Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#67 Al Pastor Quesadillas at Tierra Caliente Meat Market on Shepherd
Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria at 4420 N. Shepherd sells these tangy marinated pork al pastor and mozzarella quesadillas for $1.89 each. The barbacoa was excellent too the last time I dropped by for a couple of tacos. The barbacoa tacos were $1.29.
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For dessert, I picked up a couple of the pecan and caramel candies called Glorias, which ran me 89 cents each. I always buy a bag of these at the airport in Monterrey when I fly down there. I think these candies were invented there.
Most of the other folks eating at Tierra Caliente Meat Market were Spanish-speaking workers on their lunch break. Latino laborers eat a lot of tacos, tortas, hamburgesas and quesadillas every day. And, for a variety of reasons, they don't eat lunch in restaurants.
Carnicerias, the Mexican meat markets that used to sell mostly raw meat and groceries, are now making most of their profits selling tacos. Many, like Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria on North Shepherd, have added counters and stools so customers can eat in the store. These meat market/taquerias remind me of the many grocery stores in Texas that morphed into hamburger joints.
The list to date: #100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87: Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli #86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms #85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan #84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina #83: El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos #82: Kielbasa on a Sizzling Comal at Polonia #81: Shrimp and Grits at Bistro Alex, Hotel Sorella #80: A Bowl of Chili at James Coney Island #79: Lamb Dumplings at Lucky Pot #78: Crazy Irishman Sushi Roll at Soma #77:Tesar's "Magic" Burger #76: Mac n' Cheese at Two Saints #75: Spicy Armenian Kebabs at Café Rita #74: Jalapeño Gefilte Fish at Rustika #73: Greek Burger at the Hubcap Grill #72: The Basil Inferno at Thai Bistro #71 Paella at Rioja on Kirkwood #70: The Big Adrian Burger at Adrian's Local Café #69: Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Bar at La Paletera #68: Indonesian Deviled Eggs at Rice Bowl II