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Culture / Foodie Events

New Late-Night Houston Restaurant Brings Real Chef Power to Outdoor Dining

BY // 10.07.15
photography Julie Soefer

As cooler weather swoops in, Houstonians can comfortably take advantage of the city’s new and improved green spaces, including the ongoing $200 million renovation of Memorial Park (designed by Thomas Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects) and the recently completed $58 million transformation of Buffalo Bayou Park. And now, Bagby Park sets the tone for elevated outdoor dining with the opening of Rico’s Morning + Noon + Night.

Located at 401 Gray Street, the eatery (named for Rico Valencia, Cyclone Anaya’s owner) gives Houston another late-night restaurant option: Service begins as early 7 am and ends as late as 3 am.

Featured fare includes breakfast tacos, burgers, hotdogs, fries, late-night snacks, custards and milk shakes. Dishes are prepared with meat from 44 Farms, bread from Slow Dough Bakery, lettuce from Sustainable Harvesters, produce from Atkinson Farms and tortillas from La Ranchera. Rico’s will also offer special features monthly, such as pork-belly burgers, paleo burgers and chili cheese fries with bacon. A myriad of libations – think craft beer (including selections from 8th Wonder, Karbach and Saint Arnold), wine and frozen sake (which comes in flavors like piña colada) – are available.

Rico’s is elevating its casual menu with the help of several culinary talents, starting with Cyclone Anaya’s corporate chef, Jason Gould, who earned acclaim as executive chef at Houston’s Gravitas (2006-2009), which closed in 2012. Jerrika Anderson, fresh from a four-month apprenticeship with the world-famous Roca brothers (El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain), assists Gould as general manager.

“With it being right across the street from Cyclone’s, we saw it as a great opportunity to bring something unique to Houston – burgers, beer and wine in the park,” Gould said. “That’s something Houston doesn’t have, and something it deserves.”

Designed by Mark Judson of Houston-based Judson Design, Rico’s 1,400-square-foot space is meant to showcase Bagby Park’s revitalized green space; indeed, the bulk of the property is devoted to outdoor seating. Guests can enjoy sports on two 50-inch TVs on the weather-friendly patio, which boasts oscillating fans and Bromic heaters.

Home, chic home.

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