Restaurant Reviews

Moderno Tacos + Tex Mex Needs to Flesh Out Its Dishes to Be Truly Top-Drawer

It might be a fair statement that the merits of a Tex-Mex restaurant can be roughly gauged by the merits of its margarita. For better and for worse, this is certainly true of Moderno Tacos + Tex Mex, a bright, endearingly casual new spot on the western banks of Beltway 8. Bolstered by freshly squeezed lime juice -- the press is proudly displayed behind the bar -- the margaritas here could easily make a short list of the city's best, if they didn't run so perilously close to over-sweet. For a few dollars more, you can opt for a better class of tequila to be shaken into yours; it's nice to see quality offerings such as Tapatio sitting alongside the usual suspects. You might even opt for a nicely woody reposado from Tequila Ocho for a duskier spin on the classic. Perhaps you can persuade the bar to strain yours over fresh ice -- the better to control melting and dilution -- rather than unceremoniously dump the contents of the shaker into your salt-rimmed glass. It's one thing to laud the charming casualness of the gesture, but another entirely to let the drink suffer, even if ever so slightly.

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Nicholas L. Hall is a husband and father who earns his keep playing a video game that controls the U.S. power grid. He also writes for the Houston Press about food, booze and music, in an attempt to keep the demons at bay. When he's not busy keeping your lights on, he can usually be found making various messes in the kitchen, with apologies to his wife.
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall