Mendocino Farms Opens First Houston Outpost in Rice Village

Mendocino Farms, the nationally-acclaimed premium fast, casual sandwich and salad destination for foodies, families, and locavores, has chosen Houston for its first major expansion outside of California

Doors will open in Rice Village on Thursday, July 18th

Known for their delicious sandwiches and salads made with high-quality, responsibly-sourced ingredients, “Mendo” (as their fans affectionately refer to the brand) is also teaming up with local James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd on an exclusive sandwich collaboration for the Grand Opening, available for one month with 100% of proceeds benefiting the chef’s Southern Smoke Foundation charity.

“I founded Southern Smoke to take care of our own,” said Shepherd. “I’m proud to say we’ve donated more than $1.3 million to help support people in our industry. Partnering with Mendocino Farms on a sandwich that gives back to Southern Smoke was a no-brainer for me. I fully support any initiative designed to raise money for this cause, and especially love that Mendocino Farms’ mission statement aligns so perfectly with ours.”

Originally established in Downtown Los Angeles in 2005 by husband-and-wife team Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, Mendocino Farms has since earned a devoted following. Their dynamic, chef-driven seasonal menu emphasizes premium, locally-sourced ingredients like honey and herb-marinated goat cheese from Pure Luck Dairy (out of Dripping Springs, TX) and artisan loaves from Slow Dough Bread Co. (in Houston).

“There is so much about Houston that resonates with our passions and our values and reminds us of home—the hospitality, the diversity, the respect for time-honored traditions like you see in BBQ,” adds Del Pero.

“We have been studying the incredible food scene here for years, taking inspiration back home to share with our guests,” says Chen. “We want to become that neighborhood restaurant loved by our guests because they are ‘eating happy’!”

Immediately upon entering the restaurant, a “host” greets guests at the door to help guide hungry first timers through the menu and offer complimentary samplings from a lineup of freshly-prepared sides, including curried couscous, marinated red beet salad, and rotating potato and pasta salads.

In Rice Village, the menu offers a little something for everyone and is enhanced by an exceptionally curated 10-handle beer menu featuring selections from St. Arnold’s and other local breweries, as well as six bottles of wine available for order by the glass.

Houstonians interested in doing good while eating well should not miss the limited-time Charity Sandwich, created by H-Town’s own beloved Chef Chris Shepherd.

Featuring the chef’s unique pecan wood smoked bacon sausage, the sandwich is garnished with “wedge slaw” (with fresh herbs and black pepper buttermilk dressing), red onions, tomato, and housemade roasted garlic aioli and served on a toasted brioche bun.

Mendocino Farms Rice Village will serve lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is located at 5510 Morningside Drive, Suite 120, adjacent to Hopdoddy and D’Amico’s Italian Market.

To learn more about Mendocino Farms, visit

Photos courtesy of Mendocino Farms