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Brave Nuevo World

Last in a six-part series

When the Original Mexican Restaurant opened on Fannin Street in 1908, its slogan was "Genuine Mexican Food, Properly Prepared," despite the fact that in those days "genuine Mexican food" meant chili con carne. In 1929 Felix Tijerina's slogan was "For the Finest in Mexican Foods," although to this day, Felix's is best known for classic Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas in chili gravy. Which brings this series of articles on Tex-Mex full circle, back to where we started.

For almost a hundred years, the restaurants that have served Tex-Mex, in all its many colorful variations, have insisted that they serve authentic Mexican food. And judging by the menu at Taco Milagro, this trend is likely to continue. It may be confusing to newcomers, but it follows a certain Latin American logic, which understands that appearance and reality exist independently and for different reasons.

Taco Milagro: Where the menu is innovative and the marketing hook is time-honored.
Troy Fields
Taco Milagro: Where the menu is innovative and the marketing hook is time-honored.

Details

The Blue Agave, 1340 West Gray, (713)520-9696. Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, Monday through Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Artichoke-and-spinach enchiladas: $11.99
Bacon-wrapped shrimp: $8.99
Tex-Mex combo: $10.99

Taco Milagro, 2555 Kirby Drive, (713)522-1999. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Spinach-and-cheese enchiladas: $6.45
Milagro burrito: $7.25

So remember this secret code: If the menu or the sign out front says, "Mexican food," it's really Tex-Mex -- just don't tell anyone.

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