Scenes from movies really shape my bucket list or random things I intend to try. Ever since I watched Something Borrowed, I have been dying to replicate the scenes where Ginnifer Goodwin’s character (a lawyer like myself) meets her bestie, played by John Krasinski, at Central Park for a workday lunch at Shake Shack! After that movie, I became obsessed with Shake Shack and lunch at a burger joint nestled in a park. (Yes, I have simple things on my bucket list to balance out the extravagant goals) Luckily for me, some brilliant restaurateur brought this concept to Houston! I now can go to Rico’s Morning, Noon and Night right in the heart of midtown to live out my basic movie fantasies.
Who hasn’t wanted something good and greasy after a late night bar hopping in midtown? You have Whataburger and food trucks, but it was genius to put a permanent food stand right smack in the middle of Midtown. Rico’s is located in the park with the huge Midtown sign so you cannot miss it. The stand also has cute bar stools that are built into the structure and picnic tables so you can really eat in the park. With our current “Houston fall” (i.e. 90 degrees with low humidity), it is the perfect time for an outdoor venue like Rico’s. As the name implies, Rico’s has pretty long hours which includes the breakfast crowd, lunch crowd, dinner and the after-bar crowd.
Even though it is a food stand, it is right in pricey midtown, so I figured the food price point would reflect that. Thankfully I was wrong. The burgers were all well under $10 and you can grab a hot dog for three bucks and some change. Fries are sold separately though. Why is that a thing now?? I ordered the Chili Cheese Dog and Truffle Fries. That chili dog was so good! It comes on a pretzel bun with real chili. You can actually see the beef in the chili and it is not that cheap can cheese that folks put on hot dogs! I really did not expect that much at that price point, but they have found a way to stretch their dollar and I sure appreciate them for it. I am not too picky about fries, but theirs were just okay to me. Since I had to take my order to go, they were a bit soggy by the time I got back to my office. I will have to try them again to give a better critique.
Rico’s already has a leg up on the food trucks in the area because they serve alcohol! For the beer lovers, I saw a variety of local beers on tap like 8th Wonder of the World. They also have wine. I grabbed a bottle of water from CVS across the street, so I could park there without being towed. No drinks for me during the work day!
I am admittedly impatient. The lord is working on me y’all! Due to this, waiting for food for an inordinate amount of time at a fast-food styled restaurant drives me insane!!! After ordering, I sat there watching the minutes of my lunch hour tick away with no food. After my “hangriness” set in, I politely tapped on the window to inquire about my food after seeing everyone around me get their food. The cashier let me know it was coming up soon. Minutes later, the impatient me tapped on the window again. This time, the cashier finally divulged the truth. They ran out of lettuce and were unable to make the salad I ordered to go for another co-worker. They were waiting for more to be delivered, but could not give me an ETA. Is it coming from the farm, was my next question! Later I learned that Rico’s uses Hockley farm, Sustainable Harvesters for their lettuce, so I think it really was coming from a farm! I asked them to throw the chicken on a bun cause I gotta go!
Rico’s is a new restaurant and new concept, so I HOPE that was a fluke that relates to their staff getting accumulated. I just hope in the future, they can be faster especially during the peak lunch hour, be honest when they do not have ingredients AND order an adequate amount of ingredients especially when it is the main component of some of your dishes. Despite this failure, everyone was extremely pleasant, so that will not stop me from coming back to Rico’s!