Hunter S. Thompson: “Houston is a cruel, crazy town on a filthy river in east Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money, and violence. It’s a shabby, sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen, crooked cops, and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the west—which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.”
This place is so Houston. The location is terrible. It’s on the highway near Hobby Airport. Same block as a school, a Chinese buffet, a Denny’s, and taco joint that I guarantee you cannot pass more than 3 health inspections in row. I walk in on a Friday afternoon and every patron is at the bar washing down tequila shots with happy hour margaritas. They’re all there by themselves as far as I can tell. Good news: the Habanera is back in the kitchen, and she is whipping up some Big. Time. Bites. I have to mention the Sopa Azteca which was great, but this write up is about the Pork Belly Pipian. I suspect the pork belly was cooked sous-vide because it’s almost impossibly tender all the way through. Pipian mole is a green sauce that gets its flavor from pumpkin seeds. The Habanera’s pipian is uniquely rich and thick. There are only a few Mexican places in Houston that serve this dish, and this is the best one. If you’re flying in/out of Hobby, you should check this place out. FYI it used to be called Habanera and the Gringo before a lawsuit.