On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Picos chief marketing officer/beverage director Monica Richards joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the Upper Kirby restaurant that's been serving Houstonians authentic Mexican cuisine for more than 30 years.
The conversation begins with Richards sharing some of her experiences growing up in her family's business and the professional path that brought her back to the restaurant industry after college. From there, she discusses the process by which Picos successfully transitioned from its original location on Bellaire to its current location at the corner of Kirby Drive and Richmond Avenue. Of course, Richards and Sandler discuss Picos four day Cinco de Mayo celebration that kicks off with a special dinner Thursday night and reaches a high point on Saturday with an all-day parking lot party.
Richards makes frequent trips to Mexico and is responsible for selecting the barrels of tequila that Picos purchases for its signature cocktails. Sandler asks what she recommends people try when they visit the restaurant.
"Any of our private barrel selections. Right now, we have seven of them," Richards says. "Now Cazadores is in all of our frozen machines. I just went down in February to choose a barrel with them. In that aspect, I got to blend the barrel myself. While we were there with the master distiller and the master blenders, we cracked two different resposado barrels and one of the anejo barrels in the aging warehouse and built our own blend. I am super excited for people to come and try that."
Prior to Richards joining the show, Sandler welcomes a new co-host, popular beverage consultant Linda Salinas. In the news of the week segment, Salinas and Sandler discuss whether the decision to dismiss domestic assault charges against Paul Qui will change people's perception of him. From there, they move on to discuss Bravery Chef Hall's Indie Bar concept and suggest a couple of Houston bartenders they'd like to see apply to lead the concept. In the restaurants of the week segment, the two hosts share some of their favorite weekday breakfast options, including Relish Restaurant & Bar, Baby Barnaby's, and burger-chan.