Ingredient-Conscious Montrose Restaurant is Debuting With a Bacon Jam Burger — Updated
On April 24, new restaurant Picnik is opening in the Montrose Collective at 888 Westheimer. It follows two existing locations in Austin. Founder Naomi Sefter originally started it in a 150-foot trailer in 2013. That’s a far cry from the new, sleek Houston restaurant, shown in renderings surrounded by lush greenery. The interior features include aquatic shades of green and blue, a natural wood dropped ceiling above the bar and a gold divider with a mermaid-tail pattern.
The mission statement is “making healthy food approachable and inclusive”. That refers to the quality of the ingredients — but doesn’t mean there’s no decadent food. Burger fans are likely to want to try out Picnik’s Bacon Jam Burger, which sports a grass-fed beef patty, organic raw cheddar, housemade bacon jam, mustard and pickles on a sesame seed bun. Rounding out the menu are dips, salads and bowls, and brunch is served all day. A seasonal, brunch-worthy dish is the Spring Hash with grass-fed beef, heritage pork sausage, corn, asparagus, kale and sweet potato. There’s also the Picnik Benedict with no-sugar bacon, organic cream cheese, Vital Farms eggs and hollandaise on top of a housemade biscuit.
As far as ingredients go, dishes are made with no refined sugar, seed oils, gluten or peanuts. While the merits of “superfoods” and “adaptogens” are up for debate, guests can opt to add extra ingredients such as CBD or mushrooms such as reishi for relaxation and lion’s mane to dishes.
On the drink side is Pitaya Margarita, which adds dragon fruit to the traditional mix of tequila, lime and a sweetener. Southern Charm combines bourbon with citrus, banana and spice (which sounds evocative of banana spice cake). Wine aficionados can select from a list of ethically sourced and sustainable selections. In addition, there are gluten-free beers, zero-proof cocktails, local cider and hard kombucha.
In this case, would-be-patrons don’t even have to fear finding parking in Montrose. Guests of Picnik can validate parking in the underground garage for up to two hours.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include that there are two existing locations in Austin, and to clarify that while Naomi Sefter is still involved with the company, she is the founder, not the owner.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.