Amazing Menudo at Pico's Mex-Mex

Pico's Mex-Mex in Bellaire sure knows how to throw a hell of an anniversary party. This past Sunday, the beloved Mexican restaurant celebrated 26 years in business by setting up tents and chafing dishes outside and serving at least 100 different classic Mexican dishes for brunch. The crowd of people ebbed and flowed from 11 a.m. until the last tamale was served at 3 p.m., loading their plates with Mexican breakfast specialties like nopales and eggs, munching contentedly on fresh churros, sampling tequilas and washing it all down with various aguas frescas.

Chef and owner Arnaldo Richards oversaw the affair -- which started a bit later than planned -- in his trademark flame-red chef's jacket, making sure everything was served correctly for what was, essentially, as much a showcase of his catering prowess as it was an anniversary celebration. Although the event was tumultuous at the start, as many of the servers were as clueless as the guests about what was being served, the afternoon settled into a rowdy and happy time once the bottomless mimosas began working their magic and people finally figured out what they were eating.

And of all the many dishes served that day, it turns out that a simple classic was the best of the afternoon.

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Katharine Shilcutt