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Keep Houston Press Free
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Tripping Down Tex-Mex Memory Lane

Raul Molina Jr. took over Molina’s Main Street location in the late 1940s--he was 19 years old at the time. Today, Molina’s Mexican Restaurants are run by the third generation of the Molina family.

The oldest location is Molina’s Cantina at 7901 Westheimer.

Photo by Robb Walsh

Raul Jr.’s favorite dish at Molina’s was a simple bowl of chili con carne. Try a bowl--it’s surprising good. Or get Molina’s cheese enchiladas in chili con carne, known as enchiladas de Tejas.

The original location of El Ranchito in Seguin was a tiny diner that opened by in 1941. The restaurant passed down from Grandma Cardenes to her daughters Trini and Momo.

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Father Danny de la Garza and his son John de la Garza are the third and fourth generation at El Ranchito (983 N. Highway 123 Bypass, Seguin) Don’t miss the sensational chile relleno. It tastes like a flattened chicken-fried Anaheim chile topped with meat, cheese and chile sauce.

Photo by Paul Howell

Mother Del Moya Hobbs and her daughter Sharon Coward are the second and third generation owners of the tiny Moya’s Café (401 2nd St., Refugio). “The place opened in 1938 as my Dad’s bar--my mom made tamales and snacks for the customers,” Del remembers. When her dad died in 1960, her mom Josefina Moya turned the bar into a cafe. Josie’s Plate is a sentimental favorite on the menu--it was Josefina’s favorite lunch--a homemade chicken enchilada in tomato sauce with rice and beans. -- Robb Walsh

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