On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," director of wine operations Jack Mason and general manager Jason Egan join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Ranked 47 on CultureMap's list of Houston's top 100 restaurants, Pappas Bros. offers a first class steakhouse experience that includes both dry-aged USDA Prime beef and a wine selection that earns a Wine Spectator Grand award year after year.
Mason is one of three master sommeliers Pappas Bros. employs; together, they maintain the restaurant's reputation as one of the city's top wine destinations. With thousands of different bottles at both the downtown and Westheimer locations, Pappas Bros. wine list covers almost every possible price point and varietal. Having an honest conversation with one of the restaurant's sommeliers about taste and budget will yield a satisfying outcome, but Egan explains that they're used to working with more subtle cues, too.
"A lot of times you don't want to have that dialogue. You're in a business meeting and maybe it's not appropriate. A great way to do it is to open up the list and say 'I want to be in this range' and point your finger over to that," he says. "Everybody in the group works with that every day. They know those nuances, and they understand why you're doing that. They're not going to verbalize that, because they understand what's going on. We want you to walk away feeling like we're an advocate for you and we're on your side to make this happen."
Prior to Mason and Egan joining the show, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Hugo's and Himalaya being named to GQ's list of America's new classic restaurants; Home Slice Pizza's plans to open in Houston; and the closure of Mala Sichuan's location in Finn Hall.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Sandler and Harris share some first impressions of an uneven experienced at recently opened Toukei Izakaya. They also recap some of their favorite dishes from last weekend's Southern Smoke Festival.