STORY OF A PLATE
Texas cuisine is often caricatured as nothing but barbecue and queso from the top to its southernmost tip. But locals know it’s much more than that. As a Texas brasserie, CBD Provisions aims to tell the rich, diverse story of the Lone Star State’s culinary history. For a crash course on the varied cultures contributing to this delicious melting pot, just peruse the latest menu.
Eastern ingredients—nuoc cham, bonito, housemade xo sauce, and curry—celebrate the state’s sizeable Asian communities. In fact, the thirdmost spoken language in the state of Texas is Vietnamese, thanks to an immigration boom in coastal communities after the Vietnam War.
“Prosciutto and melon salad gives the classic sweet-salty combination a Vietnamese twist,” says Executive Chef Peter Cox. “The nuoc cham—with its ginger, shallot, lime, and fish sauce—makes each bite bright and flavorful. We added a little maple syrup to bring out the melon’s sweetness.”
Cajun and French influences are pulled from the Coastal Bend region and amplified though technique. (Both Chef Cox and his Chef de Cuisine George Ramos are classically trained, coming up through the world of French fine dining.)
“We wanted to take traditional French dishes, like mussels, but execute them through a Texas lens with local, in-season ingredients and southern influences,” says Cox.
And, of course, no Texas highlights reel would be complete without Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. CBD Provisions’ most famous dish pays proper tribute. The crispy pig’s head carnitas are brined overnight, slow-roasted, and served with two types of salsa, corn tortillas, limes, and a radish-onion slaw. A seasonal corn pasta plays off elotes (grilled Mexican street corn) with Texas goat cheese, radish escabeche, pepitas, and pickled fresno. And a newly added queso mac and cheese is the result of chefs playing in the kitchen. The decadent dish comes with a warning. “We did it on a lark and it turned out to be addictive.”