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brunsonpark08

Hollywood Video --> El Real Tex-Mex

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Swamplot has an article on this:

http://swamplot.com/...-15/#more-23064

His twist seems to be "authenticity". He plans on using freshly renedered pork fat from the pork farms that, I think, are moving into the old McCains space. One of the comments says the pork fat is as healthy as olive oil. Don't know about that but I bet it's tasty.

Healthy, authentic Tex Mex? I don't think those go together.

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Noticed that the black ceramic tiles which replaced the original Vitrolite have been removed and a more sympathetic material has been installed.

While not identical to the original, it's a definite improvement.

Edited by dbigtex56

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There was a great article in yesterday's Chronicle about the new restaurant. (I can't find it on their terrible web site or I would post a link). It really sounds exciting. I hope they don't over do it and charge exorbitant prices. After all, it's Tex Mex and that's what makes Tex Mex so damn good is it's simplicity and low cost. I would think they would since they have to compete with other Tex Mex places nearby like El Tiempo and Chuy's.

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There was a great article in yesterday's Chronicle about the new restaurant. (I can't find it on their terrible web site or I would post a link).

http://www.chron.com...od/7451654.html

Walsh said previously that the prices will be normal Tex Mex prices. Sounds a little optimistic to me, but still prices should be decent.

Edited by kylejack

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They opened last weekend. Can't wait to try it but I will give it a few weeks for the crowds to die down.

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They opened last weekend. Can't wait to try it but I will give it a few weeks for the crowds to die down.

The reviews are all over the place (as they usually are)....we're going on Friday to check it out....

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Wow, the OP was right. Absolutely horrible. :rolleyes:

Yes, the gloomy, stale urine-ridden, street person dorm that was there was MUCH preferable. Let's all go over after it closes and have a pi** party in the name of conservation.

Edit: In no way do I condone micturition on private property other than my own.

Edited by sidegate

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I'm loving it so far. Regarding price, small queso (which was a decent size for 2) was $5, margaritas were $8, entrees were generally in the $10 neighborhood. Fajitas were $15 for half a pound or $28 (I think...) for a pound. Queso was great, margarita not so much, and entrees I tried were great. They're very much still polishing the edges, though. I've heard stories of some entrees not being right, so you may want to go after the 28th or so (which is when they start opening for lunch as well). They have a limited menu right now while they get up to speed.

Try Borundi enchiladas (pork).

Edited by kylejack

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My admin went last night and gave me the following report this morning on one of the combo plates: rice: awful and lumpy, refritos good, chile gravy good, tamale filling tasted of allspice (which she really harped on for a place calling itself tex mex) no onions in the cheese enchiladas (I'm with her there- if it's real there should be onions, dangit), and the plate was totally congealed right after it hit her table.Overall, she said it was some of the worst she's had in a while.

I'm going to wait a bit, but still definitely go, if for no other reason than the puffy taco. Man, I miss me some real San Antonio puffy tacos. I wonder is they do a old-schooly chile relleno with cheese?

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^Sounds...interesting. And oooh - puffy tacos! Last I had was at Amazon Grill...not too shabby.

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Bad: Margarita, rice, guacamole

Good: Burundi pork enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, queso

Still giving them a chance, though.

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Bad: Margarita, rice, guacamole

Good: Burundi pork enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, queso

Still giving them a chance, though.

5 hours and counting till Im there....Im already thirsty though!!

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Bad: Margarita, rice, guacamole

Good: Burundi pork enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, queso

Still giving them a chance, though.

can anyone comment on the ambiance of this place? for me, this is usually as important as the food

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can anyone comment on the ambiance of this place? for me, this is usually as important as the food

There is one big dining room with very tall ceilings. Above some stairs by the door there is a smaller seating area, and also a Tex Mex museum of sorts with memorabilia from Felix's and other places. Underneath the balcony area is a bar area, but no actual bar you can sit at...at least yet. There are tables around the bar area, and from there it leads out to a patio on Westheimer, the patio facing former Chances that will be Anvil's new beer place Hay Merchant, and Chris Shepherd's Underbelly. Back in the main dining room, there's big historic photo panels on the wall. I'm not sure who the pictures are of. The walls are bright neon colors. On a big projection screen they're playing old Westerns, like High Plains Drifter.

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There is one big dining room with very tall ceilings. Above some stairs by the door there is a smaller seating area, and also a Tex Mex museum of sorts with memorabilia from Felix's and other places. Underneath the balcony area is a bar area, but no actual bar you can sit at...at least yet. There are tables around the bar area, and from there it leads out to a patio on Westheimer, the patio facing former Chances that will be Anvil's new beer place Hay Merchant, and Chris Shepherd's Underbelly. Back in the main dining room, there's big historic photo panels on the wall. I'm not sure who the pictures are of. The walls are bright neon colors. On a big projection screen they're playing old Westerns, like High Plains Drifter.

