Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cuchara, not Sahara, but spicy...

It's fun to be driving down the street in the general vicinity of your apartment and find a new restaurant. In the back of your mind, you've noticed an old strip center getting a face lift, but no real attention is paid until tables and umbrellas go up on the sidewalk and you see movement through newly cleaned windows.

I walked into Cuchara, knowing that it was Mexican Cuisine, because that's what the sign out front says, but other than that, I knew nothing else. I have to say I felt very comfortable in the open airy space, with earthtone colors of avocados, desert sand and terra cotta pottery. There is a large bar area to the left of the dining area as you walk in the front door, ready made for meeting friends or a more intimate get together.

Ordering is always fun in a new place, because it is all new, so I ordered one of their specials and the chicken tortilla soup. The soup, because I love freshly made, never from a can soups. The special was chicken tightly wrapped in corn tortillas with a side of creme fraiche. Both excellent. I really enjoyed the soup. It was different from a lot of chicken tortilla soups I've had. It was served in a small cast iron enamel pot, with well seasoned chipolte based broth, chunks of avocado, chicken and strips of tortilla chips. For dessert I had Bunuellos. Bunuellos are tortillas shaped into balls with spicy chocolate inside, deep fried and placed on top a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I opted out of the ice cream, but let me tell you, the spicy balls where great by themselves.The minute you put your spoon in them hot chocolate, spiced with cinnamon oozes out. (A side note, I couldn't help but think about the skit from Saturday Night Live with Alec Baldwin and sweaty balls.)

The Cuchara menu is not large, but it does not need to be. The food is quite good, the wait staff stellar and the atmosphere welcoming.

Quote of the day:  Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Web site:
214 Fairview St.
Houston, TX 77006

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