A Washington Ave favorite’s dazzling Derby Day return, plus top Thai in town

On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” Alba Huerta joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Julep. The acclaimed, Southern-inspired bar will reopen with a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, May 1.

Huerta launched a number of initiatives during the last year to help Julep survive the pandemic, including a truck that delivered cocktails around Houston. Julep will continue to operate the truck, and it has also launched a pop-up retail shop that sells ready-to-drink cocktails, boozy popsicles, and more.

Julep’s Derby Day party always draws a crowd. Sandler asks Huerta how she feels about seeing customers again.

“I’m so excited to have the bar reopen. We did a little bit of training last week, and we’ll continue training this week,” Huerta says. “It’s just really great energy that’s been needed here for a long time . . . The biggest excitement is that we’re all vaccinated and the service industry can feel more empowered to operate in these shared space.”

Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their topic include the imminent openings of three new bars and nightclubs, BCK closing, and Brennan’s new executive chef.

In the restaurants of the week segment, they describe their recent meals at two new Thai restaurants. Zaab Der in the Energy Corridor earns praise for its ultra-spicy larb, while Trinity Street Food gets recognized as an appealing option for people in the Tanglewood/Briargrove area.

Subscribe to “What’s Eric Eating” on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 1 pm on ESPN 97.5.

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