I was certainly expecting an eatery devoted to Texas eats to have some commonplace Texas contacts. You know, a cowhide or two on the floor, a meshed tether on the divider, bandanna napkins. Checks out, isn’t that so? However, the creators of Wild Oats had an alternate thought for this three-month-old spot, situated in the recently patched up Houston Farmers Market. They went for knotty-pine seats, oilcloth-covered tables, and a checkerboard tile floor. The main buckaroo contact in proof was close to the bar, where columns of Texas style caps were mounted on the divider like so many deer prizes. This spot isn’t about the Texas of enormous skies and vast areas, the stylistic theme appeared to be saying. It’s about your grandma’s kitchen.
“We are simply starting to expose what we can find out about Texas food,” said Nick Fine, the energetic 39-year-old leader culinary specialist, as he came by our table on the first of my two visits to the café in March. Wild Oats is the most recent in the consistently developing program of eating ideas drove by tireless Houston culinary expert Chris Shepherd, head of Underbelly Hospitality. Since the time Shepherd and Fine, his culinary chief, began to conjure up the task, back in 2020, Fine has been fixated on the dishes Texans consider their own, searching out neighborhood strengths when he voyages and poring over customary plans. “I want to have seen the pile of old cookbooks I had on the lounge area table,” he said. “The ones from chapel bunches are astounding. I’d get back home from work and go through them consistently. I probably recorded hundred and at least fifty thoughts that sounded promising. My better half at long last said, ‘Scratch, you must stop.’ ”
The Boerne-conceived culinary specialist plans to respect conventional plans, while giving every one an unmistakable wind. Underside, his accomplice Shepherd’s most renowned café (open from 2012 to 2018), praised the dishes of Houston’s immense and different populace of workers, in both their unadulterated structure and with current twists. In that soul, Fine and Shepherd are consciously riffing on Texas’ prototype plans. “I need,” Fine says, “to grow our opinion on the food of our state.”