This time around, they’ve invited some of Houston’s favorite chefs to participate. Earlier this summer, the series offered up Juicy Lucy burgers and Steak Night from from sous-chef Marcelo Garcia as well as nights devoted to coal-grilled chicken with green garlic broth and chicken fat rice prepared by Jason White, the chef at Justin Yu's Theodore Rex, which will replace Oxheart. The next outdoor installment starts August 1, as Eight Row welcomes Sam Chang, an alumnus of some of Houston’s most enviable kitchens, including Oxheart.
Incorporating his family influences from Tainan, Taiwan, Chang is preparing Slack Season Noodles on the first, 8th and 15th of the month. Although Slack Season Noodles are usually a traditional dish comprised of whatever is available at the time—thin wheat noodles topped with a braised pork sauce, bean sprouts, cilantro and a single poached shrimp—Chang’s take on one of his family favorites spruces things up. He incorporates fried shallots, julienned scallions and a soft-boiled soy egg. He uses Eight Row’s outdoor grill to cook the skewered shrimp over an open flame instead of poaching them.
Why did Chang choose that dish? “I just think it’s delicious and something I loved eating growing up and still today," he says. "More importantly, though, I don’t think the general public really knows what Taiwanese food is, and it’s something I’m really passionate about showing people.” Chang expects his next venture will feature Taiwanese cuisine, so this is a chance for Houstonians to prime themselves for whatever delicacies might be coming next from Chang and his team.
The Summer Cooking Series at Eight Row operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so come early and come hungry. Doors open at 5 p.m. each night and once the noodles are gone, that’s all, folks! While the noodles might go quickly, don’t worry about starving once they run out, as patrons can still console themselves with tacos from the ice house’s regular menu until close.