So, my buddy Art was working on a book on HTX restos and El Hidalguense (713-680-1071) was on our radar. It's in Spring Branch East, although it sure seemed like Houston to me, at 6917 Long Point Rd, between Antoine and Silber, north of IH 10, and west of 610.
Admittedly it looks a little funkified from the outside, and when you open the door, the rich and slightly gamey aroma of cooked goat (and/or) lamb sucks you inside. They feature goat (cabrito or chivo) and lamb (borrego). The menu is straightforward and the staff couldn't have been any friendlier. That shawty at the counter, standing on the crate, is hand-patting tortillas to-order, and slapping them on the griddle.....
We ordered, and they immediately brought out a couple of tasty chicken flautas, with a wonderful dark chipotle salsa...a lagniappe. The other chile was guajillo I think, but could have been costeño?...or pasilla? Dunno, but the salsa was complex, spicy, smoky, and delicious.
....we sucked those down, and that gave me time to see what was next to the tortilla griddle. Built into the masonry counter is a cauldron of about 50 gallons, full of simmering goat bones and ambrosial stock (griddle on the left, cauldron on the right)....
First to arrive was the cabrito soup, loaded with big chunks of unctuous goat meat and chickpeas, all in a dried red chile-laced stock. Outstanding.
We each got a chivo (Goat) taco, and on those just-patted tortillas, simply incredible.
We split a couple of other tacos: one from the specials board: chicken in mole sauce, and one from the menu: pork in green sauce with nopales (cactus). Both had us wishing that we could order another round, but we had several restaurants to try that afternoon. Truly dynamite tacos....
We ask for the check, and with it arrives a complimentary dish of arroz con leche (cinnamon-dusted rice pudding). A nice finish to a great snack.
I WILL go back.
Mick Vann ©