100 Favorite Dishes: No. 90, Roasted Chicken at El Norteño

100 Favorite Dishes: No. 90, Roasted Chicken at El Norteño
Photo by Ed Schipul

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

There are few simple pleasure in life more intense or rewarding than a perfectly roasted chicken, its skin caramelizing to a toothsome crisp and its fat turning to butter. If roasted correctly, that buttery fat will infuse the flesh with a savory sweetness that's far better than any added herbs, garlic or other marinades.

Such is the case at the bright blue El Norteño trucks that line Long Point from Gessner up to Wirt. My favorite is in the parking lot of the flea market that sits between Pech and Hillendahl. A whole roasted chicken will easily feed four people and comes with a whole roasted onion, roasted jalapeños, peppy salsa and plenty of corn tortillas, all for less than $15.

Considering that a perfectly roasted chicken is something that even upscale restaurants struggle to cook correctly, El Norteño's cost and convenience in combination with its skill make these blue trucks even more of a Houston treasure.

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA



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