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At Home at Julio

Monterrey expats flock to Tacos del Julio.

On every table are squeeze bottles of green and red salsa, which go on those tacos as well (although I've been known to put tablespoons full of the green in my charro beans). The green is a creamy jalapeño-based salsa that will sneak up on you; the red is less spicy but deeper in flavor, with a rich current of tamarind running through it. Both make excellent additions to the enchiladas del Julio, another favorite dish.

Simply soaked in a light chile-laced tomato sauce, corn tortillas are wrapped around white meat chicken that's been roasted and stripped from the bone, with a scattering of white queso fresco on top. Roasted potatoes come on the side. It's a beautiful meal, arresting in its simplicity. Not simple, however, are the flavors of that roasted chicken mingling with the bright sauce.

I wish the flautas had this same determination of character, this same clean look and feel with surprisingly complex flavors. But the fried little tubes are often far too hard, looking and tasting as if they'd been over-fried in slightly dirty oil. No matter, though, as they're one of the very few underwhelming things on the menu.

Authentic: the tacos de trompo.
Troy Fields
Authentic: the tacos de trompo.

Location Info

Map

Tacos Del Julio

8203 Long Point
Houston, TX 77055

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Outer Loop - NW

Details

Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. to midnight Sundays.

Caldo Tlalpeño: $3.79

Flautas especiales: $7.49

Enchiladas del Julio: $7.49

Tacos de trompo: $6.49

Taco pirata: $2.39

Gringa: $2.29

Torta: $4.59

Tacos del Julio

8203 Long Point, 832-358-1500

Perfect for cleaning the palate after a few bites of the flautas on one visit was the caldo Tlalpeño, a very classic Mexican chicken soup. I order a small bowl of it with nearly every visit.

Unlike a standard caldo de pollo or caldo xochitl, the Tlalpeño calls for the addition of a very important ingredient: chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. At Tacos del Julio, the chiles come in a little plastic cup full of adobo, allowing you to flavor the broth as you see fit, stocky white squares of queso panela bobbing on the top. The vegetables are similarly thick: ripe hunks of carrot, avocado and potato are barely covered by the broth in the bowl. Dosed with copious squirts of lime, it's especially good stuff right now, with colds and flus bouncing around the city.

It's also the perfect antidote for anyone who's grown weary of grease-saturated plates of tamales and enchiladas elsewhere. There's no gooey, cheesy Tex-Mex here at Tacos del Julio, just simple northern Mexican food in a clean and cheerful setting.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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10 comments
Paid Critique
Paid Critique

in my opinion you should join the show in australia the masterchef. i have read some blog about it. you can read it at http://paidcritique.blogspot.c... i think you have a change of winning. the presentation is ok so i think you can be atleast at the top 24.

Apronpoint

Dbeveridge2003
Dbeveridge2003

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Bobdapotter
Bobdapotter

you dared eating outside of the beloved comfort areas montrose and the heights? tacos de julio sucks beaner cock & you know it. ban me all u want, i will still champion the cause to have you scribe the truth not advertisements for subpar establishments

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

A pirata is a taco on a grilled flour tortilla that has fajita-style beef inside along with white cheese and avocado slices. Good stuff, especially with the green sauce.

Stomach Ache
Stomach Ache

This has been by far the worst Mexican cusine I have eaten in Houston. The tacos are on the level of Taco Bell, my cat Mr. Whiskers can make better mexican food with a bandana tied around his eyes and mittens on his paws. This is a disgrace to food critics around the world, and the critic who published this article should have his food licenses revoked and put on a five year prohobation from giving resturant recondmendations.

Never heard of one.
Never heard of one.

Why did you disgrace my comment with your crappy troll rant?

*still wondering what a taco pirata is*

SoSezYou
SoSezYou

I figure a person who has been going there for three years would know a hell of a lot more than some snob who doesn't even know the difference between "Add new comment" in BIG PRINT and "reply" which is much smaller.

Houston DOES deserve better, but not from the likes of you.

Thanks for the article, Katharine. I need to try and visit this interesting place.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

As far as I know, Tacos del Julio has never served "black eyed peas" in its complimentary charro beans before a meal, nor does the interior resemble a Chuck E. Cheese. That said, I'm sorry you didn't find the food to your liking. (Although I suspect this comment is more baiting than anything else.)

Stomach Ache
Stomach Ache

I meant to have my comment stand on its own. It was a mistake to have it as a reply to you.

I logged onto the Houston Press and saw this article that highly recommended a Mexican restaurant. I actually went to this restaurant and was highly disappointed. I followed a recommendation by the Houston Press for a Mediterranen restaurant which was also very bad (although not as bad as Tacos el Julio).

When I walked in the place was like chucke cheese. They served some sort of complementary soup for appetizer that had black eyed peas. Although high in salt, it raised my expectations after the dismal decor.

The meat was paper thin and oily. It might have actually had some flavor - but the cut was so thin it was not possible to taste it. The corn tortiallas were also very oily.

After getting home from the dining experience; rereading this article was laughable having experienced what this place is really like.

I will look to other places for food critics and let people know the quality of the Houston Press culinary outlook - very poor.

Your comment is a disgrace for giving legitimacy to this amateur food writer.

Just becuase there are no new restaurants to write about, doesn't mean you pick a crappy restaurant and say its 'priceless' - just don't write an article until you find something worth writing about.

Houston deserves better.

 
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