Ed’s latest passion

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson () - January 16, 2004 - 12:00am
Sports broadcaster Ed Picson is keeping busy these days looking after "Easy Street," a cozy 50-seat bar and bistro he co-owns with musician Teddy Orendain on Don Antonio Avenue near the corner of Commonwealth, behind the Shell station, in Quezon City.

Since "Easy Street" opened last Dec. 23, it’s been the place to be in Ed’s part of town. People of all ages like its ambiance and the food’s excellent. "Easy Street" is easy to spot, too–on the first floor of the two-storey Royale Place arcade just off Ever Gotesco beside a Manila Bank branch. You can’t miss it.

Ed’s charming wife Carina takes care of the kitchen and supervises the 17-man staff working two shifts, seven days a week. "Easy Street" opens for lunch at 11 a.m. and stays open until 2 a.m., sometimes even later. On Sundays, it closes at 10 p.m.

The menu was painstakingly assembled by Carina who has a rare gift of knowing exactly the type of cuisine you crave for. The food is basically Filipino-Spanish. You just can’t get enough of the callos, lengua, mechado, adobo flakes, fried chicken, beef kaldereta, sisig, crispy squid heads, calamares, pastas, sandwiches and lots more. Imagine what the delicious desserts are–I couldn’t begin to tell you.

Because Ed loves to sing–and he’s got the voice to make you sit up and take notice, "Easy Street" is also a music haven. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m., Ed rotates folk singers, torch singers belting out standards and a pianist on the spotlight. Customers often join in the singing. Angelo Castro Jr., for instance, recently jammed with the guest musicians and sports columnist Al Mendoza was in fine form singing his favorite Beatles tunes.

There’s also canned music from the 60s and 70s for that "retro" effect. Ed himself chose the music that’s piped in.

On the video side, Ed’s compiled a bunch of classics that he shows on three 21-inch TV monitors. They’re "retro" episodes of "Bonanza," "I Love Lucy" and "Bewitched," among others. He’s on the lookout for more 60s series like "Combat," a popular World War II show starring Rick Jason and Vic Morrow, and "Have Gun Will Travel" starring Richard Boone as the gun-for-hire Paladin.

For those who want some privacy, a small mezzanine or loft is available.

Customers patronize "Easy Street" because it’s like a home away from home. You could almost kick off your shoes, put up your feet on a stool, and drink your favorite drink while watching "Bonanza" or "The Twilight Zone" or listening to soothing music. It’s an ideal hideaway and watering hole.

Ed and Carina are the perfect hosts. They’ve made sure when you go down "Easy Street," you’re in good hands.

Ed says "Easy Street" wouldn’t have been possible without his partner Teddy, who is Carina’s uncle. Teddy, a musician, retired from a long stint at the US military base in South Korea and is back home for good.

Among the regular customers of "Easy Street" are director Al Quinn, golfer Jake Ayson, writer Bong Barrameda, Castro and Mendoza. Ed says "Easy Street" couldn’t be busier.

A formal inauguration is in the works as "Easy Street" has only had a soft opening.

Incidentally, Ed now hosts his own one-hour radio program, "Sport Lang," on DWIZ, 882 kilohertz on the AM band, every Saturday at 4:30 p.m. In Ed’s candid style, he comments on burning sports issues and interviews a wide assortment of sports personalities.

Those whom Ed has put on the hot seat in the interview portion included chess whiz Eugene Torre, Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala, world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, former Philippine Sports Commission chairman Popoy Juico, baseball legend Boy Codiñera, Red Bull basketball coach Yeng Guiao, Talk ‘N’ Text assistant basketball coach Virgil Villavicencio, outspoken boxing critic Hermie Rivera and many more.

As usual, Ed ends the show with his patented "see you around."

If for some reason you fail to catch Ed on radio, make sure he sees you around on "Easy Street." You won’t regret the visit.

PBA courtside reporter Patricia Bermudez is back and blooming. On New Year’s Day, she tied the knot with heartthrob cager Vince Hizon in Los Angeles. She’ll be working the ABC-5 telecast of the PBA draft at the Glorietta this afternoon. Here’s Patricia’s text, fresh from the US–"We’re back and we’re married. Had a beautiful wedding and a romantic honeymoon in L.A. We’re so blessed to have each other. Hope all’s well on our end–Mr. and Mrs. Hizon" ... A note from four-time PBA MVP Ramon (El Presidente) Fernandez–"Our party list has been accredited for the May elections by the COMELEC–SMILE or Samahan ng Mangangalakal para sa Ikauunlad ng Lokal na Ekonomiya."

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