Alison Cook’s top 100: No. 89. El Gran Malo

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El Gran Malo

89. El Gran Malo
In Houston, the gastropub trend expresses itself as Gulf Coastal (Beaver’s), South Asian (Queen Vic) and now, at Gran Malo — “The Big Bad” — as Texican. In a rakishly folk-arty room, the self-styled “gastrocantina” offers a short, smart menu devised by former Voice chef Greg Lowry (now of Triniti), along with a fascinating roster of 100 percent agave tequilas infused with mostly local ingredients. It’s a gimmick that works surprisingly well, whether in a margarita shaken with tequila flavored with kaffir lime leaf, or in a dusky, resonant shot suffused with Chinese squash and charred lemon. Along with sprightly tacos, fine queso and a formidable torta burger, watch for seasonal tequila infusions dreamed up by the Houston chefs who haunt the place.
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Entree price range: $
Where: 2307 Ella Blvd.
Phone: 832-767-3405


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