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El Jardin

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Everyone should do themselves a favor and drive to the far East End Barrio and hit El Jardin on Harrisburg and 78th street. I've been going infrequently for thirty years, it's been there since 1974. The wife and I went there for lunch, and it was spectacular. She is Hispanic and loved the red sauce, she described as toreador, tomatos cooked over a flame with resulting flavor in the sauce. She had carnitas with lardy refried beans. We also shared a queso flameado, with homemade flour tortillas. The carnitas were some of the best I've had. Carnitas are like brisket, better some days than others. I had alambre, a Mexican shish kabob, the beef was a bit tough, but no real complaint here, next time I'll try the chile relleno. Past dishes I've had are good grilled meats, and camarones empanizados y papas, fried shrimp with french fries, really good. I've had them on the west coast of Mexico, and they taste the same. Throw in some $1.75 Modelo Especials on tap, plus free sopapillas, forgot to mention the free melted queso with apps. We go there a little after 12 pm, and I saw a disturbing, to me, white guy, number of white faces, salesmen, plant workers, etc. By 1 pm plus, I was the only gringo around, as 30 plus Hispanics now ruled the restaurant. That's more like it. Take the drive out I-10 East, turn south on Wayside, left on Harrisburg, and your there, just past the fire station. If you're adventurous, go on a weekend night for Mariachis and East End family entertainment.

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El Jardin Restaurant
7849 Harrisburg Blvd, Houston, TX 77012

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  1. Putting this one on my list. I've lived in Houston almost 40 years, and have so rarely headed east. But I ended up there this week on business and traveled the 610 ship channel bridge for the first time in a long while, spectacular.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      Isn't it crazy that each side of town is so different? I've eaten at El Jardin many times but not lately, maybe 15 years ago was the last time. I'm not wild about real Mexican food so I never loved it. There were many places over in that area that we would frequent at lunch and my favorite was Don Carlos which now have several restaurants around town. They also give you the bowl of queso with your chips and salsas.

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      El Jardin Restaurant
      7849 Harrisburg Blvd, Houston, TX 77012

      Don Carlo's Restaurant
      8385 Broadway St, Houston, TX 77061

      1. re: texasredtop

        I always found El Jardin to be good but not worth a drive. I ate there when I lived in the area but have not been since. Its real mex tex, not real Mexican food IMO?

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        El Jardin Restaurant
        7849 Harrisburg Blvd, Houston, TX 77012