Ruben Ortega

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    The Last Bite: Rebecca Masson Is Throwing Her Final Sweet & Savory Fundraiser Dinner for Lucky Dog Rescue

    What started out as a fun fundraising event for the Lucky Dog Rescue charity has taken on a life of its own. Pastry Chef Rebecca Masson's Sweet & Savory charity dinners have become legendary. And this Sunday, she will hold her last one, which promises to be grand in every way. "So basically, when w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2014

    Upcoming Events: Bratoberfest at Hay Merchant

    The Hay Merchant will celebrate Oktoberfest, or as they like to call it "Bratoberfest," by serving a special bratwurst created by Underbelly's chef Chris Shepherd available now until October 5. Pair that slow-cooked bratwurst featuring hints of nutmeg and garlic topped with butter-braised onions all ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Where to Eat on Father's Day in Houston 2014

    Father's Day is less than two weeks away and it will be here before you know it. Houston restaurants are gearing up for the big day, and so should you. On Sunday, June 15, various establishments will offer celebratory brunches, lunches and dinners along with some drink specials. Check out our round ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 10, 2014

    Where to Eat in Houston for Easter 2014

    Your guide to holiday meals.

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2014

    Where to Eat on Easter Day (2014)

    Some of you may be wondering, "When is Easter?" And I bet those of you who gave something up for Lent know exactly when Easter is (you've been counting down the days). Well, this special holiday is Sunday, April 20, and the best way to celebrate any weekend holiday is with brunch, no?. Many restaur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2014

    Caracol: Go For the Oysters, Stay for Delicious Drinks and Desserts

    For last week's cafe review I visited Caracol, the new Mexican seafood restaurant from Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught, and noted that while there are some truly stellar plates on the menu, the sheer number of items being prepared in the kitchen is perhaps resulting in some dishes being less than they ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 23, 2014

    Rest of the Best 2013

    Top 10 drive-throughs in Houston.

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2014

    Oysters and Tuna Tacos: First Look at Caracol

    "I could come here just for this," I thought to myself as I sampled the unbelievably tasty ostiones asados, or wood grilled oysters, topped with chipotle butter at Caracol. The first of several dishes I tried during my first visit to Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught's new coastal Mexican seafood restaur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    Hugo Ortega's Caracol Opens; Expect Crowds

    For those who speak Spanish, the word caracol is instantly evocative of seafood. It translates to conch, or shell, and in addition to rolling off the tongue, the word has special meaning for Hugo Ortega and his wife,Tracy Vaught, of Hugo's and Backstreet Cafe. "Hugo's brother used to be the chef a ... More >>

  • Dining

    December 12, 2013

    Rest of the Best 2013

    The top 10 late-night dining restaurants in Houston.

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2013

    Openings & Closings: Another Pie Shop Shutters and Highly Anticipated Restaurants Open Softly

    Even though the week began with a devastating fire-forced closure of a Houston pie shop landmark, the rest of the week has been filled with openings and announcements of future openings. But, let's begin with the sad news, shall we? Just two days after Thanksgiving, another pie shop caught on fire, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2013

    Chef Chat, Part 3: Ruben Ortega of Hugo's and the Traditional Foods of Mexico

    This week, we've been chatting with Ruben Ortega of Hugo's and Backstreet Cafe. This is the third and final part of a three-part Chef Chat series. If you missed our previous posts, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Ruben is the lesser known sibling of Hugo Ortega, and his official title at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Ruben Ortega of Hugo's and Backstreet Cafe and the Story of How He Came to Houston

    This is the first part of a three-part Chef Chat series. Come back to read parts two and three in this same space on Thursday and Friday. In the Houston food world, everyone knows Hugo Ortega. The chef who started out as a dishwasher before falling in love with his restaurateur wife eventually open ... More >>

  • Dining

    November 1, 2012

    Chef Endures Cancer, Loss of Sense of Taste

    A stroke, a brain tumor and the loss of his sense of taste haven't kept Chef David Guerrero out of the kitchen.

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2012

    This Week In Food Blogs: Churro Porn and Houston as Mutt City

    Robb Walsh: In his continuing series on where Texas cuisine is headed, Robb Walsh talks to Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd about Houston's role as a "new Creole city," citing a recent article by Southern food writer John T. Edge called "Savoring Mutt City." (Mutt City is us, by the way -- and it's a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    Chefs Hugo and Ruben Ortega -- Soulful Masters of Mexican Cuisine

    I met chefs Hugo and Ruben Ortega of Hugo's last week, and what I walked away knowing is that I want to spend a lot more time with these guys -- in Mexico tasting their memories. Chefs Hugo and Ruben are engaging, enchanting and extraordinary, and they're coming out with a cookbook. I wondered why ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2012

    La Fisheria Opens Tomorrow as Houston Welcomes a Mexican Celebrity Chef to the City

    Most Americans wouldn't know chef Aquiles Chávez if they saw him on the street, even with his trademark handlebar mustache and Jack Sparrow-style dreadlocks tucked under a straw hat. But ask anyone in Latin America about Chávez and they'll immediately grin and say, "El hombre con el bigote!" as t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 12, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Bistro Alex in City Centre

    Mai PhamChef Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Bistro Alex​Yesterday, we caught up with Chef Juan Carlos Gonzales of Bistro Alex and talked about his background and some of the standout dishes in his restaurant. Today we ask him about his involvement in the Toque 5 dinner series and his favorite foods. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2011

    Chocolate Extravaganza Class with Ruben Ortega

    ​Though Central Market's Chocolate Festival is technically over, sweet memories lived on last week as My Table's Pastry Chef of the Year, Ruben Ortega, taught a packed classroom the ins and outs of cooking with chocolate. Ruben has worked at several Houston restaurant institutions, including ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    The Houston Culinary Awards Get a Facelift

    Photo courtesy of My TableThe steel awards themselves (no more glass!) weren't the only new things this year.​"You can't help but feel great when you're honored and respected by your peers and Houston diners," said Sean Beck today, after bringing home a stunning two awards at the annual My Tab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2010

    Chef Tats: Katie Leggett

    Leggett's tattoo sleeve is dedicated to her love of baking.​Although it's been a while since we've featured any chef tattoos here at Eating Our Words, we couldn't resist sharing the sweet sleeve that pastry chef Katie Leggett has been working on for years. Besides being a canvas for some gorg ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2010

    Our Second Reader Judge: The Houston Press Cupcake Smackdown

    ​Oh man, this was a close one. Who knew choosing the second reader judge for Sunday's Houston Press Cupcake Smackdown would be so gut-wrenching? Two readers, JG and Sofia, captured our hearts. Both came off as passionately -- okay, insanely -- dedicated to cupcakery. JG claimed that her mothe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2010

    Think You've Got What It Takes To Be a Cupcake Judge?

    ​Last week, we chose Melanie Tello from a sea of 60 other worthy candidates to be one of our reader judges in this Sunday's much-anticipated Cupcake Smackdown at Block 7 Wine Company. This week, our food blog editor will choose the second and final judge. Do you think you have what it takes? ... More >>

  • Dining

    February 16, 1995

    Evolution of a Watering Hole

    Backstreet Cafe outgrows its niche as a fair-weather favorite