When Sergio Espinosa opened La Escondida Mexican Grill, he wanted guests to feel as if they were stepping into Mexico with its culture of genuine Hispanic hospitality, he said.
“The best vacation in the world is always Mexico because the people there, they just want to serve you … and love you,” Espinosa said.
Both the Friendswood and Missouri City locations offer a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. La Escondida features everything—from authentic Mexican fare to street tacos to Tex-Mex favorites, all made from scratch. Espinosa’s roots reach both to Mexico City, where he was born, and Houston, where he spent most of his teens. He also spent the bulk of his childhood in Louisiana and refers to himself as a “Cajun Mexican.”
Assistant Manager Gabriel Rodriguez said fajitas are the most-popular dish. However, General Manager Larry Baca prefers the tequila barbecue carnitas tacos, part of the Taco Tuesday menu.
“Tequila barbecue carnitas tacos are the best because they have fresh homemade corn tortillas, the fresh carnitas. I love the barbecue sauce, and we make our own recipe,” Baca said. “We add some tequila, some jalapeno and some onions.”
Small pieces of pork, red cabbage salad mix, barbecue sauce and cotija, a white Mexican cheese, go into a corn tortilla to create the dish.
The first La Escondida opened in 1999 in Stafford after Sergio and wife, Lisha, did some soul searching and praying. The restaurant moved to Missouri City in 2006. In 2016, Espinosa opened the Friendswood restaurant in light of his son Daniel’s interest in the restaurant business. His son’s interest has prompted the restaurant owner’s interest in expansion, Espinosa said.
“Now that our son wants to get involved in it, we better start growing the company,” Sergio said.