In the latest news of Austin restaurants making their Houston debut, Picnik, a brand built on the foundation of conscious ingredients and a better-for-you drink program, is opening its first outpost in Montrose on Monday, April 24. Naomi Seifter started Picnik as a passion project, operating out of a 150-square-foot trailer in Austin, with the mission of making ‘healthy’ food more approachable. It has since grown into a thriving concept with two locations in the capitol city, and now a third set to debut in the Montrose Collective at 888 Westheimer Rd.
Whether or not healthy is the accurate term to describe Picnik’s drool-worthy eats may be up for debate, but the restaurant does aim to create dishes using thoughtfully-sourced ingredients and prepare them without any refined sugar, seed oils, gluten, or peanuts. As an alternative, guests are welcome to add superfoods and adaptogens to their meals, like CBD, Reishi for relaxation, Sharp for energy, or Lion’s Mane for elevated focus.
The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, and all-day brunch menus, with dishes spanning dips, starters, salads, bowls, and mains. Drawing inspiration from all that is blooming this season, the Spring Hash combines vegetables like corn, asparagus, kale, and sweet potato with grass-fed beef and heritage pork sausage, while the brunchy Picnik Benedict layers no sugar bacon, organic cream cheese and Vital Farms eggs on a scratch-made biscuit. Picnik’s bacon jam burger is among the most popular choices on the menu, built with a grass-fed beef patty, organic raw cheddar, and house-made bacon jam on a scratch-made sesame bun.
The ideology of incorporating conscious ingredients applies to the restaurant’s beverage program too. The pitaya margarita is Picnik’s take on the beloved cocktail, made with dragon fruit, raw honey, lime and tequila, while the bourbon-fueled Southern Charm is crafted with citrus, banana, and spice giving it a deep, soul-warming flavor. Along with cocktails and zero-proof sips, a menu of ethically-sourced and sustainable wines will be offered, while gluten-free beer, local cider, and hard kombucha round out the beverage menu.
Picnik joins other trendy newcomers, like Marmo and Graffiti, at the Montrose Collective. Its vibrant space, curated by HapstakDemetriou+Architecture Design, boasts a nature-focused aesthetic with airy interiors and lots of greenery. Houstonians will be able to experience it for themselves, day or night, when the restaurant opens with all-day service at the end of the month.