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Hugo's (aka Mole Heaven)

z
Zorra Mar 1, 2004 06:10 PM

We finally made our first trip to Hugo's for a big birthday dinner Saturday night, and I could weep that it took us so long. Everything we ate looked and tasted like it was prepared with as much love as skill.

Appetizers: My husband had this nifty little blue corn sope-looking thing topped with yummy cochinita pibil. I had the special, three lobster taquitos, so buttery-tasting and good with just a dab of black beans and pico on each one.

Entrees: We both went with the specials. His were big bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp stuffed with a little cheese (I thought the waiter said asiago, but maybe not--couldn't place the flavor) and topped with a HOT chipotle sauce! Mine was a beautiful beef filet sided with grilled asparagus; I didn't care for its adobo sauce, but at least it was on the side. But the thing I really want everyone to know about came with the beef: two pork mole tamales that were one of the best things I have eaten in years. Now I know what real mole is.

You simply have got to go try those tamales. I don't think they are on the menu. Beg, if necessary.

Dessert: an intense and lovely chocolate flan, and a big cup of hot chocolate. (Why stop when you're on a roll?)

P.S. Within about a block on Westheimer you have Hugo's, Da Marco, and Mark's. Some restaurant row, huh?!

  1. h
    Herithoth May 13, 2008 06:38 PM

    I went to their buffet for New Year's (I thought about this since they had a Mother's Day brunch on Sunday). You can get a great sampling of their dishes for $39. I thought that their tamale fillings were great and the alkaline tang was not as prominent as in some preparations I've seen. I liked that the hot chocolate was served in a wooden cask. It made it taste like it was oaked. I liked that the dishes all had distinctive Mexican flavors without necessarily being overly spicy also.

    1. v
      veg out May 6, 2008 10:09 PM

      Now I wish I had tried the chocolate flan.  The vegetable platter at Hugo’s was delicious, very fresh, somewhat delicate tasting.  There was something that tasted like pickled cactus, but it was too dark to see the dish or the menu.  

      1. l
        lpsfnm May 5, 2008 05:56 PM

        My wife and I have eaten at Hugo's many, many times and it is always excellent. When we sold our business last year and could have gone to any restaurant in Houston to celebrate, we went to Hugo's. It's the food you get at a really good restaurant in Mexico - has nothing to do with Tex-Mex. My only knock is that it can be VERY loud at night. Unless you don't care to hear what others at your table are saying, ask for a table behind the reception desk - and make a reservation. A quick review of the other posts didn't acknowledge that they have great margaritas, as well as some excellent mescal drinks. Can you spell Oaxaca at its best?

        1. d
          djsarver Apr 2, 2008 11:34 AM

          Hugo's was great. We travel in Mexico yearly and have a great appreciation for authentic Mexican Regional Cuisine. It is a shame that there is nothing in Northern California like this. We've wondered for years why there isn't. Mexican food should be part of the fine dining experience too.

          1. s
            Stewart Mar 2, 2004 07:01 PM

            You know what? I liked Hugo's, but I wasn't blown away. I will say that the Mole is some of the best I've ever had. I went there for lunch one day and had the three salad appetizer for lunch. Perhaps it was just my menu choice... I think over all I thought the place was about a seven. I need to go back with someone who knows the menu a bit better...

            Stewart

            1. j
              John Scar Mar 1, 2004 08:46 PM

              I'm really glad to hear you liked it. funny thing is I have sent several people there and a few don't like it. Maybe its too mexican?
              Any tamale they do is great. Next time try and hit some of the squash blossom menu items, I think it is a seperate menu that you have to ask for.
              The chocolate items are great. Did you get churroa with the hot choc?

              6 Replies
              1. re: John Scar
                z
                Zorra Mar 2, 2004 10:26 AM

                No, didn't think about it. I had forgotten my @#$% glasses and my husband had to read the menu to me, so I'm sure there are things I overlooked. I thought about getting the snapper tamales, and will probably do that next time. Also the corn fungus stuff that I can't spell.

                I looked up Robb Walsh's old review and found out that they make their own chocolate! No wonder it, and the mole, are amazing.

                1. re: Zorra
                  d
                  Dr. Ricky Mar 4, 2004 02:38 AM

                  Oh, you mean huilacoche?
                  It's the only place in town I know of that serves it - great stuff. I serve it myself as a ta-da moment when friends come over for dinner :).

                  1. re: Dr. Ricky
                    b
                    Bernardo Mar 8, 2004 05:47 PM

                    Spelled Huitlacoche. Where do you get it? I never thought it was available to buy in Houston. I'd love to be able to make some at home, source info would be greatly appreciated.

                    1. re: Bernardo
                      j
                      John Scar Mar 10, 2004 08:49 AM

                      I think Ive seen it spelled cuitlacoche as well.
                      I haven't found any in Houston.

                    2. re: Dr. Ricky
                      d
                      djsarver May 1, 2008 09:40 AM

                      For obvious reasons, the USDA and customs do not take kindly to people importing fresh plant fungi. You can buy it canned in most Mexican markets, at least here in California. You can also buy it online from merchants such as mexgrocer.com. It's not as good as fresh, but what is?

                      1. re: Dr. Ricky
                        neverfull May 3, 2008 01:09 AM

                        julia's bistro serves huitlacoche crepes on their appetizer menu.

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