Houston Chef's Table: Bistro Alex's Juan Carlos Gonzalez finds a great $1.50meal & giant key lime pie
No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them, and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez is a Brennan restaurant veteran, working his way up at Commander's Palace in New Orleans and under current Brennan's chef Danny Trace in Florida. Now he's got his own kitchen at Hotel Sorella's Bistro Alex.
With Brennan's and Bistro Alex owner Alex Brennan-Martin earning a Restaurateur of the Year nod from the Houston Culinary Awards for his double dose of Texas-Cajun cuisine, Gonzalez spills on what he's fallen in love with while exploring Houston.
Restaurant for a special occasion: I would definitely go to Brennan's, they do great special occasion events. Working with the company for as long as I have, I just know its going to be great.
Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: I've had people that have come to visit and I did take them around to what I think are the best restaurants in town. We went to Catalan with Chris Shepherd, to Mockingbird Bistro with John Sheely, to Haven and to Brennan's — you gotta do brunch at Brennan's, chef's table if you're lucky.
Favorite meal: It's called Brothers Tacos. It's like $1.50 per taco and its great. If you wanna know what I eat on my day off, that's it. I always get the lengua.
Breakfast/Brunch favorite:Hugo's is an awesome brunch, one of the best brunches I've eaten in my life. It just blew my mind.
Dessert: When I first got here somebody took me around to specific restaurants to get acquainted and we went to one place just for dessert. That restaurant was Pesce, wow.
Unbelievable. Their desserts are amazing. I had every single dessert in the house, and the one that stood out the most was the key lime pie, it was like two feet tall!
OK, I'm exaggerating, but it was huge.
Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series:
Sugar hooker Rebecca Masson can't get enough of Catalan's Cake
Beachy L.J. Wiley digs the special occasion simple flavors at Dos Brisas
David Grossman goes for Vic & Anthony's crab cake, Yelapa late nights & some Bootsie
Jeramie Robison appreciates Kata Robata's sushi, Beaver's bangin' meatloaf & foodie chicks
Tony Mandola finds breakfast magic at Sunrise Taquitos
Philippe Schmit craves a Picnic romance & Stella Sola's French toast
Benjy Levit is torn between Indika's salads and Hank's Ice Cream
Flora & Muse's David Luna likes to hang with his fishing buddy and hit the Blue Nile
Asian Bistro's Gigi Huang seeks out spicy fried chicken at a Dive
Hugo Ortega believes in a Goode tradition
Soma Sushi's Jason Hauck is anti-brunch, pro-Feast