Omelette & Waffle's philosophy is as straightforward as the cozy, casual restaurant's no-nonsense name. Sure, you won't see tuxedo-clad sommeliers or dishes with fancy names, but what you will find is fresh food, made to order and served by waiters who take the time to learn regular customers' names and childhood phobias. And while it goes without saying that the specialties here are the thick, fluffy waffles and perfectly folded omelets—loaded with ingredients such as chorizo and cotija cheese or spinach and feta—the menu still offers a few surprises: customers rave about the enchiladas and lobster bisque.
Houston Press named Molina's Cantina Houston's Best Tex-Mex Restaurant in 2009 and Texas Monthly put it in its Yellow Cheese Hall of Fame, and Men's Health named the chili con carne with cheese enchiladas one of America's greatest guy foods. Yelpers give the Westheimer Road location a 3.5-star average, and the Washington Avenue location an average of three stars. While some reviewers have mixed opinions of the food at the Westheimer Road location, most love the chili con queso.
Mi Pueblito's chefs pull their culinary inspiration from the diverse landscapes of Colombia, where jungles grow thick with tropical fruits, herds of cattle graze on grassy plains, and fish frolic through coastal waters. The resulting plates of authentic soft corn arepas, thick grilled steaks, and sweet plantains helped win the restaurant the title of Best Colombian Restaurant from the Houston Press in 2006. Outside in the dining room, patrons wash down enormous portions with fruity cocktails and satisfied "mmms," followed by creamy cups of Colombian coffee. Colombian memorabilia speckles the bright blue and orange walls, setting a colorful stage for the live musicians who play instruments from acoustic guitar to accordion on Friday and Saturday nights.
Plates won't see the same meal twice at Coronita Grill, where self-serve buffet stations stand as the cornerstones in a modern dining room. Cooks change up menus on a daily basis, ensuring that a surprising spread of fresh Mexican fare greets customers every time they visit. They prepare hundreds of dinner items using seasonal ingredients and offer up a plethora of desserts, allowing guests to sample a number of unique Mexican dishes without crashing a quinceañera.
When discussing his kitchen's culinary techniques with reporters from Community Impact Newspaper, David Reyes explained, "The difference here is we are not just laboring—we are putting our feelings in the ingredients." By honoring his family's recipes in everything from salsa to mole, Reyes nurtures a passion for his native country's cuisine. The staff echoes this feeling in the care and attention they put into each dish. They marinate pork in a savory blend of achiote, orange, and garlic before slow-roasting it for their signature cochinita pibil. They fire-roast poblano peppers and grill tender beef for tampiqueña plates. And they spend hours on the mole sauce, which, in accordance with Reyes' grandmother's recipe, has 25 separate ingredients.
Out in the dining room of both restaurants, guests sip fresh-fruit licuados and aguas frescas or indulge in BYOB amid walls of blue and yellow, and strings of colorful paper flags stretch across the ceiling. At the Fonda Santa Rosa location, Mexican paintings, ceramics, and framed copies of Reyes family recipes speckle walls with a touch of history.
Creating cuisine based on recipes passed down through generations of restaurateurs in Spain, the chefs at Café España titillate flavor-sensors with scrumptious Spanish café fare and drinks. For a zesty departure from the ol’ milk-and-cereal shtick, morning munchers can opt for fluffy pancakes ($7.50) or Café España's spicy twist on the spanish omelette ($8.50/half, $15/whole), a delicious mixture of potatoes, eggs, onions, spicy spanish sausage, and the tears of a matador. Thwart off impending siestas with a midday baguette sandwich, a delectable vessel of serrano ham, tomatoes, and olive oil on tumaca bread ($8.50). Large platos round out the menu, with courses such as rice with chicken ($10), a plate of tapas ($14.50), and authentic Spanish paella ($18). To seal the meal, Café España boasts a bevy of homemade empanadas ($3.50) and handcrafted drinks, such as spiced Aztec hot chocolate ($3.95 and up) or iced chai with soy and milk ($3.20+).