Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Greetings from Houston, TX

I like this meatpacking district better than the one in N.Y.

Not to be confused with Houston St (Howston, as we call it in NY).
I was checking Houston around yesterday, going to visit my Mexican homies.
Here are some examples of merchandise you can get at a convenience store in the Galena Park hood:

They are not called convenience stores for nothing. You can get your bag of Cheetos (or Sabritones in this case), your religious effigies, and your poor man's Viagra, all in one trip.

This is Texas.

I don't think you can find this drink even in Mexico:

Cueritos: pickled pork skins.

It's good to be in town under the auspices of a Mexican who knows his way around for culinary reasons.
For lunch he took us to Pappasitos, which he quickly caveated with: "It's Tex-Mex but it's good Tex-Mex". Indeed it was, particularly a concoction called Chili con Queso, which is like good melted Cheez Whiz with a nice poblano kick. Addictive stuff, believe it or not.
For dinner we went to Hugo's in the cute Montrose district. For years, the best Mexican restaurant in the US in my view was Rick Bayless' Topolobampo in Chicago. I'm afraid last night it was finally dethroned by Hugo's. It was so good, I'm seriously considering moving to Houston, which if you know me, it amounts to insanity. It was that good.
Did you know that if you order a shot of tequila, a shot glass of sangrita and a shot glass of lime juice, this is called a Bandera (the Mexican flag)? I didn't but I had two of those. My patriotic duty, of course.
The food in Hugo's is authentic and fabulously executed.
We had sopecitos (here spelled sopesitos, which drives me nuts) of chicharron with salsa verde, rabbit tinga and duck in mole poblano. You have no idea.
Then I had the cabrito, which came wrapped in banana leaf and was tender and succulent and came with excelent, smoky nopal salad and refried black beans and an habanero sauce (on the side) that was so good I didn't mind how hot it was (very).
For dessert I ordered a trio of ice cream of which a flavor called cinammon-coffee was incredible. The Mexican Vanilla and the Cajeta were fine too.
Hugo's made me so extremely happy.

This being Texas, I notice that in my humongous hotel room there is no trace of the "ecological" concerns many hotels have about sheets and towels. Here they don't believe in global warming so you can use as many towels as you like and leave the lights and a/c on all day if you so desire.

1 comment:

  1. Most households in Monterrey (that's where I'm from) have Topo Chico at home... you can have the truck deliver it to your house! "Agua mineral Topo Chico" is super easy to find in the north... not sure about the south though...