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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.5
9.0
$60
Mexican
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Tue 11:00am–9:00pm
Wed–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri 11:00am–11:00pm
Sat 9:30am–11:00pm
Sun 9:30am–9:00pm

Features Outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.eltiempocantina.com

Greenway Plaza
3130 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX
(713) 807-1600

Washington
5602 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX
(713) 681-3645

Montrose
1308 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX
(713) 807-8996
Hours
Mon–Tue 11:00am–9:00pm
Wed–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–11:00pm
Sun 9:30am–9:00pm
El Tiempo Cantina
Pricey parrillas that are delicious and plentiful precursors to the action next door

The first two tests of Tex-Mex are margaritas and queso, and El Tiempo is one for two. The former are excellent, even the cheaper versions, although you should pass on the Mexican martinis, which are missing the trademark three-refill shaker. But queso is a big letdown, basically just undersalted melted cheese with practically no chile flavor, served with crumbly baked flour tortillas.

Beyond that, the menu is completely overwhelming. Pages upon pages of the same meats arranged in different forms—tacos, enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, parrilladas—leave your head (and wallet) spinning. Although we’ve gotten surprising pleasure from spinach enchiladas, our advice is to stick to the fajitas and parrilladas. Most of what’s on the parrillada is good: deeply flavored beef and sausage; juicy, smoky pork tenderloin cubes; and tender quail. Parrilladas for one actually feed four—as they should, given that some cost up to $60. Everything on the menu, in fact, is too expensive, even given the gargantuan portions. The deluxe filet parrillada for four (so, 16) actually costs over $200. The lobster, though, is rubbery, and shrimp wrapped in bacon are disappointingly mealy. Stick to the terrific meats and fowl.

At the Richmond location, a copy of your receipt gains you free admission to next-door’s divey Diamond Cabaret, in case you didn’t blow enough money already.

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