Houston is consistently known as one of the “fattest cities” in the United States. Anyone who has visited Houston knows that a contributing factor to this status is the fact that the City has a lot of excellent restaurants. The Galleria area has a reputation for consistently excellent food. But, the real enjoyment, especially for those of us who love Mexican food above all other cuisine, is a little bit off the beaten path. Houston has some of the best and most authentic Mexican food around.
There are lots of arguments over “What is authentic Mexican food?” If you want authenticity, you can’t beat Gordita’s Aguascalientes, 6102 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77081. It’s the next best thing to being there. The restaurant’s menu is particular to Aguascalientes, Mexico. You will find some interesting and very authentic items such as tacos nopales (pickled nopal cactus tacos) and gorditas con papas (fluffy gorditas stuffed with authentic Mexican white cheese and potatoes). Like most restaurants in the area, Gordita’s Aguascalientes only serves menudo only on the weekends. Menudo is the traditional Mexican cure for hangover! It’s a great place to practice your Spanish and listen to some Mexican music on the jukebox.
You will consistently find excellent and authentic Mexican food at any of the Taquerias Arandas. They have a wonderful Mexican bakery, too. According the the Taquerias Arandas website, Jose Camarena, originally of Mexico, opened the first Taqueria Arandas in 1981. His idea was to sell authentic Mexican food that was both fast and cheap. There are now 35 Taquerias Arandas, 4 bakeries and 2 seafood houses in and around Houston. Choose from any of them for an excellent dining experience. Their seafood soup is out of this world. They have plenty on the menu for appetites both large and small. Their food is fresh and healthy – not heavy.
This reviewers personal favorite,off-the-beaten-path path Mexican restaurant is Gorditas Mexico, 10799 W Bellfort St, Houston, TX 77099. They make excellent tacos and gorditas carne deshebradas (barbequed beef). The caldo de res with beef must be one of the best soups (Mexican or otherwise) in the city. The staff are gracious and very pretty. They also offer cuisine authentic to the region of Mexico directly south of the border which consists of a lot of potatoes and nopal cactus.
The food in these restaurants is as authentic as any you will find in Mexico. If you dine in the evening and are fortunate, you may be treated to the live music of some men dressed in Mariachi costumes, who will entertain you right at your table. Most of the little Mexican restaurants in Houston and the area are truly excellent, if you visit, you will soon compile a list of your own.