Whats Eric Eating
What's Eric Eating Episode 46

Here's the latest on Houston's hot tipping debate, plus a star bartender's new book

The latest on Houston's tipping debate, plus star bartender's new book

Alba Huerta Julep
Alba Huerta. Photo by Julie Soefer
Julep cocktail book Alba Huerta amethyst flip
Amethyst Flip: cognac, sparkling wine, sloe gin, and sweet potato syrup.  Photo by Julie Soefer/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press
Julep cocktail book Alba Huerta deviled eggs
Deviled eggs are great for entertaining. Photo by Julie Soefer/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press
Burger at Rodeo Goat
Rodeo Goat is the restaurant of the week. Photo courtesy of Rodeo Goat
Bar Victor interior
Sandler discusses his recent visit to Bar Victor in Montrose. Courtesy photo
Alba Huerta Julep
Julep cocktail book Alba Huerta amethyst flip
Julep cocktail book Alba Huerta deviled eggs
Burger at Rodeo Goat
Bar Victor interior

On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Julep owner Alba Huerta joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss her newly published book, Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned (Ten Speed Press). The conversation begins with Huerta sharing how she got started as a bartender and the circumstances that led to her opening Julep in partnership with Bobby Heugel and Kevin Floyd's Clumsy Butcher Group in 2014. 

Huerta says she had been approached about writing a book almost from the day Julep opened, but that she didn't feel comfortable with the idea until she met Lorena Jones, an editor with extensive experience in lifestyle book publishing, through their mutual interest in the Southern Foodways Alliance. Ultimately, the book pulls 65 cocktail recipes and 15 bar snack recipes from Julep's first four menus. 

"Once we finished our fourth menu, it became really clear there was something there. Oh, this is the book," Huerta says. Later, she adds, "It's filled with a lot of stories. It's not just about the drinks, it's about what inspired the drinks: visionaries, people, or places."

Prior to the interview segment, local restaurant consultant Nathan Ketcham and Sandler take up the topic of tipping: specifically, what is appropriate at a full-service restaurant vs a counter service or fast casual concept. The increased prominence of ordering screens has made it easier for some restaurants to try to push diners to tip 20 or even 25-percent at places they might not have tipped at all, but is that fair to diners? In the restaurant of the week segment, the two menu share their first impressions of Rodeo Goat, the DFW-based burger joint that just opened in EaDo. 

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