Though Pico Smokehouse and Grill at 2403 Falcon Road in Altus was never intended to be a Mexican restaurant, owner Jessie Basaldua’s main focus of fresh-smoked meat has married well with tacos, nachos, burritos and sometimes enchiladas, in what his customers have named “Mexi-que” — bringing the best of both worlds into one place.
“Growing up, we had brisket the traditional way with potato salad, but my favorite was when we added brisket to tacos with pico de gallo,” Basaldua said. “I wanted to share those memories with my customers and they seem to like it.”
The name of the restaurant is derived from Basaldua’s love for the spicy salsa.
“Pico de gallo means beak of the rooster,” Basaldua said. “It’s got a little bite to it.”
Basaldua is an Altus native who has spent his career working in restaurants around the community. His experiences working as a manager at Pickup Taco and Mazzio’s Pizaa and serving at Benny’s Mexican Food and Pizza and La Hacienda have paved the way to make his dream to own a restaurant to come true.
“I have a passion for cooking and creating. Add that to my love for making people happy and this is perfect for me,” Basaldua said.
Since the restaurant opened in December 2016, Basaldua and the assistant manager Matt McMahan have been putting their creative skills to work trying out new recipes and perfecting the classics.
“Our customers love the trashcan nachos and we’re trying out a new mile-high club,” Basaldua said. “We’re always trying something new.”
Basaldua doesn’t mind serving his customers and greets each one as they enter the establishment, happy to see his customers satisfied with their meal.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to make my customers happy with their meal or make anything right that hasn’t met their expectations,” Basaldua said.
Basaldua credits his community and close friends with the success of the restaurant.
“I jumped on the opportunity to open,” Basaldua said. “And the support I’ve gotten from the community shows me how blessed I am. There are days I’ve needed help and it’s been provided.”
Pico Smokehouse and Grill is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, contact Basaldua at 580-482-5220.
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.