If you live near Houston you may have heard of or seen MainStreet America. What is it? It is a large complex that has 12 houses all decorated and designed differently. It is a way for you to get inspiration on just how you would like your own custom home to look like. What you may not know is that it is more than just a home design center. They have their own daily cooking classes so that you can learn to cook in your newly designed kitchen. But they also have a restaurant where you can now find some amazingly good BBQ in unexpected places. The newly redesigned restaurant at MainStreet America is MC Barbeque & Southern Kitchen.
While you may not think that hey I should stop by MainStreet and get lunch today, I think you just might change your mind after you hear some of the incredible dishes that I had the pleasure of taste testing just so that I could share with you. You will soon find good BBQ in unexpected places.
About MC Barbeque & Southern Kitchen:
Chef Lawrence Fogarty has been at the helm of MainStreet America’s restaurant since 2012 when Mike Feigin, MainStreet America CEO brought Fogarty to the team. The two men, who share a love of tailgating and BBQ, are partners in the restaurant venture. No stranger to the kitchen, Chef Fogarty grew up cooking and his culinary influences are a blend of traditional Southern and local Texas ingredients. He attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and he has worked as a chef for 13 years running kitchens for Neiman Marcus in Texas and California. For years Fogarty has been cultivating and honing his skills in the craft of barbeque. A native Texan, Fogarty spent his summers in Austin County, attending many community fundraisers with his grandfather where he helped him man the pits, picking up a love for smoking and a few family secrets along the way.
“Quality speaks for itself. I select the proteins I serve, add seasoning and smoke to enhance the natural flavors, and let the dish do the talking,” says Fogarty. “As for my sauce, well, it’s a sauce like no other. I created a sauce that I think can stand on its own, but is best when paired with bbq” referring to Texas Sweet Heat, his signature barbeque sauce. Whether you’re a fan of Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis or Texas-style sauces Chef Fogarty hopes you’ll soon list Texas Sweet Heat amongst those.
In addition to the good BBQ in unexpected places, the menu is full of spins on Southern Classics, but there are a few that stand out. “We’ve elevated the southern kitchen,” explains Fogarty, pairing favorites like our delicious Asian-inspired baby-back rib and house smoked St. Louis spare ribs to create Dueling Ribs. “It’s East vs. West where no one loses,” jokes Fogarty. In keeping with unique pairings try the house-made Burnt End nachos topped with crispy barbecue bits or the traditional Rueben with smoked brisket and house-made sauerkraut. You can’t go wrong with the ultimate Southern specialty, Shrimp & Grits kicked up a notch with chorizo cream and tomato-tarragon jam—a favorite menu item.
Good BBQ in Unexpected Places
Let me tell you that the Shrimp and Grits was by far my favorite dish that we got to try. Rich and creamy grits with the tangy tomato-tarragon jam was to die for. I could seriously have eaten that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The signature barbeque sauce was the perfect blend of spicy and sweet without being overwhelming. The chef uses it in several of the dishes. On each table are these fried black eyed peas for everyone to enjoy. They remind me of Corn Nuts, but 100 times better! Of course I couldn’t go away without telling you about dessert. The burnt caramel custard with black sea salt was the best end to an amazing array of dishes. I am still drooling just thinking about it.
So the next time you are on I-45 stop by MainStreet America, check out their houses, then sit down for good bbq in unexpected places at MC Barbeque & Southern Kitchen. Take home a bottle of the sauce, you won’t regret it!
The MC Barbeque & Southern Kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. 3 p.m. The restaurant is located in the main building of MainStreet America which is home to 12 unique designer showcase homes, a furniture store and the Main Course Cooking School where you’ll often find Chef Fogarty when he’s not in the restaurant kitchen.