Nice anxious to check out the patio, will add for some more street life with the other bars you mentioned.

Hopefully only 10 days more than back to H Town...

Edited by DrLan34

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Back in the main dining room, there's big historic photo panels on the wall. I'm not sure who the pictures are of.

From a recent piece in the Chronicle:

In the dining room they plan to display totemic oversize photographs of Houston Tex-Mex legends Leo Reynosa Sr. (the founder of the now-closed Leo's Mexican Restaurant, who in his younger years rode with Pancho Villa), Felix Tijerina (a community leader whose restaurants featured a hybrid style of Tex-Mex that became popular with Texas Anglos), and Mama Ninfa Rodriguez Laurenzo (Houston's first lady of Mexican cooking, who is credited with introducing the world to the taco al carbon, or fajita).

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My admin went last night and gave me the following report this morning on one of the combo plates: rice: awful and lumpy, refritos good, chile gravy good, tamale filling tasted of allspice (which she really harped on for a place calling itself tex mex) no onions in the cheese enchiladas (I'm with her there- if it's real there should be onions, dangit), and the plate was totally congealed right after it hit her table.Overall, she said it was some of the worst she's had in a while.

I'm going to wait a bit, but still definitely go, if for no other reason than the puffy taco. Man, I miss me some real San Antonio puffy tacos. I wonder is they do a old-schooly chile relleno with cheese?

Hola! I will have to steer you away from this place. I also went last week. It was bad. To be honest, there wasn't anything that was good.

The rice had no flavor. The salsa had zero kick. I ordered the puffy tacos and the cheese enchiladas. The puffy tacos were not cooked thoroughly. The taco ended up falling apart after a couple of bites. The meat tasted like canned chili, loaded with salt. The cheese enchiladas also contained the chili.

I had a flashback to eating a tv dinner cheese enchilada.

If anyone is looking for old time Tex Mex go to Larry's Mexican Restaurant in Richmond. Been there for decades. Look for the Felix inspired sign.

Edited by musicman

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Back in the main dining room, there's big historic photo panels on the wall. I'm not sure who the pictures are of.

You're kidding right? Heard of Ninfa Laurenzo?

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Went Sat night.....here's our take on stuff....ritas were ok -- not great -- one of the owners actually came out and specifically asked us about them, apparently the buzz is the ritas are bad and they are trying to figure out why -- to us they tasted like a mix, but he said they weren't....he said they will be tweaking them...

Tamales were good...enchiladas were very good.....puffy taco, not so good - very greasy -- not lard greasy (that would be good) but greasy from the deep frying....

Salsa was warm/hot (from cooking -- not from spices) which isn't my preference, but my friends thought it was good...

Our service was great -- they replaced chips, water,etc...before they were empty...our waiter was very attentive and friendly...seems they have improved that from some of the earlier comments

The place definitely has a buzz going right now, it opened at 5:00 and by 5:30 it was full....they open for lunch starting today..

Hopefully they will get the rough edges taken care of as I think they are a great addition to that area...will definitely be going back..

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At there last evening for the first time... great food and great service. We got to eat outside overlooking Westheimer which was nice ... the weather was great. Only mishap was my friend found a pretty big bone in his chicken ... the owner or manger came right out to see and make sure we weren't upset which we weren't... he said they were still working out the opening kinks and want to know of any problems we had... everything else was great. I'll definitely be going back.

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If anyone is looking for old time Tex Mex go to Larry's Mexican Restaurant in Richmond. Been there for decades. Look for the Felix inspired sign.

LOL. You sound like one of my best friends that goes to Larry's every week. My wife and I have been there but have never understood the fascination with the place or of the popular Lopez near the Meadows. Neither have bad Tex-mex but nothing to write home about and their margaritas are terrible. Much better places exist but I know everybody's tastes are different.

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Review with some pictures just posted on InnerLooped

Your enchilada plate was $10, unless they've changed the prices. All but 1 of the enchilada plates are under $10. Nice review, looks similar to my experience!

Edited by kylejack

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LOL. You sound like one of my best friends that goes to Larry's every week. My wife and I have been there but have never understood the fascination with the place or of the popular Lopez near the Meadows. Neither have bad Tex-mex but nothing to write home about and their margaritas are terrible. Much better places exist but I know everybody's tastes are different.

larry's and Lopez's are completely different styles of food not sure of the facination you've mentioned. larry's doesn't put canned chili on their enchiladas. Clearly roasted meat is their norm. please go to El real and report back. You'll discover what bad tex mex is.

Edited by musicman

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larry's and Lopez's are completely different styles of food not sure of the facination you've mentioned. larry's doesn't put canned chili on their enchiladas. Clearly roasted meat is their norm. please go to El real and report back. You'll discover what bad tex mex is.

