How can you beat a great burger outside on the patio with an ice-cold Karbach Hopadillo on a less than 90 degree Houston afternoon in Midtown? Only if you made that an Akaushi beef burger with a bucket of local craft beer at one of the newest hidden, treasured spots in the city. Bagby Park in Midtown is home to the one-year-old Rico's Morning, Noon & Night, a funky little food shack at the side of the road that's gaining attention because its burgers are not only delicious but also nutritious.
Rico's burger patties are composed entirely of HeartBrand Beef, which operates locally here in Texas, at family ranches in Flatonia. The unique fatty acid found in 100 percent certified Akaushi beef is what gives the beef a buttery flavor and tenderness.
HeartBrand has the only pure line of Akaushi beef outside of Japan. Chef Jason Gould, operating partner of Rico's as well as the executive chef of Cyclone Anaya's, explained how eating Akaushi actually improved one of the owner's high-cholesterol health issues. The man replaced all of his protein consumption with Akaushi beef. "He ate about ten ounces of Akaushi a day and managed to get healthier as a result — that's where the name came from, because the beef was good for your heart," said Gould.
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Rico's has the largest outdoor patio in Houston, with an adjoining puppy park in Bagby Park. The space hosts live music events on the outdoor stage and will add movie events just as soon as the sun goes down earlier in the day.
Rico's, named after the youngest son of Cyclone Anaya, offers a special menu created by Gould that includes Akaushi beef burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, fries, breakfast tacos, soft-serve ice cream and yogurt, along with a wide assortment of craft beers, draft beer, wine and frozen sake cocktails. The restaurant uses local food sources, including Slow Dough bakery for buns, Austin-based Maine Root sodas, and Renaissance Farms for chicken and eggs. Rico's also offers neighbor Fluff Bake Bar's doggie treats for furry friends and has teamed up with Katz Coffee to serve early bird coffee. Portions of its coffee sales are contributed to the Houston Arboretum on behalf of Katz.
Seven days a week, happy hour is celebrated between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. with $3 draft beer and wine and $5 frozen sake and the $10 combos for a burger, fries and soft drink or happy hour beer/wine. Hot dog combos are $7.
Rico's Morning, Noon & Night, 401 Gray in Midtown
Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Thursday, 10:30 am. to 3 a.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday