On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Brennan's of Houston proprietor Alex Brennan-Martin and wine guy Marcus Gausepohl join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the iconic Houston restaurant. Brennan-Martin begins by explaining how a planned six-month stay to help his family manage its Houston property led to him becoming a permanent Houstonian, while Gausepohl describes how his initial interest in wine became a career.
Brennan's has taken a number of steps to pivot in response to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, including selling heat-and-serve meals at H-E-B and allowing customers to purchase wines from its cellar. The restaurant has long been a favorite for Houstonians celebrating special occasions; while big groups may not be possible currently, Brennan-Martin says he's heard from a number of people who have helped keep their spirits high.
Sandler asks the proprietor how he feels about the state of the restaurant industry, and Brennan-Martin provides a very candid response.
We've just got to get to the other side, and I can tell you things are going to look a helluva lot different on the other side. The country, heck, I guess the world, certainly Houston is going to lose a lot of good restaurants and a lot of good jobs. Not only in the restaurants themselves; I'm scared to death for our supply chain...I'm really worried about our entire supply chain, the guys who grow our blueberries, the things that make our food taste a little bit different because they don't come in the back of an 18-wheeler . . . I think there's going to be a reset of more than in the pipeline that the end customers see as the restaurant. It's going to be big.
Prior to the interview, Lennie Ambrose, chief marketing officer for Saint Arnold Brewing Company, joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: TABC's recent decision that forced breweries like Saint Arnold to close their restaurants, the initial list of participants in Houston Restaurant Weeks, and Homestead, a new, breakfast-oriented spot coming to The Heights.