Restaurant News

A Peek at Fish Camp from Goode Company

Plump and pretty oysters shine at Fish Camp.
Plump and pretty oysters shine at Fish Camp. Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

The Goode Company of restaurants has been around for more than 40 years, founded by Jim Goode, his former wife Liz and Jim's uncle, Joe Dixie, when they opened Goode Co. Barbeque in 1977. It has become a familiar part of the Houston restaurant scene as a home-grown family-owned business with concepts geared to Texas tastes from barbecue to Tex-Mex to Gulf Coast seafood. Jim Goode passed away in 2016 but his son Levi Goode, chef and president at Goode Co., has carried on the business, opening a number of Goode Company restaurants in the Houston area. The newest, Goode Co. Fish Camp, recently opened May 3, 2022. It is a concept that is very personal and draws inspiration from Goode's family heritage and history.
click to enlarge The party's already started at Fish Camp. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The party's already started at Fish Camp.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Last week, the Houston Press was invited to a sneak preview of the space.  There were libations and seafood bites served as part of the opening party. Not everyone at the preview was a Goode family member but all were treated as such and it reflected the Southern welcome for which Goode restaurants are known.
click to enlarge Levi Goode gives his guests a thumbs up. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Levi Goode gives his guests a thumbs up.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The new concept is located north of Houston in The Woodlands, or Shenandoah, and is nestled among the trees of the suburban development. Located adjacent to another Goode concept, Goode Co. Kitchen and Cantina,  Fish Camp takes over the space that formerly housed an outpost of Goode Co. Barbeque. 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 scheme that centers around a hue that lies between blue and green, adding a beachy softness to the interior with its whitewashed wooden planks and various bits of fishing-related gear. Framed photos from photographer Tim Romano line the walls. The photos are from Mike Medrano's book "Stilt Houses of Texas" and they add a local and coastal ambiance to the experience.

All of the memorabilia was hand picked by Goode himself, as publicist Paula Murphy told the Press. The concept and the decor was inspired by the Goode family's fish camp on Christmas Bay and is meant to transport guests on a virtual trip to the Texas coast.
click to enlarge A side nook offers more seating. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
A side nook offers more seating.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
With a mix of chairs and tables, booths and barstools, patrons can choose what works best for them, whether it's a quick lunch, happy hour get-together or lingering dinner with friends. There's also an expansive patio area that is protected from the street traffic noise by a line of trees.
click to enlarge The Fish Camp Punch only tastes innocent. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The Fish Camp Punch only tastes innocent.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
For the preview party, guests were given its 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 mix of dark and light rums, fresh pineapple, passion fruit, tiki bitters and fresh lime. There was a Frozen Lemon Eldeflower G&T that this writer did not taste but my companion availed himself of the Hand-shaken Pina Colada and it was one of the most delicious ones I have ever had. I have always felt that pina coladas get a bad rap as a retro frou-frou drink but I like pina coladas. And getting caught in the rain.
click to enlarge Sweet lump crab makes an amazing bite. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Sweet lump crab makes an amazing bite.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Like any good seafood-themed restaurant, Fish Camp offers a Chilled Seafood Tower with Gulf oysters, jumbo Gulf shrimp, smoked Gulf fish dip, Campechana extra and crab fingers. The oysters were some of the plumpest and juiciest I have seen outside of San Leon's Pier 6. My companion, Classic Rock Bob, was in heaven. While there were other accoutrements for the oysters, CRB stuck to his tried and true shot of Tabasco.
click to enlarge Fish Camp's oysters get a kick from Tabasco. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGGIERO
Fish Camp's oysters get a kick from Tabasco.
Photo by Lorretta Rugggiero
The smoked Gulf fish dip was delicious but it was the Campechana de Mariscos that had my taste buds dancing. It was a super-fresh mix of avocado, shrimp, tomatoes and chiles. There was some sort of crab bite, but I wasn't sure if it was the crab fingers.  What I do know was that it was a hefty tablespoon of lump crab, not over-seasoned, and I could eat that all day, every day.
click to enlarge Miniature versions of Fish Camp's menu items were fun to eat. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Miniature versions of Fish Camp's menu items were fun to eat.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
We were also able to taste the Crispy Boudin, which puts standard boudin balls to shame. The surprise of melty Jack cheese inside blended with the soft boudin mix and the outside was very lightly fried. We had a fried oyster slider that was very tasty but the SOTX Hot Chicken Sandwich slider didn't wow. It needed way more heat to call itself a Hot Chicken Sandwich.
click to enlarge These two wild things had their dancing shoes on. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
These two wild things had their dancing shoes on.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
As we sipped our Fish Camp Punches and said yes to more seafood bites, we took in the crowd of Woodlanders. Many of the guests seem to be family and friends, with a couple of influencers and food writers thrown in for good measure. The two-man band was out of Beaumont and they were playing everything from Country and Western to Classic Rock. Then, inexplicably, they were offering up George Michael and Four Non-Blondes for our listening pleasure. However, when they started up 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 we younger folks how it's done.
click to enlarge The patio is a tempting getaway, day or night. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The patio is a tempting getaway, day or night.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
And that's the kind of family restaurant Fish Camp seems to be aiming for. It's a laid back spot for seafood lovers and patio lingerers. In The Woodlands.

Goode Co. Fish Camp
8865 Six Pines
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.