With so many Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in The Woodlands area, it might be difficult to identify the difference between authentic Mexican and Texas flavors. Community Impact Newspaper has compiled a guide of flavors and cooking styles that distinguish Texas preferences from south of the border dishes.
Pork is marinated in chilies, spices and pineapple and slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The style of cooking was developed in central Mexico and derived from the
Lebanese dish, shawarma.
Similar to cooking barbecue-style, barbacoa is made by slow-roasting meat—traditionally whole sheep—in an underground pit covered with leaves. The dish is common in many parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.
A term that literally translates to “little meats,” carnitas is made by slowly simmering pork in oil or lard until it is tender. The dish originated in western Mexico.
Pork is ground and mixed with spices before being stuffed inside a sausage casing. When prepared, the meat resembles ground beef and is popular as a breakfast meat and taco filling. Many cultures have their own version of chorizo, with different styles of preparation.
Popular desserts from south of the border
The traditional type of bread pudding is made with toasted bread, syrup, cinnamon, nuts and fresh or dried fruits. Capirotada is traditionally eaten on Good Friday.
Made with evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, flan is a dense custard topped with caramel sauce. The delicacy originated in Rome but has since become a traditional dessert in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines.
Similar to a doughnut, sopapillas are made from dough cut into triangles and then fried, causing them to puff up and create a hollow center. Sopapillas can then be stuffed with meats or cheese, but in the U.S., they are often topped and served with powdered sugar and honey.
Tres Leches Cake
Meaning “three milks cake,” tres leches cake is made by soaking a butter or sponge cake in three types of milk—sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
Where to eat?
Alfonso’s Mexican Restaurant
3126 Sawdust Road, The Woodlands
Casa Imperial Mexican Restaurant
387 Sawdust Road, The Woodlands
28777 I-45 N., Shenandoah
19075 I-45 N., Ste. 752, Shenandoah
8423 Cinnamon Run, The Woodlands
20 Waterway Ave., Ste. 110, The Woodlands
Compadres Texas Cafe
26797 Hanna Road, Ste. 1&2 Conroe
El Bosque Mexican Restaurant
19073 I-45 S., Ste. 135, Shenandoah
El Chaparro Mexican Bar & Grill
5405 FM 1488, Magnolia
27885 I-45 N., The Woodlands
Herrera’s Mexican Grill
9420 College Park Drive, Ste. 300, The Woodlands
4223 Reseach Forest Drive, The Woodlands
4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 200, The Woodlands
Mario’s Mexican Restaurant
610 Rayford Road, Ste. 650, Spring
Mi Rancho Mexican Grill
19189 I-45 S., Ste. A, Shenandoah
Pallotta’s Mexican Grill
2211 Rayford Road, Ste. 119, Spring
Ranchero’s Mexican Grill
32517 FM 2978, Magnolia
Rico’s Mexican Grill
6777 Woodlands Parkway, Ste. 100, The Woodlands
8000 Research Forest Drive, Ste. 200, The Woodlands
7 Switchbud Place, Ste. 194, The Woodlands
Texas Taco Company
6606 FM 1488, Magnolia
4747 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands