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Gran Success

The infused tequilas and modern Tex-Mex at this neighborhood hangout are bien bueno.

What do you call a place that serves goat cheese-stuffed jalapeños with a melon gastrique alongside cocktails made with beet-infused tequila and ginger beer? Do you call it a gastrocantina? No. You call it El Gran Malo, and you simply enjoy it for what it is.

The tacos and margaritas are full of clever, modern touches.
Troy Fields
The tacos and margaritas are full of clever, modern touches.

Location Info

Map

El Gran Malo

2307 Ella
Houston, TX 77008

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Heights

Details

Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. to midnight Sundays.
Salsa sampler: $4.95
Quesadillas: $5.95
Diablos a caballo: $5.95
Empanadas: $6.95
Ceviche: $6.95
Tacos: $3.95
Torta: $8.95


READ MORE:
SLIDESHOW: Una Gran Sorpresa at El Gran Malo
BLOG POST: El Gran Malo es La Mas Gran y La Mejor de Gastrocantinas


katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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15 comments
Nick
Nick

We went last night and were interested to finally try a restaurant we've heard so much about from the Press and people alike. One of the worst experiences ever. None of our "specialty drinks" tasted like they had alcohol in them but instead tasted like watered down fire (guess that's the habanero and jalapeño infusion). One of our tacos came out with only lettuce on the tortilla- no meat, seasoning, or anything else it was supposed to come with, and the whole staff just seemed really disorganized. With Tony's across the street it was just a real disappointment we even ate there. If this is Gastrocantina then I'm not sure I want part of this trend. Maybe this place was great when it opened, Katherine, but I don't know if you'd have the same feelings now.

Stacey
Stacey

@ec my classmate's mom makes $79/hr on the internet. She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $7695 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more LazyCash4. com

ec
ec

The tacos in the photo don't look inventive to me. Looks like the kitchen doesn't like to chop the cilantro and instead just puts the entire leaf on top. Then to see the bottled salsa, seems just the opposite of inventive.

Ben Thayer
Ben Thayer

Getting out to the Heights doesn't happen as often as I'd like. Thankfully this most recent visit involved stopping at Gran Malo. My antennae about the place was up with a description like Gastro Cantina. Turns out that is very much what this place is all about. The food was inventive in a good way, never forgetting that a taco is comfort food. Both the shrimp and the pork belly versions were first-rate. There was a strong selections of beer and I was definitely impressed with the first infused tequila I've had.

While it seems like more of a hang out spot for the late twenties and early thirties crowd, we didn't feel out of place. Imagine when the weather gets going again in the spring this is going to be an happy patio spot. A nice addition to Houston and a colorful and promising take on our cities love affair of Mexican and Tex Mex.

Matthew
Matthew

charging for chips and salsa in houston should be a crime punishable by a tarring and feathering. booooooo!!!

Greg
Greg

Katherine I am the sous chef at Triniti. Could you change that please

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

Grand Prize often has awesome food, on the weekends when Feast or Modular or others are there.

Not sayin, just sayin

H_e_x
H_e_x

Oh sweet baby Jesus that better be the best taco in the world for that price.

brandius
brandius

Remember when I was all, "Eh, Im not into tex-mex or any of that kind of stuff"?

Now Im hungry and I blame you. I wake up in the middle of the night with taco sweats.

iLoveEspresso&warmMilk
iLoveEspresso&warmMilk

$4 is a lot for a taco. $3.40 for a taco is SLIGHTLY better (the 5 for 17 deal). And $5 for chips and salsa? Why not just get my own from a grocery store?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Yep. Fair warning, like I said: "...you will pay a little more for your tacos here than you would at Tacos Tierra Caliente, but they're made with better ingredients and in more inventive combinations than you'll find elsewhere." They're expensive, but you get what you pay for here.

iLoveEspresso&warmMilk
iLoveEspresso&warmMilk

eh. "inventive" is a pretty subjective assertion upon which to base the logic that you get what you pay for...

iLoveEspresso&warmMilk
iLoveEspresso&warmMilk

Sorry Katharine. I just realized I spend $4 on a Gordita at Taco Bell. Go ahead on with your great reviews, girl.

 
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