Friendswood – In a part of Texas known for Tex-Mex and barbecue, there is a fancy fine establishment in Friendswood that feels a bit different than the rest. Brasserie 1895 is a can’t miss spot that infuses some fun flavors.
“We have a lot of people, foodies if you will, that come for the adventure,” Kris Jacob said.
Owner and Chef Kris is originally from Poteet. His wife works with him at this uniquely named restaurant. They got 1895 from the year Friendswood was established, but Brassiere is a European thing.
“When you go to a brasserie in Europe, they don’t have suburbs, they have neighborhoods and each neighborhood has their own brasserie,” Kris said. “It’s the place you go to hangout, the bar, a lot of them make their own beer, cocktails and just simple food. But it’s really just a hangout.”
To complete the European feel, Christian Echterbille, also known as Chef Bill from Belgium, fits the bill.
“A lot of people ask me why Texas,” Chef Bill said. “So I tell them, ‘Why not?’”
These two have been at each other’s side since the mid 90’s when Kris went to culinary school.
“Everything that he did, he just changed my perspective of cooking, and I think at that point that’s when I fell in love with cooking,” Kris said. “I saw what he could do and I said, ‘I gotta know how to do that.’”
“Yeah, begins as a student, finish as my boss,” Chef Bill said.
With the assortment of incredible cooking knowledge, we couldn’t wait to taste their burger and chicken fried steak.
“We use a lot of different products that you may not be comfortable with, but when you actually taste them prepared correctly it’s great,” Kris said.
First, Kris prepared the burger. A simple beef patty is cooked with salt and pepper and topped with some unique cheeses.
“So we have Gruyère in here, we have some brie,” Kris said. “We’re gonna do a thing called gratine.”
Once the burger is cooked, it is topped with the cheese mix. Then a house-made onion raisin jam is added. With that, the creation is complete.
“They’re plumped up with Cognac,” Kris said.
On to the chicken fried steak which starts with beef cutlets marinated in buttermilk for three days.
“Then we go into what I call a cowdust,” Kris said. “On to the green beans, and the full foie gras gravy.”
Potato puree and the pieces of steak get stout side of foi gras gravy.
“The sauce, gravy if you will, is actually a white wine reduction, with a chicken stock reduction, with a heavy cream reduction, and then we finish it with foie gras and truffle,” Kris said.
Apparently, putting on the fancy sauce was the only way Chef Bill would allow something like Chicken Fried Steak on the menu.
“If you ask Bill to do a chicken fried steak he’d probably tell you, ‘Dude, we’re not doing chicken fried steak,’ Kris said.
Well, thankfully we are.
“You can eat it and it tastes great and the ingredients are really high end,” Doug Wrinkle said.
Having never tried foi gras before I was a bit surprised when it came to tasting.
“Normally, there’s no guy around here that’s gonna say, ‘Yeah man, sure dude, I’m up for the foie gras gravy,’” Kris said. “But once they taste it, it’s gold.”
With flavors from across the pond and a little bit of home cookin’ all mixed together, Brasserie 1895 in Friendswood, Texas is definitely well-worth a stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“It might be the best meal you’ve ever had,” Doug said.