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The Authenticity Myth

The Mex-Mex issue

I order a carnitas taco and watch while the woman behind the counter chops it up, blending the tender pork with its crunchy edges. It is an extraordinary amount of meat for a dollar and a half. I wonder if I should buy another pound to go. It's hard to find good carnitas in the middle of the week, and the crunchy pork, which is boiled in its own fat, is one of my favorite Mexican meats.

An Anglo construction worker steps up beside me and asks for a fajita combo plate. The woman taking his order is straight from Mexico and doesn't understand. The young woman making my taco translates for her. "Fajita combo plato," she says. "Tortillas de harina," she adds without even asking. Some things are simply understood. After all, who eats fajitas with corn tortillas?

The Mexican woman ladles rice, refried beans and fajita meat into the to-go carton. She adds a plastic cup with hot sauce, and some flour tortillas, and hands the Styrofoam lunch bucket to the tall blond Texan and smiles. "Gracias," he says.

Robb Walsh's search for Tex-Mex takes him to the carne asada at Las Alamedas.
Troy Fields
Robb Walsh's search for Tex-Mex takes him to the carne asada at Las Alamedas.

Location Info

Map

Las Alamedas

23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Katy, TX 77494

Category: Restaurant > Bar Food

Region: Outside Houston

Details

(713)461-1503. Lunch hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy hour: Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner hours: Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Taqueria Tacambaro is a truck parked in back of the Farmers Marketing Association at 2520 Airline Drive. Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. (713)461-1503. Lunch hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy hour: Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner hours: Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Matamoros Meat Market No. 4, 5526 Washington Avenue, (713)862-7792. Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Taqueria Tacambaro
Tacoal pastor: $1.25
Fajita quesadilla: $1.25
Gordita: $2

Las Alamedas
Nachos deluxe (large) : $12
Huachinango Azteca: $19
Carne asada tampiquena: $21

Matamoros Meat Market No.4
Barbacoa: $5.50 a pound
Carnitas: $5.99 a pound
Fajita combo plate: $4.50

8615 Katy Freeway

She's learning Tex-Mex on the job.

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