Of all the places one might have expected Houston nomadic chef Jason Gould to end up, Cyclone Anaya's might have been one of the last. When I think of the Midtown location of the slightly upscale Mexican restaurant, my first thoughts have always been of Tex-Mex dishes that are a little too expensive and a patio where the homeless walk right up and ask you for money when you're between margarita sips. After a lunch there last week, though, I will think of crab cakes, delicious, crispy crab cakes.
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I wasn't expecting to have anything other than some kind of standard combo plate when I decided to meet a friend at Cyclone's, but when I saw the list of daily lunch specials I figured I should change things up (especially since I wasn't the one footing the bill). Gould has brightened up the menu with selections like short rib quesadillas and shrimp tacos, but on this day, it was all about the crab cake.
They were served two per order, resting on an island of chunky salsa. The tomatoes were slightly charred, giving the whole dish a depth I hadn't anticipated. The crabcakes themselves also brought a pleasant surprise. I am used to them being tender when sliced with a fork, but these were extra-crispy. I'm not sure if they were actually deep-fried or not, and they were not one bit greasy, but they did offer a significant crunch. There was ample meat -- more crab than cake, to be sure. The dots of avocado on top were also a nice change of texture pace.
The dish came with a tasty mixed green salad with long strips of jicama that, just like a Lebowski rug, really tied the whole dish together.