Family members-Owned Houston Tex-Mex Cafe Celebrates 80 Several years In Enterprise

Molina’s Cantina opened its doors in 1941 and is Houston’s longest-standing Tex-Mex restaurant. In that time, 3 generations of the Molina household have created a Tex-Mex legacy. The cafe has an 80-12 months background that started with Raul and Mary Molina’s Outdated Monterey Inn in what is now River Oaks. With couple other Mexican places to eat in Houston at the time, the household produced the cafe into Molina’s Mexico Town Cafe, and later Molina’s Cantina as it is known nowadays.

The menu has lots of recognizable dishes that give Tex-Mex cuisine its exclusive identity, these as fajitas, taquitos, tamales, nachos, flour tortillas and crunchy-shelled tacos loaded with ground beef, furthermore extra than half a dozen varieties of enchiladas, a lot of smothered in melted yellow cheeses not made use of in classic Mexican delicacies.

chile con carne
The chile con carne at Molina’s Cantina is a menu staple. Image by Kimberly Park.

In spite of staying rooted traditionally in Mexico and other cultures, there are number of dishes as synonymous with Tex-Mex as chile con carne, the meaty, cumin-heavy, chili-style sauce. The version at Molina’s is well-known for its thicker texture that will work the two as a sauce and standalone dish. At Molina’s, it comes normal on most Tex-Mex style enchiladas, is readily available as a sauce for tamales and served by the bowl as a side or entrée. The distinctly Tex-Mex chile con queso is a popular appetizer at Molina’s, much too. About the a long time, a selection of spouse and children and pal have been immortalized with title-sake dishes on the menu. One particular of those people is Jose’s Dip, which combines melted cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes and floor taco beef.

Molina’s dessert menu is limited and sweet, but the three merchandise featured are iconic areas of Mexican food items tradition.  There is dense flan topped with a sticky caramel topping, sopapillas (pillowy, fried dough pockets comparable to beignets) and, of course, tres leches — that prosperous, dense, sugary vanilla cake soaked in a few kinds of milk.

table with vintage Mexican menus and decor
The collection of menus at Molina’s Cantina that day again to the 1950s. Photo by Ryan Baker.

There is a full bar where visitors can come across a substantial range of tequilas and nearly two dozen sorts of beer. Two cocktails stand out from the crowd: the mojito and margarita. The latter is obtainable in a wide range of flavors, frozen or on the rocks.

The inside is inviting and intriguing, much too. An eclectic blend of ornamental things can make shoppers feel like they are traveling by means of numerous various dining establishments, beginning with a front area showcasing an indoor awning of adobe-model roof tiles. A single region is highlighted by vivid wall paintings of fauna, whilst shining white subway tile is the target in yet another. In-amongst spaces are filled with common trinkets and homages to Mexican superstars like comedian Cantinflas.

Currently, Molina’s Cantina operates a few spots open up Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesdays as a result of Thursdays 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The restaurant features company for wander-ins and online to-go orders.


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