchy. Offerings include spit-roasted chicken, chicken sandwiches and salads.

In addition to ordering a half bird or whole bird, chicken fingers are offered along with fresh buttered biscuits, deviled eggs, fried okra, slow-cooked greens, Cajun dirty rice and more. The desserts include the Goode Co.‘s famous Brazos Bottom pecan pie, chocolate cream pie, warm chocolate chip cookies and crispy peanut butter chocolate bars.

In appreciation of the community’s longterm support of the Goode Co. stable of restaurants, 1 percent of all sales from Goode Bird will be given to local charities.

This image of Goode Bird’s buttermilk fried chicken could not look any more delicious. (Photo by Allison Moorman)

The pop-ups are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23, with pickup available from noon to 8 pm at Goode Co. BBQ on Six Pines Drive. (The barbecue component is temporarily closed due to COVID-19). All orders must be made in advance. Walk-ups will not be allowed.

Orders must be placed in advance for both The Woodlands pop-up and the Armadillo Palace location. Order online here or by calling 713-999-4180.

Adding to the fried chicken spice is Goode’s Yonderlust mobile bar, an Airstream-turned-bar that brings signature cocktails, ice cold beer and wine to private events. It will be on site during the pop-ups. The menu includes cocktails such as Damn Goode Margaritas, spiked lemonade, Damn Goode bloody Mary’s and mimosas, to name a few.


Goode's Armadillo Palace: New Cocktail Creations - Recipes

Houstonians, how many chopped-beef sandwiches have you eaten in your life?

I’ve eaten at least 200 brisket sandwiches from Goode Co. Barbeque in my lifetime, and probably way more. Growing up in Memorial, the Katy Freeway location near Campbell was a regular hangout for our family and neighbors, classmates and teammates after lacrosse games and scout meetings and ballet classes. My dad often picked up barbecue on Sunday afternoons, bringing it home so that my family could feast on sausage, ribs and foil-wrapped chopped-brisket sandwiches on jalapeno cheese bread.

Goode Co. Barbeque. Photo courtesy of Facebook

When family visited from out of state, we’d spend an evening showing them Goode Co. with the stuffed bison (that terrified my little brother for a few years), saddles and Western bric-a-brac. When we needed to send a gift to a friend or relative across the country, we’d send them a pecan pie in a wooden box, branded with the famous words of the late Jim Goode: “You Might Give Some Serious Thought to Thanking Your Lucky Stars You’re In Texas.”

We were happy to be the annoying Tex-centric relatives living south of the Mason Dixie line. Even my uncle Shawn, who moved to the Houston area after 26 years serving around the world in the U.S. Air Force, has grown to love Goode Co. barbecue. He’s been unwell this past year, and while he was in the hospital in Cypress, we brought him, yes, chopped-beef sandwiches when we visited to lift his spirits and revive his appetite.

Goode Co. Barbeque pecan pie. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Last week my mom and I attended Jim Goode’s funeral, which was a true celebration of one man’s life. There were several references to his legacy in the Houston restaurant world and to his pioneering efforts in creating quality barbecue before he ever planted the seeds of a Goode Co. empire. While Jim was not well the last several years, his son Levi has directed the maintenance of Goode restaurants — in fact, the Armadillo Palace is in the middle of a big re-model/expansion, and they’ve strenghened the bar’s cocktail program – and kept the brand fresh.

Like Tex-Mex, barbecue is hotly debated amongst Texans. I have learned that I enjoy several styles however, having grown up with the Goode Co. menu, that’s probably what registers for me as most preferred. I even become sentimental about Goode-style barbecue. After all, often what we love most about the “right” way to prepare food is that it’s reflective of what makes us most comfortable.

Goode Co. Barbeque. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Jim Goode’s funeral caused me to think all weekend about a few different things, including what it’s like to try and uphold a brand your successful parent has worked hard to build. I wondered why diners are always so focused on what is new and supposedly better? (This in a world where some of the best food is produced by well-practiced professionals using very old methods that are, ironically, “trendy” again, such as organic – it’s the original way of farming, remember? – and local.) I thought about Houston and how fickle diners can be and how chefs and operators have to strike just the right balance between being original, but not too original (i.e. weird).

We want our restaurants to reflect the “real” Houston, not Los Angeles or New York City or, God forbid, Dallas. We like all the newest, hottest, trendiest places until the morning we wake up and rediscover Houston’s mainstays and mom-and-pop hole-in-the-walls, the successful by-their-bootstrap, family-owned restaurants that we’d briefly forgotten. What were we thinking?

Yesterday Teresa and I attempted to meet Becca, our associate editor, for lunch at very posh new spot. Having not anticipated all of the ladies who lunch, I was cursing the clumsily designed parking lot and felt a panic attack coming on while creeping two mph past double-parked cars and a long line at the valet. Watching beautiful women with handbags that cost more than what I make in a year slide out of leather seats and trot into the restaurant, I thought “This is not what I want right now.” Suddenly, I knew I needed barbecue.

Pizzitola’s sampler platter. Photo by Becca Wright

At Pizzitolas Bar-B-Cue, another long-time Houston barbecue empire run by a Houston family, we three shared a sampler platter (photo above). There’s nothing more anti-ladies-who-lunch than telling the waitress, “We may need an additional slab of ribs.” Unless you’re a Houston lady, perhaps.

My mom, Teresa, is constantly well-coiffed. Becca is always accessorized to perfection. I was wearing my best Morticia Addams-meets-Selena black suede bedazzled fringe jacket. There were iced teas and Lone Star beers, and we talked about how Kevin McGowan, one of our talented photographers, captured the spirit of Pizzitola’s in the current issue of My Table. It was a nice, laid-back lunch in a family-owned restaurant where they’re doing everything right, the old school way.

Pizzitola’s ribs. Photo by Kevin McGowan

After lunch, Mr. Pizzitola (photo below) caught us as we headed to our cars and even invited us back inside to see the pit, which is reconstructed from the original restaurant that later became Pizzitola’s a lifetime ago. The pit had been transported, brick by brick, from the original location – which I-10 now runs through – and re-built inside the kitchen on Shepherd. It is wood burning and uses weights and pulleys to allow it to be opened and closed without slamming down on anyone.

While the outside is well cleaned, and the grill is free of grit, the flames jumping up and licking the foil-wrapped baked potatoes allow enough light inside to see years of smoke on the inner walls of the bricks. It’s probably held more than a million pounds of meat over the generations, and it’s possibly one of the oldest pits in Houston, with food cooked and served by hardworking people, the old-fashioned way. And it was perfect.


Axelrad Beer Garden Arrow

From Acapulco chairs in fun colors to people-shaped bar tap handles from Venezuela, a Central and South American theme flows through the interior of this warm and inviting craft beer bar in Midtown, which is set in a century-old renovated building that was once a grocery store. The expansive outdoor patio is home to a large tree-turned-art-project, live music, and a projector that flashes art—or even movies—on a giant wall throughout the week. Most customers have a beer in-hand—there are 30 on draft and 50 more in bottles. Kombucha is on draft here, too, and mingles with vodka in one of the 10-plus original cocktails. The Inner Looper is made with cucumber vodka, melon liqueur, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup the cheekily named Impeachmint, meanwhile, has peach vodka, peach schnapps, lime juice, mint, and ginger ale.


Watch the video: Turquoise Thunderbird (June 2022).


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