Mo Rocca just can't get enough of Houston.
A few months after hitting the town to explore the slutty side of brunch, the TV personality is back in H-Town with a slightly more high-minded goal: To showcase his favorite Houston foods for The Food Network.
As part of The Best Thing I Ever Ate (the network's highest-rated series), Rocca's crew filmed the queso flameado at Ninfa's on Navigation and Mo himself sat down to enjoy the Gateway of India pizza at Bombay Pizza Co.
"Not to get too geopolitical on you, but so much of our industry is being outsourced, which I assume includes Chicago deep dish pizza being made in Bangalore. So it's great to see pizza like this made in America," Rocca tells CultureMap.
Rocca and friends filmed on the Bombay Pizza patio on Sunday evening, ordering both the Gateway of India (tandoori chicken, crab meat, artichoke hearts, cilantro, provolone and mozzarella with a cilantro-mint chutney sauce) and The Slumdog (pepperoni, chorizo, beef, Canadian bacon, grilled chicken, jalepeño, red onion and mozzarella with bombay pizza sauce) and speaking to owner Viral Patel.
"It's a whole meal on this ingeniously thin crust. It's thinner than the iPad 2. It could give you a paper cut," Rocca says. "Leave it to Indian ingenuity to get that number of ingredients on there. That pizza could feed an entire Indian wedding party."
Bombay Pizza will appear in an episode about finger food, and Ninfa's is slated for an episode devoted to the "most addicting" foods.
"It's so addictive that it's a great substitute for smoking," Rocca says of the queso flameado.
Rocca rounded out his appearances on the show with a trip to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Mission Viejo, Calif., where Mo says the Gibson Girl sundae is the best ice cream he ever ate. Rocca's episodes of The Best Thing I Ever Ate are expected to begin airing this summer.
And of course it wouldn't be a trip to Houston without something a little ... out there. Rocca is finishing up his trip to Texas with CBS News, hitting the Crazy K Farm in Hempstead, the origin of the Kitty Harness leash for cats and the Hen Saver chicken saddle.
"There's nothing worse than a house-bound chicken," Rocca says. "They're gonna be freeloaders. The last thing we need in this country is chickens on the dole. I believe in pulling yourself up by your, um, claws."
Rocca says we can expect to see more of Houston on television.
"Houston doesn't get enough play. It's the fourth biggest city in the country and you've got a lot going on. I think so and my boss at CBS News thinks so too."