The Goode Company of restaurants has been around for over 40 years, founded by Jim Goode, his ex-wife Liz and Jim’s uncle Joe Dixie when they opened Goode Co. Barbeque in 1977. It has grown into a part familiar from the restaurant in Houston. scene as a local family business with concepts tailored to Texas tastes, from barbecue to Tex-Mex to Gulf Coast seafood. Jim Goode died in 2016, but his son Levi Goode, chef and president of Goode Co., continued the business, opening a number of Goode Company restaurants in the Houston area. The newest, Goode Co. Fish Camp, recently opened on May 3, 2022. It’s a very personal concept that draws inspiration from the Goode family’s heritage and history.
Last week the Houston Press was invited to a taste of space. There were libations and seafood bites served as part of opening night. Not everyone at the preview was a member of the Goode family, but all were treated as such and it reflected the Southern hospitality that Goode’s restaurants are known for.
The new concept is located north of Houston in The Woodlands, or Shenandoah, and is nestled among the trees of the suburban development. Located next to another Goode concept, Goode Co. Kitchen and Cantina, Fish Camp takes over the space that once housed a Goode Co. Barbeque outpost. Now the giant smokers have been removed, for the most part, and a different vibe has replaced the rustic decor.
The new restaurant is light and bright with a color palette that revolves around a hue that falls between blue and green, adding a beachy softness to the interior with its whitewashed wooden planks and various fishing gear. Framed photos by photographer Tim Romano line the walls. The photos are taken from Mike Medrano’s book “Stilt Houses of Texas” and they add a local, coastal vibe to the experience.
All memorabilia was selected by Goode himself, as publicist Paula Murphy told the Hurry. The concept and decor were inspired by the Goode family’s fishing camp on Christmas Bay and are meant to take guests on a virtual trip to the Texas coast.
With a mix of chairs and tables, booths and bar stools, customers can choose what suits them best, whether it’s a quick lunch, happy hour or dinner. extended with friends. There’s also an expansive patio that’s shielded from street traffic noise by a row of trees.
For the preview party, guests received his signature Fish Camp Punch to start. The refreshing fruity drink didn’t seem strong, but in the end it literally packed a punch. The punch is a blend of dark and light rums, fresh pineapple, passion fruit, tiki bitters and fresh lime. Had a Frozen Lemon Eldeflower G&T which this writer didn’t taste, but my mate helped himself to the Pina Colada Hand-Shaken and it was one of the most delicious I’ve ever had. I always thought pina coladas got a bad rap as a retro frou-frou drink, but I love pina coladas. And get caught in the rain.
Like any good seafood-themed restaurant, Fish Camp offers a chilled seafood tower with Gulf oysters, jumbo Gulf shrimp, smoked Gulf fish dip, extra Campechana and crab sticks . The oysters were some of the meatiest and juiciest I’ve seen outside of Pier 6 in San Leon. My companion, Classic Rock Bob, was in heaven. Although there are other accessories for oysters, CRB stuck to its tried and true hit of Tabasco.
The smoked Gulf fish dip was delicious but it was the Campechana de Mariscos that made my taste buds dance. It was a super fresh mix of avocado, shrimp, tomatoes and chili peppers. There was some sort of crab bite, but I wasn’t sure if it was the crab fingers. What I do know is that it was a heaping tablespoon of chunky crab, not overly seasoned, and I could eat it all day, every day.
We also got to sample the Crispy Boudin, which puts standard blood sausages to shame. The surprise of the melty jack cheese inside mixed with the fluffy pudding mixture and the outside was very lightly fried. We had a fried oyster slider which was very tasty, but the SOTX Hot Chicken Sandwich slider was not mind blowing. It needed a lot more heat to call it a hot chicken sandwich.
As we sipped our Fish Camp punches and said yes to more bites of seafood, we welcomed the Woodlanders crowd. Many of the guests seem to be family and friends, with a few influencers and food writers for good measure. The two-man band was out of Beaumont and they played everything from country to western to classic rock. Then, inexplicably, they were offering George Michael and Four Non-Blondes for our listening pleasure. However, when they started Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing,” it was too much for Levi Goode’s petite, pretty mother to resist. She was on the dance floor, quickly joined by her husband, and the two of them showed us the younger ones how it was done.
And that’s the kind of family restaurant that Fish Camp seems to be aiming for. This is a casual place for seafood lovers and patio lovers. In the woods.
Goode Co. fishing camp.
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