I'm scared to after your review although I guess it's worth a trip just to see the remodel.

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larry's and Lopez's are completely different styles of food not sure of the facination you've mentioned. larry's doesn't put canned chili on their enchiladas. Clearly roasted meat is their norm. please go to El real and report back. You'll discover what bad tex mex is.

I'm not going to pass full judgment until this place gets a full menu up and running and has a chance to hit its stride. But I will give you my thoughts after my first visit. Take it with a grain of salt given that the restaurant is still a work in progress.

I ordered cheese enchiladas and they tasted like a TV dinner I used to get, right down to the orange tortillas (I'm with Musicman on this one). And the beans were the same as they were in the TV dinner. I wish I could remeber the brand. El Patio maybe? That being said, I liked the beans. I tried puffy tacos and those things were excellent. The rice was bleh. The salsa was good. The queso was nothing like Felix's queso ( I don't see the much hyped connection), but it was good. The margs were nothing special. Take the mixologist crap out of the equation and just make a goddam margarita.

I don't doubt it is authentic Tex-Mex. If Robb Walsh is using recipes from a 1917 cookbook, I believe him. But the funny thing about an authentic holdout like Felix was that it was a throwback to what Tex-Mex used to be and was quaint in that way. I used to say it's what people in the 1920s thought Mexican food should taste like. There is no doubt that the current palate is used to things being more spicy, less lardy, having onions in their cheese enchilada, etc. While these meals are good and interesting in an anthropological way, I wonder if people will think it is really better. Does Tex-Mex taste worse than it did 90 yeasrs ago? I appreciate what the restaruant is about, but suspect a lot of people will be disappointed at how bland some of this stuff is. Again, I don't think it's bland because they don't know what they are doing -- I think they are faithfully reproducing something that faded away for a reason. Felix was authentic as hell -- it was whatever people in 1940 thought Tex-Mex was. But it worked more as a nostalgia trip than a go-to place to eat.

From an architectural standpoint, I'm just glad the building is being used and there is life on the sidewalk now. The interior left me uninspired, but I appreciated the nod to the tchochkes and curios for sale that were an old stalwart of classic tex-mex places. I think I got my first marionette and maracas from the curio cabinent in a tex-mex place.

All the nitpicking aside, I'm sure I'll be back. I'd be shocked if the don't end up with one or two homeruns on the finished menu.

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Had the beef fajitas last night. Awesome.

Since they still don't have a full menu online.. quanto costo ?

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$15 for half pound, and I think $29 for full pound. The half pound was way more than enough for me, and now I'm eating them for lunch leftovers.

lXTF2.jpg

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Great picture. You made me hungry. How do they compare to El Tiempo's? Theirs are about the best in town to me. So are their margaritas, which seem to be El Real's downside which is a big negative in my book.

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Eh, give em time on the margarita, I'm sure they'll figure it out. Tiempo's I have not had. But these were some of the best I can remember. Outside skirt, which is rare in the fajita biz.

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I'm still mystified as to how one makes a bad margarita. Tequila. Triple Sec. Lime juice. After the first attempt or two, the balance seems obvious.

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I'm still mystified as to how one makes a bad margarita. Tequila. Triple Sec. Lime juice. After the first attempt or two, the balance seems obvious.

These have tequila, agave nectar, Cointreau, and lime juice. And not enough tequila, imo.

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I went for lunch yesterday and thought it was great. Got the chicken enchiladas and a margarita. The 'rita was strong, but pretty standard in terms of taste - Hugo's has spoiled me for all other margaritas. Service was very good. The high point for me, though, was the salsa - I thought it was perfect. We can argue about how spicy salsa should be (this one was not very spicy at all), but the flavor and consistency was excellent.

Nice atmosphere too - The Magnificent Seven was playing on the wall.

The lunch prices are very affordable, so I see no reason why everyone shouldn't at least give it a try.

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These have tequila, agave nectar, Cointreau, and lime juice. And not enough tequila, imo.

Superior ingredients notwithstanding, an inadequate amount of tequila ranks as a mortal sin.

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ayup

Other people tell me I'm crazy and there is plenty of tequila.

Well! Either they're lily-livered or we're alcoholics. :D

A second margarita should impart a distinct, pleasurable buzz.

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Well! Either they're lily-livered or we're alcoholics. :D

A second margarita should impart a distinct, pleasurable buzz.

Most definitely. Especially if it costs more then $5.

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Do they have pralines and chiclets for sale at the register? That would be el real deal.

If they are claiming to be real tex mex, the pralines would be part of the meal. One of the bar regulars where I frequent has been working there for the past month. Seems the complaints are pouring in and management in trying to react. The yelp complaints that are being filtered are just killing them.

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