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Landmark Fajitas

What you order at Herrera's Mexicatessen depends on how you feel about bacon

At Mexicatessen, they have departed from the proud tradition of artisanal nacho making and joined the ballpark crowd. Except here, you can also get too-salty taco meat and refried beans slopped over your corn chips. My advice is not to bother.

My buddies get two orders of enchiladas, which miss the mark on opposite sides. The cheese enchiladas are so smothered in chili and cheese, you can barely find the tortilla. And at the other extreme are the underbaked chicken enchiladas in salsa verde. The rolled tortillas sit up on the plate with barely a fleck of green sauce clinging to them. The tomatillo-and-serrano salsa tastes all right, but somehow it refuses to soften the tortillas and bring the dish together.

Meanwhile, the aroma of my fajitas bravo is torturing my tablemates. Just as I imagined, the bacon, mushrooms and caramelized onions create a rich, greasy dressing that sends the already excellent fajita plate into the stratosphere.

The bacon that comes with the fajitas bravo may not 
be necessary, but it pushes the dish into the 
stratosphere.
Troy Fields
The bacon that comes with the fajitas bravo may not be necessary, but it pushes the dish into the stratosphere.

Location Info

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Mexicatessen Herrera's Tex Mex Foods

302 W. Crosstimbers St.
Houston, TX 77018-5634

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Outer Loop - NE

Details

Fajita dinner: $8.75
Fajitas bravo: $9.75
Deluxe dinner: $8.65
Nachos (bean, beef and cheese): $3.55
Lunch specials: $4.95
Enchilada dinner: $6.95
302 West Crosstimbers, 713-691-2010. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays.

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Personally, I'm deeply conflicted on the subject of bacon. I think it's excessive and unnecessary on this fajita platter. And I think the bacon flavor takes away from the purity of the essential fajita experience. But I will order it every time. Just one of those contradictions I have to live with, I guess.

I have also ordered guacamole on the side. On a hot homemade tortilla, I spread a little refried beans, then position a few strips of the marinated, chargrilled beef on top. Next comes the onion, mushroom, bacon mélange and a sprinkling of pico de gallo. Finally, I spoon a generous glob of guacamole across the top and roll it up, all the while watching my tablemates out of the corner of my eye.

After the disgruntled enchilada eaters watch me take a few bites, I innocently ask them if they would like to share my fajitas. And they immediately stab away at the meat and fixings. It's really not that generous of me. There is so much food on the comal, I couldn't possibly eat it all anyway.

Fajitas are the way to go at the historic Mexicatessen. But to choose between the purity of the fajita dinner or the bold flavors of the fajitas bravo, you will have to decide how you feel about bacon.

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