Onion Patch Restaurant
"Iam from Iquitos, in the rain forest of Peru, where I was a schoolteacher," says Dalia Longwell, who recently opened the Onion Patch Restaurant (10111 Hammerly, 713-722-0666). "I love to cook with onions, so when I was thinking about a name, my daughter told me to use 'onion' in the name."
Dalia met her husband of 40 years when he was working in an oil patch and came to her father's farm. They have traveled the world together, and Dalia took cooking lessons everywhere she could. "My sister and I opened a restaurant in Lima called Texas Fried Chicken," she says. "We did very well, and our customers kept asking us to make Peruvian specials every day, so we did...When we moved to Houston, we sold the place, and it's still there."
Her family-owned restaurant is definitely warm and welcoming, and the food is homemade and incredibly inexpensive. Her menu features Peruvian favorites as well as dishes from around the world such as pastas and pizzas. "Everything is made fresh every day," she says. "We make our own salsa and pizza sauce from scratch."
When Dish visited one weekday for lunch, we tried one of the many ceviches, along with a Peruvian specialty called causa, which is made with mashed potatoes and stuffed with avocado and tuna. Another specialty is lomo saltado, or beef stir-fried with onions and tomatoes. You can definitely taste the care and goodness that goes into all of Dalia's food.
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