Chris Garcia is no stranger to Asian cuisine and cultures, despite his Puerto Rican heritage. He has traveled to Hong Kong, Beijing, Thailand and India to expose himself to new authentic flavors.

“It’s a part of me. ... I love to travel,” he said. “I love the different cultures in the world and to see experiences there.”

Even though he has traveled and lived in multiple places, the Langham Creek High School and Lone Star College-CyFair alumnus said he is a “product of Cy-Fair.”

Garcia opened Bao Bros. Bistro last fall because he saw a lack of diversity in restaurant options in Cy-Fair. The eatery serves Asian fusion dishes such as bao—steamed buns stuffed with various ingredients—salads and teas. Dishes are inspired by Garcia’s executive chef’s Cambodian and Chinese roots.

Garcia said operating a restaurant has been challenging because food prices have gone up, and he has experienced a lot of shortages during the pandemic. Despite these challenges, he said servant leadership is important to him, and he tries to give back in any way he can.

In addition to running the restaurant, Garcia is an active member of the Army National Guard.

Bao Bros. Bistro has partnered with Metta’s Local Eats, a local foodie group that raises funds for Cy-Fair Helping Hands, which is a faith-based nonprofit. Proceeds support the organization’s efforts to fight hunger and homelessness in the region, he said.

“This is my life’s goal boiled down into one sentence: It’s to empower others to achieve their full potential,” Garcia said.

Garcia said new menu items will be added in the future, and he could potentially expand the business. In the meantime, he said he wants to continue working with Cy-Fair Helping Hands and other organizations to support the community.

“I want to make sure we give in areas where it’s needed, and then we can make an impact,” he said.

Bao Bros. Bistro, 8574 Hwy. 6 N., Houston. 832-674-8343.

Hours: Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.