What's Eric Eating Episode 281
The scoop on Houston's coolest underground creamery, plus hottest food news
On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," ice cream maker Josh Deleon joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Underground Creamery. Instead of operating a scoop shop, Deleon prepares several hundred pints of ice cream that sell out in minutes via weekly "drops."
The conversation begins with Deleon telling Sandler that eating a lot of ice cream inspired him to learn to make his own. The goal, he explains, is to create the flavors he wants to eat. Initially, Deleon sold ice cream he made at home to friends and family, but word of mouth helped him build a following — hence the name "Underground."
Sandler, who acknowledges that he's been an Underground customer since the apartment days, asks Deleon about his style. Typically, Underground's flavor have a base ice cream, a textural component such as cake or cookies, and a swirl, typically fruit or caramel.
"For me, it's not just ice cream. It's a complete dessert. When you go to a restaurant, say you go to Bludorn, you get a financier with ice cream and a drizzle of sauce," Deleon says. "That's what I try to do, but you put it in a pint. I don't have a culinary background. I don't know how to make it pretty. What I can do is pack a pint of ice full of s---. It leaves the customer satisfied."
Listen to the full episode to hear Deleon discuss how childhood nostalgia inspires his flavors and his plans for growing the business to the point where his ice cream is easier to obtain. He also shares his perspective on speaking out about social issues on his social media account.
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Michael Fulmer discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Midtown restaurant Izakaya closing to become Josephine's, a Gulf Coast seafood restaurant; the imminent closure of Fort Bend County barbecue joint The Swinging Door; and Pondicheri chef Anita Jaisinghani's James Beard Award nomination for her cookbook, Masala.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Sandler and Fulmer discuss their meals at two new Tex-Mex spots. First, they share first impressions of Mandito's, the casual restaurant in Bellaire from the owners of Armandos. Then, they relate their experience at Verde Garden, the new bar and restaurant from the owners of Heights Bier Garten.