Sunday, May 3, 2009


There's been this little Mexican place not far from me that I've heard really good things about for a couple of years, and somehow, just never managed to get there. Went for dinner last night with a couple of girlfriends, and there's a consensus that we've discovered a new neighborhood gem.

Habanero is one block east of the Oltorf and S. 1st intersection in a older house. At a little past 7:30 on Friday night, they had a few diners, but it wasn't full. Our waitress was very friendly, and we spoke with her in a combo of English and Spanish throughout the evening. After ordering cervezas, and munching on the chips and fresh-made salsa that arrived with the beers, we settled on an appetizer of "Nacho Supreme", which was a huge plate of tortilla chips with seasoned ground beef and covered in good white cheese. Not sure which cheese it was, but it melted super well, had nice mellow flavor, and wasn't a greasy pool. Their tortilla chips are really nice also, a nice thickness, and enought corn flavor to them. Don't know if they make them there or not.

I ordered the gorditas, which according to their menu is one of their specialities. Described by them as "a Mexican hamburger," our waitress suggested it with the beef fajita. It's a large plate! The corn cake part was really good -- crispy on the outer part, and slightly softer in the middle. The beef fajita meat had a nice grilled flavor, and the meat was fairly tender. It came with refried beans, rice, guacamole, lettuce & tomatoes.

My friends split the beef fajita platter for two; they each got their own plate of charro beans, guacamole, and tortillas (one ordered flour, the other corn, and without even asking who ordered what, our waitress placed the right tortillas in front of the right person). While I didn't taste their meat because I assume it was the same as in my gordita, I did try the charro beans (pintos) which were fantastic. A light bit of smokiness, and good pork flavor. When I go back, I would substitute the charros for the refrieds.

We were too stuffed for dessert, but they have sopaipillas on the menu, which I would bet are great. Overall, it was a great evening -- all the food was fresh and tasty, and the service friendly and very efficient. I am excited to have a casual place that's nearby and not a trendy spot like some of the others around here!

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