Soul food is a tradition with deep roots in the South. From Charleston to New Orleans, Atlanta to Houston, these often deep-fried delicacies have connected generations of communities with an unmistakable culinary heritage. These dishes, shared around the dinner tables of our childhood homes, are a lasting reminder of the past, communicating the story of our history with every bite.
At its foundation, soul food has always been an exercise of adaptation and of integration. By combining foods borrowed from Native American cuisine, indigenous African ingredients, and more affordable sources of meat, those in rural and often poor regions of the country were nevertheless brilliantly adept at creating some of the most hearty, delicious and unique comfort food around.
And so, it should come as no surprise that Ross Coleman and James Haywood have taken the very same integrative approach in their fantastic modern take on classic soul food cooking at Kitchen 713. Drawing from the wide variety of cultures and communities that call Houston their home, every dish is lovingly crafted to highlight and showcase the interesting array of ingredients that make up the local culinary scene.
Whether you are enjoying Chinese vinegar marinated oxtail in your grilled cheese brioche or Vietnamese grilled beef and glass noodles with a side of gumbo, the flavors are simultaneously fresh and reassuringly familiar. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of assuming that Kitchen 713, with its slick digs of Edison bulbs and stained concrete, is just another fusion restaurant - far from it. For these two chefs, global culture may be the inspiration, but out-of-this-world soul food is clearly the destination. And upon arrival, it definitely feels a lot like coming home.
Kitchen 713 is open from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.