After 25 years working for Pappas and, most recently, launching a Pappasito's in Ft. Worth, Chris Smith is back in Houston and is ready to launch his own restaurant. Hugo Caliente is expected to open in Town & Country this June. The concept is simple: Fresh, Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican cuisine. "We make our own flour, corn and wheat tortillas," Smith tells Eater. "All of the recipes are made fresh, in-house daily; we don't even have a freezer."
The name is a play on words, meaning "you go hot" because he he's planning to use an oven that reaches 575 degrees so that when tacos and enchiladas go out, "they're hot form the first bite to last." That also applies to the specialty dishes he plans to serve, including "green chile mole, and pupusas and other fusion, chef-driven items."
He'll also have a daily breakfast line where guests can customize their morning orders, including bacon, sausage, potato and "chile eggs." "I just returned from Napa and will have some cool wines and events, like a wine country-inspired breakfast," Smith says. That's his attempt at being different than other Latin concepts. Another way Smith says he's different is that his lower overhead means that he can price his food more reasonably. "You go to Pappas and it's too expensive. We have less overhead, so that prices are more reasonable." The 2200- square-foot space is outfitted with 15 tables and a bench and will seat approximately 75 diners. As of now, Smith is planning on a June 10 opening.
· Hugo Caliente
· All Other Coming Attractions [-EHOU-]