Alison Cook’s top 100: No. 100 Spanish Village

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Spanish Village

100. Spanish Village
In the heart of the most grizzled, cynical critic always lurks a sentimental favorite, one that is greatly beloved if not altogether rational or easily explained. For me, Spanish Village is that restaurant. Perched crookedly on its corner of Almeda at Wentworth, lit by strings of colored Christmas lights, it has been serving some of the city’s archetypal cheese-and-onion enchiladas and Tex-Mex combo plates since 1951. I’ve been a regular since founder Larry Pico was alive, and I’ve never stopped loving those benchmark enchiladas (sometimes with a fried egg on top) or the idiosyncratic margaritas. Current owner Johnny Medina makes them by fresh-squeezing limes he buys from the Rio Grande Valley and freezing the juice. That’s why the frozen margarita here, served in a Nick-and-Nora cocktail glass, is alive with bristly little splinters of ice that slowly relax as you sip. Every time I drink one — and sit in this quirky room, in the care of the Medina family — I am happy anew that I live in Houston.
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Entree price range: $$
Where: 4720 Almeda Road
Phone: 713-523-2861
Web: spanishvillagerestaurant.com

 

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