Now you can request beef, chicken or our new pork fajitas when you order fajitas on a sizzling comal from our grill menu. The tender meat is marinated and mesquite-grilled pork brisket. It comes with hot off the griddle housemade tortillas and all the fixin’s including guacamole, pico de gallo, a roasted jalapeño and our melted herb butter.
Come by soon and give pork fajitas a try!
Mariano Martinez and Trini Lopez with the iconic frozen marg.
The world’s first frozen margarita machine was invented by Mariano Martinez in Dallas in 1972. It was a modified soft serve ice cream freezer. On November 20, Mariano’s machine showed up in Washington D.C. as part of the Smithsonian’s new exhibit, “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.”
Congrats to Señor Martinez who was there at the opening. We all owe him a debt of icy gratitude.
Meanwhile, back in Houston, El Real’s “Perfect Margarita” was described as “genius” on Eater Houston’s list of Houston’s iconic margaritas. For those of you who have been out of town for a while, the El Real perfect margarita starts with a slip of paper and golf pencil–you circle your choice of tequila, liqueur, juice, sweetener and mode of delivery. Tip of the hat to Eric Sandler for the exhaustive research.
Alison Cook also raved about El Real’s Perfect Margaritas at 29.95 a few months ago. “Now there’s a cocktail worthy of El Real’s wonderful beef fajita nachos, which are some of my favorites in town. I consider it a welcome miracle, and I hope the build-your-own idea catches on elsewhere in town,” she wrote.
The most popular item on El Real Tex-Mex Cafe’s Saturday and Sunday Brunch Menu is a plate of bacon enchiladas. What’s a bacon enchilada? It’s a couple of slices of bacon and cheese rolled up in a tortilla, slathered with El Real’s signature chile con carne gravy, baked until it’s bubbly hot and topped with a fried egg.
Try it with a Bloody Maria, or one of our fabulous “Perfect Margaritas.”
Tex-Mex Mixed Grill
Sure we have old-fashioned outside skirt steak fajitas and grilled chicken fajitas. And yes, those come with fluffy housemade flour tortillas, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, an addictive herb butter, and all the condiments.
But did you know we also cook up juicy quail, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and Certified Angus strip steaks on our J.R. Oyler mesquite-fired grill? There’s also “wholefish fajitas,” a whole Gulf snapper served up with caramelized onions on a sizzling comal.
You can get our grilled items in a wide range of combinations including the “Padre Steak,” a sirloin strip with 4 shrimp wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese and jalapeño; and “Cielo Y Tierra, 2 grilled quail with fajitas.
Try an El Real mixed grill soon–we also serve Alexander Valley Cabernet!
Many thanks to Joanna O’Leary of the Eating Our Words blog at the Houston Press for her recent blog item on our shrimp puffy tacos. The popular new tacos already appear on our printed menus, we promise to put them on our online menu soon!
My current favorite entrée at El Real is not even on the menu (yet). This confused me the first time I tried to order this dish, because I had seen it on the El Real Web site. After scanning the menu a few times, I thought perhaps I had missed the boat. The SHRIMP boat. HAH! (Tumbleweed.) Okay, moving on.
“Do you still have the shrimp puffy tacos?” I asked our server. “Oh, yes,” she replied. “They’re very popular. They should be permanently on the menu soon.”
After trying them, I can certainly understand why. El Real specifies that “to make the tacos, five shrimp are rubbed with a zesty spice blend, mesquite grilled, chopped into chunks and stuffed into two fresh-fried puffy taco shells.”
Two fried tortillas stuffed with grilled prawns, cabbage slaw, tomato, and cilantro and laced with jalapeño ranch sauce, the shrimp puffy tacos are the perfect combination of garden and grease. I usually gravitate to the reverse format (fried fish, soft tortillas) for seafood tacos, but the puffy shell presents two advantages. First, its sturdier structure means there’s less chance of the shell disintegrating under the weight of its contents, and second, the crisp of the tortillas is particularly satisfying when juxtaposed with the juiciness of the grilled shrimp.
Kids Eat Free!
For a limited time, one or two children under twelve can select one item each from the children’s menu for free when sitting at the same table with an adult ordering lunch or dinner (adult minimum purchase $15). Offer is for dine-in customers only, children must be present.
Wednesdays at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe are a regular family night fiesta with old kid’s movies and TV shows on the big movie screen and other kid-oriented attractions.
For our customers who prefer to dine in calmer environs, we’ll also be turning the balcony section into an adults only area on Wednesdays.
To celebrate our new El Real Tex-Mex concession on the club level at Minute Maid, we’re giving away free club level tickets to upcoming Astros games!!
Join us at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe every Tuesday and Thursday for happy hour and enter your name in the drawing with one of our bartenders. You’ll be eligible to win two tickets to an upcoming game. The drawing will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 PM. (You must be present to win.)
Lucky winners will leave El Real with two club level tickets in hand. We’ll also throw in a free order of ballpark nachos from our new El Real Tex-Mex concession stand.
Crab and Guacamole Salad
We were trying on bathing suits the other day when we concluded that maybe, every now and then, we ought to have a low-carb lunch. And so we came up with a couple of Summer Lunch Specials, like this crab and guacamole salad, that make a low-carb diet a little easier to bear.
The Campechana Salad, a half order of our Campechana Cocktail spread on half an avocado with a big plate of salad mix underneath, was the most popular of the new items on the day we introduced them. But a grilled chicken breast with ancho-tomatillo sauce and a cucumber salad was a close second. There’s also a grilled chile relleno and a simple taco salad on the new lighter summer lunch menu.
If you want to stick to your regular diet of cheese enchiladas and refried beans we understand–but we also got you covered if you or your lunch mates are looking for lighter fare.
Robb Walsh will be signing his new cookbook TEXAS EATS on Saturday from 5 pm to 7pm at El Real. The book has a “Vintage Tex-Mex” section with four chapters on Tex-Mex history and lots of time-honored recipes. Robb will on hand most of the night, so come in and say hello.
If you can’t make it Saturday, you can pick up the book another time. El Real will be carrying Robb’s new book in the retail case along with the Tex-Mex Cookbook and the Tex-Mex Grill.
Our new Anaheim chile relleno is stuffed with cheese and served in our vegetarian “Friday sauce.” (They call the meatless enchilada sauce “Friday sauce” in South Texas because Catholics can eat it on Friday and during lent.) You can get a single cheese-stuffed Anaheim relleno for $4.95 or two for $7.95. These come with vegetarian rice and vegetarian refried black beans.
Yes, of course, you can still get the big, tasty chicken and cheese-stuffed poblano chile relleno too–it’s on the ala carte menu and also on the famous Chingo Bling Platter with a tamale and a green chicken enchilada with refried beans and rice.
Add El Real to your Meatless Monday restaurant list. (No we aren’t going meatless, but we don’t mind if you do.) If you have a Montrose driver’s license, you can combine your Meatless Monday with Montrose Monday and get your vegetarian meal for half price!