In Houston, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a Mexican restaurant or two. However, in The Woodlands, the choices are few and far between. Since its opening five months ago, La Cocina de Roberto has generated quite a buzz in the Woodlands Area Foodies Facebook group. The Houston Press ventured out to The Woodlands to see what all the fuss was about and we were quite pleased.
Located in a small strip center on Sawdust Road, La Cocina de Roberto is owned by Roberto and Claudia Rubio. The menu is a mixture of Mexican dishes with a Central American flair. Traditional items like tacos al carbon, carne asada, and enchiladas Suizas are served, as well as fried yucca and plantains with crema.
Upon being seated, there are two things you will notice. One, this isn’t your typical Tex-Mex restaurant that fills you up with complimentary chips and salsa and two, this restaurant is BYOB. La Cocina de Roberto does offer chips and salsa, but they are homemade thick cut chips made in-house. The homemade salsas come in red, green and a habanero so fierce it’s served in a glass jar. A margarita mix of fresh orange and lime juice is available for $3.99 to pair with your favorite tequila. Want a michelada? No problem. Bring the cerveza of your choice and La Cocina has a mix for you along with a bucket of ice to keep the next round cold.
For starters, we chose the guacamole and the queso flameado topped with chorizo. The homemade chips were sturdy enough to dip into the chunky guacamole without breaking. The guacamole itself was simple and delicious. The queso was served with tortillas that were the perfect vessel for scooping up the gooey, melted Asadero cheese.
Tacos, tortas, burritos, quesadillas and tostadas come in a choice of five different meat options of which the most notable are the al pastor, carne asada, shredded chicken and chicharron. The enchiladas Suizas are filled with savory shredded chicken and topped with a tangy tomatillo sauce and a drizzle of sour cream. Dessert choices of homemade flan and arroz con leche (rice pudding) are a nice way to finish the evening off.
La Cocina de Roberto is open seven days a week. Breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. and includes tacos and traditional Mexican breakfast specials. Menudo and pozole is available on the weekend. Parking is very limited in front of the restaurant and can be quite a challenge during peak hours. Don’t give up though, it’s worth the hassle.
La Cocina de Roberto
3126 Sawdust, lacocinaderoberto.net, 832-299-6706
Hours: Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.