Lucky Stars

Test your love of Texas at Jim Goode's new cowboy saloon

"I bet you don't have these in Chicago," I ribbed Smiley-Face Jo when she delivered it.

"Of course we do!" she scoffed as she set the dish down rather violently. "We call it ceviche, you call it campechana. It's the same thing," she said, stalking off. I didn't have time to tell her that the raw fish marinated in lime juice called ceviche and Goode Co.'s crab-and-shrimp cocktail are actually apples and aardvarks. But it's probably just as well, since she was carrying a steak knife.

"Here's the country-fried steak or chicken-fried steak or whatever you want to call it," she said when she came back with my dinner. The country-fried steak at the Armadillo Palace is made from a thin slice of Kansas City strip steak rather than the usual tenderized beef. Although the menu said it was "dusted with flour," it appeared to be battered like a typical chicken-fried steak. The cream gravy had a brown tinge and lots of flavor. The country-fried steak was tasty enough, but I prefer the tenderized version.

Helping Smiley-Face Jo pay the rent: Tasty 
country-fried steak and campechana.
Troy Fields
Helping Smiley-Face Jo pay the rent: Tasty country-fried steak and campechana.

Location Info


Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q

5109 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby


Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays

Burger: $7.95
Venison chili: $5.95
Campechana: $9.75
Rib eye: $19.95
Chips and salsa: $3.95

5015 Kirby, 713-526-9700.

I was delighted to discover that the 20-ounce draft of Saint Arnold's Amber I ordered to drink with my dinner was delivered in one of the huge round beer schooners popular in North Texas. These thick cannonball-on-a-stem beer glasses are typically stored in a freezer. They get so cold, the beer freezes around the edges of the glass when it's first poured. And nothing keeps your brew colder longer. The waitress complained that the schooner was ridiculously heavy.

"So do you thank your lucky stars you're in Texas?" I asked Smiley-Face Jo when she brought us our check.

"No," she replied, shaking her head from side to side and scowling. "All my friends ask me why I work here, and I say, 'It pays the rent.' Hey, there wasn't anything on the application that said, 'Yankees need not apply.' "

If you love Texas, juicy burgers, ice-cold beer and good-looking blond bartenders from Clear Lake, Goode's Armadillo Palace may soon become your favorite hangout. But if you can't stand Texas, you may want to visit anyway.

Where better to ridicule rednecks in cowboy hats, fried steaks and all Jim Goode's overwrought "thank your lucky stars you're in Texas" bullshit? Ask for Smiley-Face Jo's section -- you'll be in good company.

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