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Aug 16, 2008 01:43 PM

[HOU] Saturday high (T'afia) and low (100% Taquito)

Moved to Houston fairly recently and have been scoping out the chowhound board for tips. I've had fun at some of the recommended places and really bottomed out at others. My great meals have included random taco truck stops and vietnamese sandwiches.

Today was a true find that I'm sure all are familiar with: T'afia. Went to the Sat Market. We had a small bacon and squash quiche and an orange currant scone that were just about the best thing I've eaten since coming to Texas! The eggs in the quiche were creamy and soft with just the right amount of bacon/squash. The pastry dough was delicous. Obviously they know their pasty b/c the scone was fabulous as well. They even warmed it up for us! We also bought some Bosque Blue and Swiss cheese from the Dairymaid (I think that was the name). Can't wait to eat those but unfortunately Kraftsmen bread was all sold out. I'll have to resort to crackers. The vegetables were nice looking but there only seemed to be one vendor, is this the usual scenario? I'm truly excited by this restaurant and we were lucky enough for someone to give us a gift card so I'll report on dinner sometime in the future.

Our low was 100% taquito for lunch. Caught inthe rain we decided to stop by, had high expectations after having read it is just like a Mexico city taqueria. Tried a mixed taco plate (tinga, mole, and something else) and a pollo tostada. We were super disappointed with our meal. Cold and tasteless. The tostadas were the worst. Not even the salsa had any kick to it. Someone steer me right here, where can we go to get our taqueria fix???

Looking forward to more food adventures!

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  1. New to the area myself but had eaten there before on visits (and one work location is across 59). Never had an experience that bad.

    One place I learned of on this board is Jarros Cafe on N. Gessner - not close by, though. I don't think the Greenway Plaza area is the best part of town for great taqueria fare.

    Tell us some of the other places you've discovered.

    1. Interesting. I've never been to the farmer's market, but I made it to T'afia for dinner last week. Service was fine, and it was a beautiful room, no doubt. But the food left me longing. It was all cooked perfect, looked nice, sounded rather interesting (though I hated the menu layout). But in the end, I wished I had been somewhere else. It may just be philosophical differences, since I've yet to have a good meal at any of her restaurants, ever, from Boulevard and Quilted Toque, up to Beavers. I keep trying, however.

      I do give her high marks on the cocktails. They were good at T'afia, but unbelieveably better at Beavers. Personally, I think Beaver's is serving some of the best, and certainly most interesting, cocktails in the city. I steer clear of most of the sides (the last batch, including the Philly mac, had me longing for Luby's, and I hate Luby's). And the que was, to me, unmemorable. But the drinks! Oh my! Worth driving far for.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mikeflan

        It is worth going to the T'afias farmers market just for the breakfast! Love that quiche! Also the Houston Dairymaids have some fabulous cheese finds. I have bought some hydroponically (sp? grown in water) garlic from a vendor there that was very good and in season they have some great shelled peas, as in cow peas. We bought some brisket from there, which is the same stuff they sell at Beaver's, I think, but not that impressed by it. I have tried 2 different things at Beaver's and wasn't crazy about either, but I got a taste of the burger and want to go back and try that. I even want to try the nutburger. Never ate at T'afia's though.

      2. Thanks for the responses folks! Dexmat, no I didn't think that area of town was the best for taco hunting, I just happened to be there and remembered some of the discussions on this board about it. For our taco finds we've lucked out at one of the trucks behind Caninos market and another truck (I think it was called El Ultimo Taco "The Last Taco"!) on Antoine not too far north of I10. The lengua taco at El Ultimo was the best. I love lengua, so if there is a place in particular to go for this, please let me know. I'll check out Jarros sometime soon. We've also enjoyed La Guadalupana on Dunlavy, just north of Fairview. I had great chilequiles verdes there. Tampico was okay but not stellar. My ceviche tasted overcooked and old. Snapper was good but not great. Teotihuacan was fun and good. Dona Maria's Taqueria off of Navagation had great carne guisada tacos. Sounds like I've done alot of eating for being here only 2 months, doesn't it??

        We've had some good Vietnamese Sandwiches and funny sausage and egg spring rolls at Cali's but I'm eager to try other places. And two great shrimp poboys, one from Jazzee's in the Heights and another from Loose Hips Cafe on Washington.

        Our saddest meals have been at Cafe Red Onion off of the NW freeway. A mediocre meal was the shrimp BLT from Paulies. It was good but could have been so much better.

        Danhole, I saw those fresh beans at the market and was tempted! I'll have to go for it next time. We did get some nice green tomatoes. Is Beavers run by the same people as T'afia?

        There is on caveat here, I moved from N. California so my bar was set pretty high I realize. But I know Houston can pull it's weight!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarvey


          Yes, Beaver's is part of the Monica Pope & Andrea Lazar empire! There is nothing better than the fresh beans, but you need salt pork or a ham hock to cook them with!

        2. Regarding the vegetable vendors. In the Houston area, August is one of the worst months for a wide assortment of fresh vegetables. It's too hot for most things to produce. August is good for okra, eggplant, some squash, and black-eyed peas. Things will improve as the weather cools off again. And, if it rains in the producing areas. I know it has been extremely dry west of the Brazos.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sallen

            That makes sense to me! I'll hold out for the cold fronts.

            1. re: sarvey

              The best time for the cow peas is around June, going into July. I got some great creamer peas, purple hull peas and butter beans at Canino's farmers market.