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Local Spotlight: 242 Pub & Grill-
A Texas Grill With a Cajun Kick

By Nick Rama, Link Local Food Ambassador

242 Pub & Grill, with four local locations in Conroe, Magnolia, Spring, and Willis, are setting themselves apart from their competitors with their commitment to serving fresh foods, with 90% of their menu being made in house, from scratch. The owners have been elevating pub food to another level and once you taste it, you can tell they really care on the great quality they put out.

The restaurant serves staple pub food such as wings, burgers and fried foods, as well as salads, soups, sandwiches. The local flare on their menu is impressive, from Texas Sized Kobe Beef Chicken-Fried Steaks, Beer Battered Gulf Shrimp, Rib Eye Steak dinners to even Cajun dishes such as Cajun Pasta, Gumbo, Shrimp/Crawfish Etouffee and a Cajun seafood platter.

Chicken Fried Steak Photo Credit: Nick Rama

The food is so fresh one of their signature appetizers, 242 Flare Bites, are “while supplies last. Hand-battered mozzarella sticks wrapped with bacon, jalapeños and deep fried. 242 also features Boudin Bites – Boudin sausage and cheddar cheese balls, hand breaded and fried to golden brown, served with homemade gator sauce.

 

242 Flare Bites – Photo Credit: Nick Rama

Newly Famous Oscar Dip -Photo Credit: Nick Rama

New features include:

Catfish Mardi Gras – Two catfish fillets smothered in a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce and topped with crawfish tails and served with dirty rice.

Pasta Mardi Gras – Creamy fettuccine noodles smothered
in our zesty Alfredo sauce with shrimp, crawfish, sausage, mushroom, tomato & Cajun spice seasoning and a side of garlic toast.

242 has been a local favorite for boiled crawfish, just this year they have gone through over 70,000 lbs. of crawfish. Boiled and seasoned with their award-winning recipe, one can add on corn, potatoes, boiled mushrooms, spicy shrimp, jalapeño hill country sausage. “Flavor it up!” with Spicy Garlic, 242 Dry Rub, Lemon Pepper to add extra levels of flavor.

 

Hot n’ Spicy Crawfish Photo Credit: Nick Rama

 

We sat down with Anthony, one of the owners who is super involved with day to day operations and recipes.

1) 242 Pub and Grill prides themselves on 90% of the menu being scratch made, explain what that looks like.

A fresh diverse menu with lots of comfort food classics, as well as our twist on some local favorites. Our goal is to be a “Texas grill, with a Cajun kick”. We like making items new and exciting, yet they still feel familiar and approachable. We honestly just like to play and have fun with the menu.

2) What was the inspiration for your current seasonal menu and what ingredients are sourced locally?

This time of year is always crawfish and Cajun focused. We are very well known for our crawfish and like to roll that over into some of our other menu items. We try to use local products whenever possible. Our crawfish, gator, and gator wings are procured by local vendors (Nick, Gary, and Craig), but fresh out of Louisiana. In season they are driving in 7 to 10 thousand pounds of freshly caught crawfish per week. Boudin is from DJ’s in Beaumont, TX. Our sausage is from Slovacek in Snook, TX. We took months of trying different cut and types of meat to finally land on our prized cut for our wildly popular Chicken Fried Steak. It’s from Heart Brand Beef in Flatonia, TX, and is a Certified Akaushi Beef. It’s amazing, and fork tender.

3) What makes each individual location unique to its local guests?

We keep all food and recipes consistent throughout all the locations. However, each store has its own identity from the communities around it. The 242 location is a relaxed lunch/early dinner store. It then flips to a definite bar/party vibe after 10 pm. Our 2920 location has a real sports bar feel. Over 60 plus TVs and projectors, and always packed with families, after work groups, sports teams after games, and during all sporting events. It has an amazing covered outdoor patio, and a big late night/service industry following. 1097 is laid back and near Lake Conroe. The regular guest in the area frequent that store 2 to 5 times a week. It’s a real local hangout. Starting up again in March they do a Wednesday Karaoke and Thursday “Lakeside Live” live music on the patio. Both are hugely popular. Our newest store is 1488. It is filled with lots of families and serious crawfish enthusiasts. They recently added a full bar, and now late nights are now the place to be.

4) 242 Pub is planning to open for brunch soon, what can someone expect from 242 Brunch?

What dishes or drinks will name your brunch original or unique?*The Willis 1097 location has been doing brunch for a couple of months now, and it’s going great. The 3 other locations will start up brunch in the next couple of weeks. Our menu consists of some breakfast classics and our twist on a few local favorites. Our crawfish quesadillas with loaded breakfast potatoes and Crown caramel French toast with house-made Crown caramel whipped cream are two of the standouts on the menu.

