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October 20, 2016




Many thanks to the Houston Press for voting El Real Tex-Mex Cafe to top honors in the Best of Houston awards in the Tex-Mex restaurant category!

If you’ve never tried our cheese enchiladas, puffy tacos, and sizzling fajitas, come by and find out why the critics are raving!

October 16, 2013

We are delighted to announce that El Real Tex-Mex Cafe has been awarded “Best Tex-Mex” and “Best Enchiladas” in the 2013 Houston Press “Best of Houston Awards.”

Many thanks to our loyal customers and hard-working staff.

August 27, 2013

Thanks to the Daily Meal website for naming our Chicken Puffy among the 35 top tacos in the nation. Here’s what they had to say:

“7) El Real Tex-Mex Café, Houston: Chicken Puffy Taco

Located inside a restored theater in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, El Real serves Tex-Mex classics like chile con carne, nachos, and Frito pie, but we recommend you head directly for the San Antonio Puffy Taco Plate, with smoked chicken. The deep-fried shell gets a smear of refried beans, then the smoked chicken (which is smoked whole before being shredded) is liberally applied. Lettuce and tomato come on top, and it’s a taco you’re not likely to forget any time soon.”

July 15, 2013

El Real’s Perfect Margarita was named one of the ten best margaritas in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine this month.
The “Perfect Margarita” was also described as “genius” on Eater Houston’s list of Houston’s iconic margaritas.

Alison Cook also raved about El Real’s Perfect Margaritas at 29.95. “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 stirred and shaken margarita didn’t become popular until the frozen margarita took the state by icy storm back in the early 1970s. Following on the frozen daiquiri craze of the 1960s, the frozen margarita was primarily made at home with a bottle of souvenir tequila and a Waring blender.

In 1971, when the Texas legislature made it possible for communities to hold local elections to legalize “liquor by the drink” in restaurants, Tex-Mex restaurants began offering the cocktail to patrons. The drink caught on, especially with women, and the local Tex-Mex cantina replaced the male-dominated, smoke-filled saloon as the Happy Hour venue of choice.

Stirred and shaken versions, like El Real’s Perfect Margarita, came along later as patrons with a taste for good quality tequila demanded a “Mexican Martini” style mixed drink.

For those of you who haven’t tried one yet, 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.

We love a good margarita on the rocks, but El Real has great frozen margaritas too. 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 was moved to Washington D.C. as part of the Smithsonian’s new exhibit, “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.” Señor Martinez was there at the opening. El Real salutes Mariano Martinez for his contribution to our Tex-Mex cocktail culture.