HOUSTON (KIAH) The intersection of good food and supporting a good cause can be found at a 42 year old restaurant near the heart of the Bayou City.
El Meson opened in 1981, and it’s been sponsoring an MS 150 bike team since the turn of the millennium.
“So in 1999, she says, ‘Peter, I want to do this,” chef and co-owner Pedro Garcia quotes his wife as saying. “I was like, ‘OK, you got it. What do you want from me?”
Regina Garcia, El Meson co-owner and MS 150 team captain, wanted what her husband does best — someone to cook for her group of cyclists at the halfway point of the one hundred and 50 mile bike race.
He was more than willing to oblidge.
“So I went up there with my dog, and we set up camp, and it was a wonderful thing,” Pedro said.
Every year that the race that benefits Multiple Sclerosis research has been held since then, he’s served up paella — a Spanish seafood and rice dish that’s popular at El Meson — to the restaurant’s team of between four and 50 cyclists.
This year’s team earned their tasty treat.
Regina says a strong cross wind had them struggling to keep their bikes on a straight path mile-after-mile between Houston and College Station.
After the paella dinner Saturday night, Sunday’s ride was easier and more enjoyable.
“It gets me out the door, and it’s for a good cause,” Regina said. “And it puts me in tough situations with my friends, and then we have stories to laugh about all year long.”