[Houston] El Jardin Harrisburg

The Wifeacita and I hit one of our favorite Tex-Mex places on far east Harrisburg on the way to Seabrook for oysters.

They have really good chips and salsa, a must and a deal killer if you want to be a good Tex-Mex joint. They also throw in gratis chile con queso at lunch Monday-Friday.

We opened with chorizo queso flameado, a really good version although the Wifeacita lamented the lack of fresh flour tortillas.

She ordered the carnitas, always a winner and thought them to be fresher than the time before although the owner/manager said they are made fresh daily. A friend of mine and his brother from California came a couple of weeks ago. Friend got the same carnitas and pronounced them average but good, he preferring chunks instead of sliced El Jardin serves. His brother got chicken mole enchiladas which he described as solid.

I had the less successful chile relleno which I had never ordered before, hoping for something the erstwhile Otillia’s on Long Point used to serve with the wonderful red sauce. This was served dry and lacking in flavor although I trust the Wifeacita to spice up the leftovers.

Next time it will be carnitas and fajitas for me or camarones empanizados, fried shrimp and fresh fried potatoes that remind me of the same I had in Pacific coast Los Mochis, Mexico a zillion years ago.

Clientele ranges from east end families to plant workers to engineers/managers. Have a desire to fit into the lunch crowd? Come in blue coveralls with company logo Valero, GE, or Rio patch with a gimme cap and sunglasses perched on the bill.

I love this place.

Here’s a NY Times article featuring this place and Tex-Mex.


Really cool to see someone (not to mention the NYT!) acknowledge this place. We love getting takeout from there. Good, solid food at reasonable prices…definitely an East End area standout.

Never seen it recognized much, though… Kudos!

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They’ve been there since 19 and 76 and the friend and I mentioned in my review have been going since at least '77. We would go on Friday nights for the mariachis, and food.

I have no idea how we found this place what with no internet! It must have been a Chronicle or Houston Post report.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo