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Cafe Red Onion in Houston

  • j

My friend who lived in Houston for 22 years said that this is the best restaurant in Houston. Is it really that good? Can anyone who's been there comment and also if it is that good what should we order?

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  1. Cafe Red Onion is good but hardly the best. I quite going because it seemed every dish was swimming in some really greasy sauce and was topped with a bunch of red tortilla strips. I might go back some day but I certainly won't go unless someone in the group I am with recommends it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Scar

      I'll trust your judgment here, this same friend told me to go to Gaido's in galveston a few years ago and i've never forgiven him for it...


      1. re: John

        I was not impressed by Cafe Red Onion at all. Went once a while back, never returned.

        Your friend... Is also one of those guys that SWEARS that Taste of Texas is the BEST steakhouse in Houston?


        1. re: Stewart

          LOLOLOL - Taste of Texas is the worst steak I've ever eaten. That whole place is a waste of money. But you can't imagine how many people LOVE it. Yuck. I'm so glad I'm not the only one that thinks it's bad.

          That said, I ate at Cafe Red Onion once because it was a co-workers birthday and that's where she wanted to go. I had the beef fajitas and they were awful. I didn't like anything on the plate. The salsa was pretty good and I ate a lot of that :-)

          Cafe Red Onion
          12440 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77092

          Taste of Texas
          10505 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024

      2. re: John Scar

        Well I can't wait to try out the restaurants you folks perfer next time I visit Houston. I started a groumet group 7 years ago - we're traveled and experienced in the kitchen. I've been to the Red Onion twice and thought the food and presentation were remarkable and the price darn cheap. Now I am from Massachusetts where things to tend to be a bit more expensive but .. (and no grease issue at all). To be fair, we all sampled each others choices and one was not to my taste. Give it another go and try another entree.

        Red Onion Restaurant
        120 W Candlestick Dr, Lumberton, TX 77657

      3. It's definitely not the best food in Houston. They served bastardized Mexican/Carribean food. While it isn't too bad, it's pretty oily.


        1. l

          Yeah, for the prices that they charge it's just ok. However next door is Madras Pavilion, this vegetarian Indian place. There is a dish called "Dosa" that is this HUGE crepe that is wrapped around a thing of smooshed potatoes. And when I say big, I mean laugh out loud that they are going to put that on your table.

          1. I'd have to agree with everyone else and say that Cafe Red Onion is mediocre in my opinion. Although everyone else I was with seemed to really enjoy it, I found the food to be too sweet.

            For full pictoral review, see http://donnaaries.wordpress.com/2007/...

            1. It's not that good. There are a couple of good carribbean restaurants and many good mexican restaurants in Houston...including Ninfa's, chapultepec and Spanish Flowers for mexican, Reggae hut and Taste of Spice for carribbean.

              1. I went recently to the Northwest freeway location and I thought it was fabulous. I had the Chicken Brasil and it was the best thing I have had in a very long time. A very interesting blend of tastes and textures. My friend had shrimp tacos and loved them as well. I don't think there is anything mediocre about it and nothing was oily.

                2 Replies
                1. re: danhole

                  I also enjoy Red Onion. Not for those who prefer their food spicy. Interesting dishes. I have never been disappointed. Great place for casual business dinner for out-of-towners.

                  1. re: vwgto

                    No not the best in Houston, but does have some very good dishes. The daily specials are fresh and personally I think that their seafood enchilidas are great (yes they have a cream sauce - not greasy - and red tortilla strips). The pineapple & tomitillo (sp?) salsa is also a nice change of pace.

                    Their high-end restaurant Red Onion Seafood y Mas on 290 is definately up there in my rankings (again not the best) - or was 6-9 months ago when we ate there last. Went for a business dinner and were not disappointed on any level.

                    Also, Gaido's in Galveston used to be good too...many years ago.

                    Red Onion Cafe
                    12440 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77092

                2. I have eaten at this establishment twice and was not impressed. The food is very forgettable. I agree with most of the hounds and say its not even close to the best restaurant. Not even the best on that street. (Kirby location)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jaime24g

                    I have to agree. Occasionally you'll hear buzz about how Cafe Red Onion is "different," "healthier" or "an alternative to Tex-Mex" and people will want to try it. I've been taken there a few times myself and while I'd never say it's bad, it's just not very memorable. Given the choice, I'd go for Tex-Mex every time - I admit it!

                  2. I agree with most of the responses and am basically over Cafe Red Onion. I liked the idea of it more than anything, and the first time I went it was okay but that years ago. I've been back a few times since and I can't even remember anything I ordered being that impressive. There are just too many other better restaurants and I'd rather go for Tex-Mex if I was craving tortilla chips. One place I really like is Teala's - they have a more authentic version of Tex-Mex and I think it's more Mexican. Either way it's really good and they have an amazing Tequila bar. If you absolutely have to go to Cafe Red Onion, the only location that I've been to that has decent food is the location way out west on Eldridge by Memorial. But don't bother going out of the way for it, I don't think it's that spectacular but at least I remember enjoying my experience there better than the location on Kirby and the one on 290.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: daguttgrl79

                      I've had mixed experiences at the Cafe Red Onion on Eldridge. Interesting food, great service, bad service, etc. I work in the area and have only eaten lunch there. I did wander in there one night and it seems to be a bit of a club-type scene, I think.

                      Cafe Red Onion On Eldridge
                      1111 Eldridge Pkwy Ste 100, Houston, TX 77077

                    2. I've only been to the Eldridge location, and have probably been 5 times in 7 years. None of those meals were memorable. For me, they put far too many ingredients in each menu item. Most of them include a sweet fruit or dressing, so everything is sweet. Not my thang. For instance, here's a description of one of their specialties:

                      Chicken marinated in beer, jalapeño & honey, grilled
                      to perfection. Served over our homemade queso,
                      fried eggplants, fresh tomato, jalapeño Monterrey mix
                      & more eggplant. Finished with melted provolone &
                      served over a tomato basil sauce. Garnished with a
                      bundle of baby mixed greens with a creamy soy

                      Busy, busy, busy!!!

                      Wow, okay, this post is SEVEN YEARS OLD. But still.