Have a Little Lamb

Anthony Butkovich

This is hardly what Mary intended for her fleecy friend, but for the rest of us, the best use of the barnyard animal is the lamb shanks at Tio Pepe [5213 Cedar, (713)667-4409]. While a guitarist strolls through this quaint Bellaire cafe, marked by adobe arches and secluded alcoves, diners make yummy noises as they take their first bite of the cordero jardinera ($11.25). Marinated in wine and spices and then slow-roasted for three hours, the tender leg of lamb nearly falls off the bone at will. The succulent dish is the brainchild of Tio Pepe's chef, Manuel Martinez, who was born in Leon, Spain. For 30 years, everywhere that Martinez went, the lamb was sure to go.

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