July 6, 2022



Houston BBQ pro’s new restaurant boasts Viet-Cajun fried chicken

2 min read

A leader among Houston’s lauded barbecue community, Greg Gatlin is shifting his focus from beef and brisket to fins and feathers as he gears up for the opening of his new restaurant in Independence Heights.

“We wanted a concept strictly focused on seafood and poultry because we are so heavily red-meat oriented at Gatlin’s BBQ,” he said about Fins and Feathers, a venture he will open this month in Houston with his executive chef, Michelle Wallace.

Gatlin described the cozy 80-seat restaurant located at Crosstimbers near North Shepherd as “hole-in-the-wall, New Orleans-ish with a Gulf Coast-Texas flair.” Unlike Gatlin’s BBQ, which is counter-service, guests can expect a wait staff to tend to their needs during lunch and dinner, and soon, weekend brunch.

The seafood portion of the menu will be sourced from the Gulf and beyond, with features including Gulf and East Coast oysters, cod and grouper. “We don’t want to put ourselves in a box,” said Gatlin. “We want to spread out and offer seafood from all over.”

Score fried chicken by the platter at Fins and Feathers.

Score fried chicken by the platter at Fins and Feathers.

Lindsey Cooper

In the way of “feathers,” quail, duck and turkey will all grace the menu, but it’s likely the fried chicken, available as an individual plate or by the platter, that will make waves.

“I think our fried chicken will be the best in the city,” he teased. To that point, Gatlin says he is most excited about adding a hot chicken sandwich to the menu. “Everyone is doing Nashville hot chicken,” he said. “We are incorporating Houston flavors with our take.”

The sandwich, coined the H-Town hot chicken, is built with a tender 8-ounce chicken breast dipped in what Gatlin calls his H-Town hot sauce, packed with Viet-Cajun flavors.

Other dishes include gumbo, Louisiana barbecue shrimp, and the shareable F&F Clucker board. “I call it our equivalent to a charcuterie board,” Gatlin explained. “We incorporate a lot of poultry accompanied with pickled condiments presented on a wooden board.”

As far as crossover with Gatlin’s BBQ, Gatlin says you’ll likely see dishes with some smoke. “We’ll have jerk chicken and a turkey sandwich, made with turkey smoked in-house at the barbecue restaurant,” he said.

Louisiana barbecue shrimp at Fins & Feathers.

Louisiana barbecue shrimp at Fins & Feathers.

Lindsey Cooper

Desserts are given equal attention, with hearty indulgences like pie, cheesecake and doughnuts with ice cream by Gatlin’s chef de cuisine, Darius King. Fins and Feathers won’t have a full bar, but Gatlin expressed his excitement over a “really excellent” wine and Champagne selection, plus a variety of beers.

Come late June, Fins and Feathers will open for lunch and dinner in the very neighborhood where Gatlin himself grew up. If the hyped up anticipation from Houstonians is any indication, guests will likely flock in by the herd for fins, feathers, and all.

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