Succulent Suckling

Pico's (5941 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-662-8383) proudly proclaims that it specializes in Mex-Mex food (although the restaurant does serve some Tex-Mex favorites). One dish the restaurant does especially well comes from the Yucatán. The cochinita pibil ($7.45 at lunch; $11.45 at dinner), an ancient Mayan dish whose name is derived from the word pib, meaning "pit," is suckling pig marinated in orange juice and achiote, then wrapped and slow-cooked in a banana leaf. (Achiote is the scarlet-colored seed of the annatto tree.) The result: exceptionally flavorful, fork-tender meat with yellow-orange hues. It's served with pickled red onions, refried black beans, Mexican rice and tortillas. You won't find it on the menu at Taco Cabana.


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