Houston Restaurant Week, Literally

For foodies and Houston explorers the month of August is pretty much the second best thing to Christmas. Houston Restaurant Weeks, or HRW, is a month long opportunity to check out some of the best restaurants in our food-filled city at a much more affordable price than normal, plus some of the proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank.

This year I visited two spots in one week and another by happenstance. My pregnant belly was very satisfied. Hopefully I’m teaching baby girl to appreciate good food while she’s still in utero, hah! So here’s a recap of what I thought was the best of HRW.

First up – Caracol

This was the one that I didn’t plan but was pleasantly surprised when they handed me the HRW menu for my mom’s birthday dinner. I was preoccupied that week and had hardly realized it was August already! I was the only one who chose the coursed meal and it was so worth it! Side note, Caracol is awesome any time of the year and you should go.

Coconut Gazpacho

The coconut gazpacho was my least favorite course but not bad – not sure I got the coconut flavor and I love everything coconut.

Tamale de Langosta – corn and lobster infused tamale, sauteed lobster, lobster sauce

The. Lobster. Tamale. I mean, do I need to say anything else about this? I could eat this all day, it was absolutely delicious. I convinced my BFF to go just for this course haha.

Bistec – wood-grilled ribeye, Texas blueberry mole, garlic sauteed kale, spice rubbed potatoes

The meat was nicely cooked and very flavorful. I enjoy a fattier piece of steak every now and then and the mole paired well. A generous portion and I finished every bite.

Tarta de Queso y Coco – coconut cheesecake, passion fruit sauce, pineapple compote, graham crust, coconut cream

Lastly, the coconut/passion fruit cheesecake. Passion fruit is another flavor I love for its sweet and sour taste. This dessert wasn’t overly dense and the passion fruit and pineapple flavors complemented the coconut perfectly. It was a tasty finish to a very savory meal.

Next up – Americas

This is a Houston classic in my opinion. The aesthetic of this restaurant is so unique and their food is top notch.

Plantain chips with dipping sauces

Everyone knows Texans love their chips and salsa, but plantains are way more up my taste alley. I enjoy munching on these while I catch up with my dinner company.

This tuna ceviche had a Latin spin that left me wanting more. The tuna was tender and the other elements gave a nice crunch to the dish.

Lomo y Mar – grilled beef petite filet, anchiote shrimp, castelvetrano olives, marscapone mashed potatoes, stilton bleu cheese sauce

Love a little surf n’ turf. This fillet was flavorful and well paired with the blue cheese sauced mashed potatoes. Shrimp steps up any dish’s game, in my opinion, so a nice added touch there.

Tres Leches

Americas is very well known for its tres leches, and with reason! Normally this dessert wouldn’t be my go-to at any other place but it’s a must here, or their sister restaurant Churasscos. You can see this was a huge portion and I indulged in every last bite.

Last on my HRW visits was Anejo. This was a totally new spot for me so I wasn’t sure what to expect but my overall verdict was I’d go back. Not to mention, this was a four course meal for $35!

 

Tamale de Cochinita Pibil – anchiote-orange braised pork, pickled onions, salsa diabla

Another tasty tamale. By the way, if you live in Houston there is a Tamale Festival happening on December 3rd!

Scallop Ceviche Estilo Agua Chile – Asian pear, avocado, jalapeno-cilantro vinagrette, scallops


If you haven’t noticed, I love seafood and I feel sad for people who don’t. This was a quick course and refreshingly cold before a heavier next dish.

Shrimp and Chorizo Flautas – poblano crema, queso fresco, smoked black bean puree

Flautas are usually top of my list for Mexican dishes. I just love the crunchy exterior! These were the savory highlight of the meal and another generous portion size.

Mango Panna Cotta – mango puree, chamoy, chile-lime salt

I almost dismissed how tasty this mango panna cotta was until I was looking at photos to recap my meals. This had really great consistency and the chile-lime salt cut down just enough on the sweetness of the dessert. I really enjoyed this!

There are a few days left for HRW – it runs through the Labor Day weekend. So if you haven’t gotten out to try any restaurants yet, check any of these three out and you won’t be disappointed. And if you have been participating in HRW, do yourself a favor and sneak in one more indulgent meal before we have to wait another year!

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