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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Daily 6:00am–6:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

North Houston
609 Patton St.
Houston, TX
(713) 699-0820
Gerardo’s Drive-In
And should you need a decorative cow skull, this is your place

It’s known throughout the world’s kitchens that nothing beats a face—the whole head, really. From fromage de tête to veal cheeks to barbacoa, head meat not only fed poor country folk for centuries, but continues to inspire chefs and gourmands ever in search of soul. In the back of this Mexican convenience store (with no discernable drive-thru anywhere), on Fridays through Sundays, giant pots rattle with the steaming of whole cow and lamb heads in chile-rich broth. Lines form not long after opening, and the friendly staff behind the counter will load you up with all the cilantro, onions, and tortillas you need to make delicious tacos from a heaping pile of barbacoa. Beef and lamb (borrego) are both tender and unctuous, but the lamb has a richer, slightly gamey flavor that is truly awe-inspiring. The three homemade salsas are all commendable, but bright, hot salsa verde is the stand-out.

Other items are all cheap and good: fajitas, enchiladas, flautas, mole, and more. Carnitas on the bone are great if still warm, but can dry out. (This is a phrase worth learning: Fueron cocinado recientemente [las carnitas]?) For the most part this is a take-out operation, but there are a few tables where you can sit and enjoy your excellent food in the company of its native, head-loving peoples.

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