Roka Akor Houston Exterior

May 8, 2019 - Houston, TX

Restaurant designer and BBQ news are hot topics on What’s Eric Eating podcast | Roka Akor

On this week’s episode of CultureMap’s podcast “What’s Eric Eating,” food editor Eric Sandler mixes things up a bit. Rather than interviewing a chef or restaurant owner, this week’s guest is interior designer Gin Braverman of gin design group.

While not all diners will recognize her name, they know her company’s work, which includes Oxheart, Public ServicesCamerataAxelrad, twin downtown bars The Commoner and The Boulevardier, Ruggles Green in The Woodlands, and more.  Braverman recounts how she moved from a child who constantly rearranged the furniture in her house to one of the city’s most sought after names in interior design. The conversation also touches on the challenges of blending her style with her customers’ requirements, how social media has shaped design decisions, and some of her favorite spaces around town.

Finally, Sandler and Braverman dive a little more deeply into two of her upcoming projects: Goode Company Kitchen & Cantina, the company’s evolution of its taqueria concept that draws upon the Goode family’s roots in South Texas, and Eunice, celebrity chef John Besh’s upcoming restaurant in Greenway Plaza that takes its inspiration from executive chef Drake Leonards’ childhood in South Louisiana. She’s also working with Master Sommelier David Keck on Goodnight Charlie’s, his honky tonk that’s currently under construction on lower Westheimer.

Prior to Braverman’s arrival, Urban Swank bloggers Shanna Jones and Felice Sloan join Sandler to discuss the news of the week. The trio touch on all the recent barbecue-related news, including Truth Barbeque’s announcement that it will open in Houston, Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack’s upcoming move to a larger location, and Blood Bros. BBQ’s plans to move from pop-up to a brick and mortar restaurant in Bellaire.  They also touch on news that Dallas-based concert venue the Rustic is coming to downtown, Agricole Hospitality’s ambitious plans to open three concepts in EaDo, and whether Underbelly’s move to a seafood-oriented menu provides them with sufficient incentive to revisit the Montrose restaurant.

In the restaurant of the week segment, they discuss the separate visits they made to Roka Akor, the recently opened Japanese steakhouse near River Oaks, and Sandler describes his first impressions of 85°C Bakery Cafe, the Taiwanese bakery in Chinatown that’s already long lines.