July 31, 2022

Spanish Village - Tex-Mex in Houston (It's Finally Good Again)

After going through a period of "Never Again" result of too many trips with burned chili gravy, burned taco shells, mediocre food, the new management at Spanish Village has improved the quality of the stuff coming out of the kitchen. I really enjoyed my combination plate and it reminded me so much of the style of Tex-Mex in South Texas, like the plate I used to enjoy at Campbell's Cafe in Pearsall, when en route to Nuevo Laredo (in my college days). It's a very fajitas focused menu and I look forward to sampling them in 2022.

My friend, John Nechman, writes: "Spanish Village (4720 Almeda) is a Houston institution that I never wanted to see close. Within days of its closure last year, a new owner promised to reopen, but I hesitated to return because the food had become so flavorless and expensive under the previous ownership that I didn't think SV could revive. WRONG!

I saw that local expert on all things Mexico, Jay P. Francis, enjoyed a recent visit, so I headed over for lunch. My favorite staff member for many years, Paula, greeted me warmly and promised that the food was again exceptional. I was at first struck that the menu did not contain a lot of the famous dishes from the original menu, but an insert contained many of them, including the incomparable enchiladas a la Taylor!  

Paula brought me a basket of chips with the classic salsa roja and a new delicious, creamy salsa verde. I went with a new dish--enchiladas de carnitas--for lunch. Staring at the lovely-looking plate, I somewhat apprehensively poked at the frijoles refritos and the arroz, which had become tasteless under prior ownership. Both are again fabulous. And my enchiladas were outstanding, too--bursting with tender chunks of pork and avocado and topped with a savory salsa de tomatillo, queso, ribbons of crema mexicana, and sprinkles of cilantro.

So yes, Spanish Village is definitely back! And now I just have to convince them to put my favorite enchiladas con huevos and Richi's favorite Delia's carne guisada back on the menu!

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