Pork and Fowl at Hoggs n' Chicks

"I don't know anything about this place," I warned my dining companion as we drove beneath a cloudless blue sky on a smooth stream of asphalt toward Hoggs n' Chicks one crispy Sunday morning.

"Oh yeah?" she asked.

"Yeah. For all I know, it could be a biker restaurant. 'Hoggs' and all, I dunno," I responded.

"Then why are we going there?" she returned.

"It's from the guy that started Aura, so I'm hoping it'll be just as good," I answered. "Plus, I just like the name."

Hoggs n' Chicks, as it turns out, is not a biker restaurant. Not even remotely. Out here in the very family-oriented, southern portion of Missouri City that's clean and quiet and well-kept, the subject of this week's cafe review -- Hoggs n' Chicks -- isn't serving dudes in leather jackets on Harleys. It's serving a great array of pork and chicken dishes that would give in-town establishments like Beaver's a run for its money...for a lot lessmoney.

Hoggs n' Chicks, which opens at 11 a.m. every day, doesn't serve brunch. Which is a shame, really, because I'd absolutely make the drive down south from Houston to see what they came up with. Instead, on this Sunday morning just past 11:30 a.m., I decided on the Pig's Delight, a sandwich topped with bacon and a fried egg that sounded as close to brunch as I could get.

The Delight also featured two -- yes, two -- breaded pork loins and a pile of shaved ham, all the more pillowy for that fat egg to perch on top of, topped with a zingy punch of Hatch chile sauce. I cut into the sandwich, and the egg oozed together with the light green chile sauce, creating a decadently spicy pseudo-deconstructed mayonnaise. Eaten with a bowl of straightforward macaroni and cheese with a mellow bechamel sauce, it was heaven on this Sunday morning when everyone else should be in church.

But they weren't. The line at Hoggs n' Chicks reached the door by just before noon. It appears that the word's already out on this place, open only since November, and with good reason: It might be some of the finest homestyle fried chicken -- made authentically in a cast-iron skillet with a thick, richly seasoned skin that's not remotely crunchy like the stuff you'll find at Frenchy's -- and cracklin' pork shanks you can get anywhere in Missouri City, if not all of southeast Houston.

To see more of Hoggs n' Chicks' food and interior, check out our slideshow.

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Katharine Shilcutt