In a town where Tex-Mex is so abundant that you can get it at gas stations, Cuchara is a breath of fresh air. Stylish and artsy, owners Ana Beaven and Charlie McDaniel created the restaurant to bring a piece of Mexico City to Houston. You won't find any yellow cheese or cumin in the dishes here. Salsas are prepared in the old way with real chiles and peppers, so you get a strong kick of spice. Dishes are simple and presented beautifully in colorful cast-iron cocottes. For lunch, the restaurant offers a comida corrida special — three courses with an agua fresca for just $15. The lunch menu changes daily and features dishes from regions such as Puebla, Oaxaca and Veracruz. Dinner is more static, while brunch is truly dynamic. Grab a spot on the patio and enjoy traditional chilaquiles with a café de olla, and you will be transported across the border.