5) How is 242 Pub & Grill involved in their local community?

We do an annual bike ride and toy drive every December. We support many high school groups, and sports teams. We also support local neighborhood newspapers and flyers.

6) Many bars, pubs, and restaurants have the same menu items. Wings, Mozzarella Sticks, Fried Mushrooms to name a few. What sets yours apart?

We do have all 3 of these items, but these are all hand made from scratch. Our wings are fresh, never frozen. If you like boneless or tenders, those are fresh, and hand battered to order. All of our wing sauces are made in house daily. Mozzarella sticks are hand cut from fresh mozzarella. Then they are hand panko battered. Our mushrooms are marinated in our house-made hot sauce, then hand-battered and fried to order as well. We do carry traditional pub items, but we do the freshest and best house-made version of them that we can.

7) What do you say to a family that is hesitant to bring kids to a “pub”?

All of our locations are packed with families. We have a full kid’s menu with lots of fresh house-made options. We are definitely kid-friendly but turn into a fun adult atmosphere after 10 pm nightly.

8) We like to ask what’s the locals eating, so what is your top sellers for each location:

Our best-selling items change with the seasons and menu changes throughout the year currently…

Spring:

Appetizers: Fried Gator Bites

Entrees: Chicken Fried Steak

Desserts: Beignets

Beer: Michelob Ultra, Southern Star Blonde Bombshell

Specialty Drink: Ocean Water, Cherry Limeade

 

Delicious Beignets -Photo Credit: Nick Rama

Conroe:

Appetizers: Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Entrees: Wings, Hand Smashed Burgers.

Desserts: Caramel Cookie

Beer: Dos XX, Karbach Love Street

Specialty Drink: White Gummy Bear Shot

 

Buffalo Wings -Photo Credit: Nick Rama

Magnolia:

Appetizers: Oysters half-shell or Rockefeller

Entrees: Boiled Crawfish, fresh grilled skewers

Desserts: Beignets

Beer: Miller Lite, Karbach Hoppadillo

Specialty Drink: Old Fashioned

Roadkill Skewers Photo Credit: Nick Rama

 

Willis:

Appetizers: Fried Gator Bites

Entrees: Fried Shrimp, Catfish, or Fish n Chips

Desserts: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Beer: Coors Light, St Arnold Lawnmower

Specialty Drink: Bloody Beast

Fried Catfish Platter

 

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242 Pub & Grill is also bringing the locals value with their everyday specials:

Monday Madness

$2.00 Off All Burgers
ENDLESS HAPPY HOUR

Wing Tuesday

20 Wings $10.00
49¢ for each additional flavor.
$1.50 for Double Fried
$3.00 Flavored Vodkas
More than a dozen flavors!

Whiskey Wednesday

Cajun Pasta with Chicken $7.99
Shrimp $8.99
All Whiskeys $4.00

Texas Thursday

Spicy Boiled Shrimp
1 lb. $12.49 • 1/2 lb. $6.49
Corn & Potatoes $1.25
$4.00 Texas Born Spirits & Beer

Fish Friday

All you can eat fish & chips or fried catfish platters.

$10.99

Steak Saturday

Ribeye served with mashed potatoes
& side salad. $15.99

Southern Sunday

Ribeye served with mashed potatoes
& side salad. $15.99

Plus a Happy Hour (mon-fri 11-7)

MON-FRI • 11-7pm • Dine-In Only
$5.00 Margaritas • $2.75 Domestic Pints •
$2.50 Well Liquor Drinks • Discounted Wine
*prices and specials subject to change

Ready for a party? Inquire about 242 Pub & Grill’s catering and party platters to feed a large crowd at your next party or big game day. Appetizer sampler platters, sandwich or slider platters, pasta, and salad platters are available.

 

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Nick Rama is a food writer, Local Food Ambassador for Link Local. In addtion, he also shares his restaurant experiences on Nick’s Local Eats at NicksLocalEats.com and the Q Up The Burgers Facebook page. Nick enjoys helping the small business owner, supporting his community with fundraising for food banks, and planing tasting events with locally owned mom and pop restaurants.

Link Local powered by Graphic Design Fx- Kalousek Brothers Matt and Russell.For these Local brothers it’s not just business it’s personal. As a small business themselves, they know that their work touches lives and improves the local community. Helping local businesses keep their doors open and grow, is the passion and fuel behind this business. The team at Link Local and Graphic Design FX takes great pride in the work performed and in the relationships that they build.

Join Matt and Russell in supporting local businesses in and around Montgomery county by eating, shopping and living local.  #LiveLocal #SupportLocal #EatShopLiveLocal https://LocalLivingGuide.com is your online interactive source for everything local in and around Montgomery County.

 

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