Club No Minors / El Patio HOU
NYC hound will be in Houston, staying at the Houstonian but have car and someone who knows the city geography well. Can only have one meal - dinner Sunday when I arrive. I'd prefer Tex-Mex, BBQ or Steak/Beef. Since I live in NYC and can get most cuisines here and we have great upscale dining, I'd like to keep it local and low key, even divey is fine.
Have heard CNM is really fun with decent Tex-Mex. I had been thinking Hugo's or Goode Company BBQ and she said I should go to CNM instead. Can't find much on it and turn to you Houston hounds for help.
I haven't been to El Patio in years, but their food when I did go last was ok, better than some other Tex-Mex places in town, but listen to the other posters in this thread regarding better places.
As far as the name "Club No Minors," my understanding is that is has nothing to do with being a former "club" hot-spot. At one point in time (30 years ago), Texas did not generally allow "public" sale of liquor-by-the-drink. To buy a drink in an establishment, one had to be a member of a "private" club." It was an easy law to get around, however. At many restaurants, you could pay a nominal fee which made you a member of their "club" for the day, and go ahead and order your drinks. El Patio got its nickname because just inside the front door, there was another door labeled "Club," and below that, No Minors," meaning simply that the area behind the door was considered the "club," and no minors were allowed.
Hope you find a place you like on your trip.
As for the best Tex-Mex and BBQ in Houston, the debate rages on. Check out these topic threads on Chowhound:
This is just my opinion based on 3 visits – I would avoid any of The El Tiempo restaurants for basic Tex-Mex. Maybe their other menu items are better? Anyway, We went to both the Montrose and Richmond Ave. locations. I cannot speak for their other locations. Their tortillas were some of the worst we’ve ever had. Too stiff and heavy with flour, very little flavor. Carnitas - too dry. Beef brisket that was supposed to be marinated in annatto, garlic, fresh orange juice (this is traditionally done with pork) tasted too strongly of cinnamon and brown sugar, which are good flavors but not when that is all you can taste in the dish. The red sauce on the beef enchiladas was very bland and starchy tasting. Beef fajitas were good, but not outstanding. Of course our dining companions, from both Africa and Japan, thought it was perfectly acceptable Tex-Mex. It was their first time. I’m glad that they enjoyed it. We didn’t say anything to contradict them since we didn’t want to tarnish their first Tex-Mex experience. We should have gently suggested another place that night, like one of these -- not all are classically Tex-Mex, but they are still good IMO:
La Guadalupana Bakery and Café, 2109 Dunlavy, 77006
Teotihuacan, 1511 Airline Dr, 77009 (good grilled items
)Tampico Seafood & Cocina Mexicana, 2115 Airline Dr, 77009 ( ood grilled fish)
Pico’s, 5941 Bellaire, 77081, web: http://www.picos.net/
Hope you enjoy your meal here!
There are now two Club No Minors in Houston. Find info on locations, etc. here:
The most “ famous” incarnation is way out on Westheimer. Don’t know if it is still wild like it used to be back in the day. It was the happening place to be late 80s into the early 90s. As you already know, clubs have their hey-days and then fade away. I heard the family who owned it sold it off. To whom… another family or a big chain? I do not know the answer. I’m sure there is a history on their website that explains it all – it has been around a long time (well, what is considered a to be a long time for Houston).
I wouldn’t go to El Patio looking for great dinner though. We always thought their food was just so-so. I have lived here all of my life and IMO there are better places to eat Tex-Mex and Mexican. I would go to Hugo’s for a great Mexican meal. They have never disappointed me.
If you still want some dive-ish club/bar action after your Hugo’s meal, you can walk to most of the following places, as the Montrose area is very walk- able:
too far to walk in this heat, but a short drive from Hugo’s:
Hope you enjoy your time in Houston!