Joining a handful of local restaurants that have brought their most popular dishes to grocery store shelves, James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega is the latest chef to jump on board.
The chef teamed up with HEB to bring dishes from Hugo’s and Backstreet Cafe to the chain’s shelves starting on April 20. Ortega follows chef Chris Shepherd and Brennan’s of Houston in developing “take and bake” dishes for the grocery giant, while local favorites Kim Son, Burns Original BBQ, and Peli Peli are now cook-at-home dishes at a few local Kroger stores. This pivot has been extremely important for restaurateurs who are trying to figure out how to pay their bills, opening up a brand new revenue stream for these struggling businesses.
Right now, Ortega’s developed six dishes for HEB, including Backstreet Cafe’s mushroom gravy topped meatloaf and butterscotch brioche bread pudding, and slow-cooked carnitas and tres leches cake from Hugo’s. “It was difficult to pick which dishes to add to the shelves at H-E-B but we decided on signature dishes that would be comforting and easy to reheat at home,” Ortega said in a statement. “We also wanted to make sure and have some vegetarian options since we are known for these options on our restaurant menus.”
Ortega’s dishes are currently available at 6 local HEB stores, including the San Felipe and Buffalo Speedway locations.