Just in time for Cinco De Mayo, I am recapping my visit to Molina’s with my Houston Food Blogger Collective friends! I grew up in Houston and thought I had visited all of the Houston Tex Mex staples, but somehow I missed Molina’s! Prior to our event I learned that Molina’s has been a family run business in the Houston area for 76 years. Staying in business that long in a city like Houston where the restaurant landscape is constantly changing deserves praise in and of itself. With this in mind I was eager to see what Molina’s was all about!
We visited the Molina’s location off of Bellaire. There is plenty of parking in the shared lot, but it was a tight squeeze! Once inside you are greeted by a large bar area. I visited on a weekday and it was PACKED with folks. There is also several large dining areas throughout the restaurant. We were seated on the covered patio to the side of the restaurant. Since Houston hasn’t reached peak humidity, this spot worked well. In terms of the look, Molina’s is pretty similar to Tex-Mex restaurants. They all seem to draw on old world Mexico charm with their decor and it works.
If you didn’t pick up a margarita while at a Tex-Mex restaurant, then you probably weren’t at a good one! We of course ordered up plenty of margaritas. By we, I mean the whole HFBC crew, I stuck with just one. I went with the house margarita, frozen with sugar on the rim instead of salt. (Thanks for the suggestion Jasmene!) I am a sip slow, one drink kinda girl and this one was perfect for me. Strong enough that it was worth my coins and sweet enough that I could deal! Their menu also includes other margaritas like a sangria one. On my next visit, that will be my first pick.
Mr. Molina, one of the owners, came out to speak to us during the event. His love and enthusiasm for their family owned business was apparent. He pulled out some of their menus from the last 76 years to show us. Boy, those price differences! The history lesson tied right into the food. For our tasting, Molina’s provided a whole spread of salsas, appetizers and then we had our pick of entrees. They could have rolled me out of that joint y’all.
First off, don’t sit queso and salsa in front of me and think I’m not going to kill it. Cause I am! I scraped that bowl clean. To start, they gave us three salsas including their signature carrot salsa and “jose’s dip” i.e. queso with spicy taco meat. With my queso, salsa and margarita, I could have gone home happy, but that was just round one!
Next up we feasted on several of Molina’s signature appetizers, nachos, taquitos, tamales and tamales chili con carne. I think the nachos were my favorite from this round. They piled every ingredient on each chip which ensures that every bite packs in all the flavor!
Finally for entrees I went for the enchiladas. They were definitely good, but I had strong food envy when I saw the “William’s Special”, which featured carne asada, grilled onions and two cheese enchiladas. I managed to taste a small piece of the carne asada, y’all it was SO good! So add that to the list of things I am getting on my next visit.
Before they sent us on our merry way, we were each given a slice of their signature tres leches cake decorated with a chocolate M for Molina’s! Now, the idea of tres leches always throws me off. I’m not a fan of the general concept of a “soggy cake,” but I will stand up for this one. The flavor was there and it wasn’t as soggy as a lot of tres leches are, for that reason I throughly enjoyed it. It was a great end to a wonderful tasting.
The takeaway here is Molina’s has been in business for a long time for a reason. Their service is great and the food is good too. From the entire spread, I found several dishes that I enjoyed. With today being Cinco de Mayo, Molina’s is a solid choice to celebrate the holiday and frankly just any ole day when you are craving Mexican food.
Before I go, here is a free PSA from your favorite food blogger! While celebrating Cinco de Mayo, don’t go around saying Happy Mexican Independence Day, cause it ain’t Mexican Independence Day! That’s in September. Also let’s avoid the stereotypical “Mexican costume”! It’s a culture/country not a costume and it’s just plain rude. If you follow these simple rules, you are on your way to enjoying a great holiday without offending anyone :).