Picnik (not to be confused with Picnic on Bissonnet) is an Austin-based restaurant that offers three meals a day including an inspired weekend brunch (which we took advantage of at 10 in the morning—it felt positively celebratory). The key idea began ten years ago with chef-owner Naomi Seifter and an ambitious capital city food truck, now a brick-and-mortar. She envisioned a dining place that caters to a variety of diets: keto, paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free. The successful result has now expanded to Houston, into a spacious new spot that is light-filled, with unexpected views of greenery, housed in the new Montrose Collective on Westheimer, it was buzzing with happy families and a diverse group of younger Houstonians when we visited. We started with cashew-based “queso,” which was subtle but agreeable. Eggs Benedict, on the other hand, were anything but subtle: rife with flavor and perched on two of the best biscuits we’ve ever tasted. The hollandaise was balanced by chunks of no-sugar bacon and a handful of capers. A side, the Loaded Smashed Potatoes (with cilantro crema), proved addictive, and we fork-fought over a single almond flour pancake slathered with butter and maple syrup. Our lunch bowl of crispy chicken—dotted with blue cheese and bacon and jazzed up with Cholula and green goddess—also went quickly (beware the spicy sauce on the side). The menu stretches on to include sandwiches, burgers, tacos, steaks, salmon—you name it—all fueled by imaginative cocktails both alcoholic and zero-proof.
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Diverse diets—keto, paleo, vegetarian, and more—are accommodated by lively, spacious Picnik.