Meet the dynamic duo earning rave reviews at James Harden’s restaurant

On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” Chef Tobias Dorzon and Executive Director Rosea Grady join CultureMap Editor-in-Chief Eric Sandler to discuss Thirteen, James Harden’s Midtown restaurant that recently celebrated its first year in business. The conversation begins with each person explaining how they got to know the NBA superstar and ultimately decided to join the project.

Despite some negative publicity resulting from Harden’s departure from the Houston Rockets, the restaurant has thrived on service that makes everyone feel like a celebrity and on Dorzon’s menu of modern soul food. While many people know it primarily as a restaurant, Grady notes that Thirteen’s Hookah Lounge has also developed a group of dedicated regulars. Dorzon notes that bringing talented people together usually yields positive results.

“When we first opened up, I think a lot of people thought it was almost like an NBA team, you bring together five people who are the best at what they do. They’re all trying to figure it out and come together. It takes time. We had our hard times in the beginning like anyone. Once we figured out how to operate, we had the product we have now: amazing food, amazing, great customer service, amazing place.”

Listen to the full episode to hear Grady’s story about Kanye West’s surprise visit. They are also discussing the possibility of bringing the restaurant to other cities.

Before the interview, Sandler and co-host Felice Sloan discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Three Brothers Bakery opening a new location in Tanglewood; celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck returns to Houston with a restaurant at Texas Medical Center; and Upside Pub, a new bar coming soon to Garden Oaks.

In the Restaurant of the Week segment, Sloan and Sandler share their thoughts on The Greasy Spoon. They recently had lunch at the soul food restaurant’s Pearland location, which included signature dishes such as a seafood platter and braised oxtails.

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Subscribe to “What’s Eric Eating” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN 97.5.

About Walter Bartholomew

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