"What's Eric Eating," CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler's weekly podcast that examine's Houston's amazing bar and restaurant scene, takes a deep dive into all things whiskey courtesy of guest Mike Raymond. The owner of downtown whiskey bar Reserve 101 shares the stories of he how first became interested in the spirit and the decisions that led him and business partner Steve Long to open Reserve almost 10 years ago.
Opening Reserve that long ago put the bar at the beginning of the public's renewed interest in whiskey, and Raymond discusses the effort that goes into maintaining its status as one of Houston's best whiskey bars. One way he's done that is by sourcing unique barrels that people won't be able to taste anywhere else.
Raymond discusses his recent purchases of barrels of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey and Old Weller Antique — bottles of which are currently available for purchase at Tony K's until they sell out — and describes the process of using staves to create a custom version of Maker's Mark that will arrive in Houston soon. He also shares his thoughts on the current state of whiskey culture, the ways people buy and sell bottles on the secondary market, and the hype that leads some people to spend $600 on a bottle that retails for $60.
Finally, he offers some hints about opening another bar and breezes through the lightning round.
Prior to Raymond joining the show, Sandler and Houston Barbecue Festival co-founder Michael Fulmer discuss the news of the week. Topics include the return of Houston Restaurant Weeks, what's next for Rice Village now that Nao Ramen has closed, and whether or not they agree with a Facebook comment that Neapolitan pizza is "widely disliked" in Houston.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Fulmer and Sandler share their recent brunch experience at Lowbrow, which has a new direction after a takeover by chef John Sheely. Fulmer also describes his first visit to Nobie's in Montrose.
Subscribe to "What’s Eric Eating?" on iTunes or listen to it on 1560 AM every Saturday at 11 am.