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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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