Taco Milagro is from the restaurant group of Robert Del Grande, the executive chef and proprietor of Café Annie. As with their first counter-service concept, Café Express, Taco Milagro is very well run and provides very fresh, interesting and flavorful food for adults in a nicely informal atmosphere. This place appeals to both the hard-core lovers of Mexican food and singles needing a venue while ingesting some calories. This is a very capable place to get a quick meal, either to eat there or to take home.
The fare is better described as Mexican rather than Tex-Mex. The menu is well chosen, the presentation is much better than most area Mexican restaurants, and, more importantly, the ingredients are always very fresh. This is evidenced in part by the fact that the tamales are handmade at the restaurant daily. Sirloin steak is used in the beef dishes. The aguas frescas are made each day with freshly squeezed fruit juices. Typically, eight fresh salsas are provided at the salsa bar. These are made throughout the day. And, no processed cheese graces any item. Care is taken to use traditional Mexican ingredients such as Chihuahua and cotija cheeses, pumpkin seeds, and crema fresca in many dishes, including Tex-Mex ones.
The dishes are familiar, but coming from the owners of Cafe Annie, the food is a bit more refined than typically priced Mexican dishes elsewhere. As with Robert Del Grande’s missive on the menu to “approach [Mexican food] with the utmost dedication and respect,” the selection of tequilas is excellent, especially for such an inexpensive restaurant.
There are popular appetizers such as chile con queso, made more interesting with smoky chile peppers, nachos, Tex-Mex quesadillas and Shrimp Campeche, a shrimp cocktail with avocado and a tomato-based cocktail sauce. The soups are meals by themselves. The tortilla soup, made with grilled chicken, tortilla strips, guacamole and pico de gallo, is very good. There are a handful of salads including a Caesar salad with tortilla strips, cotija cheese and a spicy chipotle-based dressing. There are also tamales and several enchiladas.
The stated house specialty is the chile relleno dish. It consists of two grilled (not fried, as is most common) poblano peppers filled with Chihuahua cheese, pecans, dried fruit and topped with their spicy guajillo chile salsa and another white cheese and fresh Mexican-style cream. There are also several burritos and tacos on the menu. The tacos are encased in two soft corn tortillas and filled with a spicy cabbage slaw. The best of the tacos is the grilled shrimp and bacon tacos; the shrimp and crispy bacon complement each other very well. The fish tacos are decent and pleasant. Because tilapia is used, these tacos often taste just a little bland.
There is a sprawling patio where, when the weather is nice, you can eat outside (or more likely, drink outside) and it’s usually packed with a lively group of diners and drinkers.
2555 Kirby (at Westheimer), Houston, Texas 77019, (713) 522-1999
Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.
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Image Credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (photographer: Hugh Hargrave)