Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ABC - Advertising, Branding and Chicken!

Patricia Hunter of Ink Graphics introduced me to a fabulous hidden gem in Clearwater. Pico Rojo is located at 2475 McMullen Booth Road Suite E. Located on the corner of Enterprise and McMullen Booth in the Oakbrook Plaza, this little place was very hard to find! It is nestled in a strip center, but it is worth taking the time to find it.

Pico Rojo opened in December, 2008. Pico Rojo is a family owned restaurant that was created with the concept of introducing Latin American Rotisserie Chicken and foods cooked in an ecological, natural and flavorful way. They only use peanut oil for items that are deep fried and olive oil for saute'd foods. The chicken is marinated for 24 hours and then slow roasted in an ecological charcoal rotisserie oven.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting. Orders are placed at the counter from a very large menu hanging on the wall and then you seat yourself. One of my favorite things (simple things) was the large red water cooler on the very left side of the counter. It was filled with ice cold water, so whenever you were ready for more water, just get it! (I drink a lot of water.) I was drinking iced tea also and Monica refilled that for me.

First stop is the ladies room. Very clean with automatic soap and paper towel dispensers. There is also a bench to set your purse or whatever other reason. I hate when there is no place to hang my bag as I will not set it on the floor in the restroom.

After staring at the menu and trying to figure out what to order, I finally decided to have the 1/4 chicken with 2 sides. (I picked the same thing that Patty was ordering.) I was having such a hard time picking my sides, though - that I had to get an extra side. The side choices are amazing! You can select two with your meal: steak fries, fried yucca, sweet plantains, tostones, fried cheese, rice, beans, mixed rice/beans, quinua, quinua/beans, side salad, asparagus, coleslaw and corn. And, let me point out that all sides are vegetarian. I chose the quinoa and beans, fried cheese and asparagus. There is a variety of salads as well as a pico rojo sandwich or a rotisserie chicken salad sandwich and of course as chicken empanada.

Once our food was brought to the table, I was thrilled with my selections. The pico rojo is a mayonnaise based sauce and the aji is hot. You can mix them or use them individually. Some people pour it on the food, others dip. I mixed some hot into the pico rojo and then I put the aji in my quinoa/beans. I liked being able to determine how hot I wanted my food.

Quinua (or Quinoa, in English) is a South American plant that is cultivated for its seeds, which are ground and eaten. Quinua has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice. I will definitely have this again when I go back. Along with the fried cheese! Yum!

For dessert, Patty and I shared (well, I ate most of it) a cheese empanada.This is a fluffy pastry that is filled with white cheese and dusted with powdered sugar.

I think I may have kept Patty out longer than she expected, but once we started talking about her business, I was so intrigued, I just had to learn more. Not only is she a graphic artist, she is a painter as well. Her company, Ink Graphics, has been in business two years. Patty has always worked for other agencies and has done free lance work as well. The difference with Ink Graphics is that they know happy clients is the best advertisement that you can have. Every client knows that they are the most important client! Patty goes above and beyond to make her customers feel special and important. I know this, because Ink Graphics designed business cards for me. Email me and I will send you one. They are phenomenal!! Patty does not stop at business cards. She does everything. From website design, to your logo, slogan all the way through to marketing and promotion! She does headshots, brochures, postcards and printing. Anything you need - and if she doesn't do it, she has the connections to get it done! Some of her clients are Debra Dakins (website design), Sunshine Geriatric , More Than Awards and most recently the Marriott. You can contact Patty at Patricia@inkgraphicsonline.com or visit the website.

I knew that Patty was a painter, what I did not know was how accomplished she is! Her paintings were in the observation deck at Tampa International Airport for 6 months. She painted live there as well! How cool is that? She was in 14 shows last year.Most of her artwork is acrylics, but some are oil. Click here to see some of her work. I was truly amazed at her love for painting. She loves bright colors and reds! It was kinda funny that there were four people (including me) in the restaurant that were wearing red. Also, Pico Rojo means red beak!

The owner, Monica, was a very gracious host. It was a pleasure dining in their restaurant and they were truly concerned that everything tasted good and that we were enjoying ourselves. I asked to take a picture with her as she was so sweet and wonderful and when I stood up I realized how tiny she was (or how tiny I am not!)
They will deliver lunch to your business or office with a $25.00 minimum purchase. Catering is also available. Their hours are Monday - Thursday from 11:30am-9pm; Friday 11:30am-9:30pm; Saturday noon-9:30pm and Sunday from noon til 8:00pm. I will definitely eat here the next time I attend a show/concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Oh and I forgot to mention that they serve beer and wine as well as homemade sangria. I did not have any today, but on my next trip back, I will definitely indulge in a glass of that!
I do it all for you, baby!!

I will not have any difficulty when I return, though!


  1. I will only look at your post after lunch. The food always looks so great. For lunch I had left-overs.

  2. Wow, I love the selection of sides from which to choose! I think I would have tried the fried yucca. The iced water cooler is a great idea. I don't like sitting around waiting for my glass to be refilled. Looks like a great place. I'm glad you do it all for me, Baby!!