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.
# 95 Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria 1106 Spencer Highway
I was eager to eat some Tex-Mex after being out of state for a while. I had cheese enchiladas in mind when my friend picked me up at Hobby. It was a short drive from the airport to Taqueria Jesus Maria, where they have some pretty fine Tejano plates. But the whole tilapia on display at the front counter looked too good to miss -- it was scored to the bone, seasoned and fried until it was extra crispy, and served on plate covered with French fries, lettuce and tomato and Spanish rice. And it was on special for $5.99. "Do you want flour or corn tortillas, or bolillos?" the waitress asked when I requested the fish. "Get the bolillos," my tablemate advised. "Then you can say you ate loaves and fishes at Jesus Maria." I got the fresh handmade corn tortillas and made some spectacular crispy-fish, lettuce, tomato and salsa tacos. To satisfy my Tex-Mex cravings, I also ordered a plate of nachos. The plate of tortilla chips came covered with overlapping pools of refried beans and queso topped with a huge puddle of sour cream.
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
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