For 18 years Sylvia Casares, a.k.a. "The Enchilada Queen," has been dazzling Houston diners with her inventive takes on the enchilada, and recently she made the commitment to do so for another decade.
Casares signed a ten-year extension to her lease at the Woodway location of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, which is extremely reassuring to me for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the continued opportunity to consume her terrific "North" enchilada parilla whenever I want.
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But as much as things will stay the same at Sylvia's, the menu will continue to evolve. Casares will continue to proffer new varieties of haute enchiladas (we're at 19 and counting), and most recently she introduced a new appetizer and margarita menu. Light and refreshing bar bites such as ceviche, picamole and my favorite, the sweet, spicy coctel de camarón, are on offer for an average of $6 during happy "hour," which is far more expansive at Sylvia's than the name might imply.
Happy Hour is all day Monday and Tuesday; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (during which time happy hour margaritas are further discounted, from $4 to $1.99).
In addition to sampling some of the renovated appetizers during a recent happy hour visit, I also tried one of Sylvia's new margaritas. With Patrón añejo tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice, the "La Perfecta" margarita is similar to the standard "cadillac margarita," but some tweaking in the component balance makes it boozier and less cloying. Lest you get too blotto after a few, I suggest soaking up the juice with three magnificent grilled quail from the Hebronville platter. Here's to Sylvia's coming decade.