The Original Marini's Empanada House [HOuston]

I stopped in to Marini’s for a weekend lunch a couple of weeks ago. One of the group had heard something about it and so off we went. Despite being roughly in the neighborhood, I’ll have to admit that I had only been there once or twice in the last fifteen years or so.

Let me be honest - I love the concept, but somehow I am always disappointed in the execution. I like meatpies and I love the idea. Whether a calzone, or a Cornish pastie, or a Caribbean roti, (my absolute favorite!), they represent a perfect food. A meal inside its own edible container. What a genius idea!

But like I said, Marini’s somehow always disappoints me. And I’m not even really sure why. I don’t love the crust, the fillings are always just a bit off, the wait is a little too long and the order is just a tad off.

The latest visit was no different. I had a “Hot Picata”, (with sausage, tomato, mozzarella, and jalapeno), a “Mama Mia”, (with chicken, bell peppers, onions, mozzarella, tomato sauce and jalapenos), and for dessert, the “Elvis Melbis”, (with peanut butter, bananas, and dulce de leche).

Sounds awesome, right?

No way to screw that up, right?


Look, I know this place has been there for almost ever and is highly venerated and respected. I get it.

The problem is - I really don’t get it.

To boot, it took almost thirty minutes to get our food on an admittedly beautiful busy Saturday afternoon. And one of the party didn’t get one of their pies. After telling us it was coming three times, the cashier came over and explained it was NOT coming because we didn’t pay for it. My buddy said, “OK”. Didn’t even bother to pull the receipt out. Ten minutes later they bring the pie and THEN he pulls out the receipt.

Yep he paid for it.

And now I remember why I hadn’t been back in fifteen years.

Maybe in another fifteen…

In the meantime, do YOU know where to get a great meatpie of any sort or variety in HOuston or environs? Any kind.

If you do, start a new thread called HOuston Meat Pies, (or something). Thanks in advance.

Let’s eat!


That sounds like a miserable eating experience. And you have reason to bark.

When an “institution” flubs everything you’ve visited it to experience, time for them to close their door.

Guy Fieri visited here for his Triple D show, I’ve not been just because I’m not a fan of empanadas. My sister has been to the one in Katy, but I think only once, so I guess it wasn’t worth a return trip to her.

Nah, I don’t want to leave you with that perception. It’s a cool little place and as I noted, it was pretty busy. It wasn’t miserable by any means.

Just “Meh”.

I always like to consider my experience at a place in the context of how many “better” places I passed to go there. In this case, it was a lot. I didn’t really set out to write a whine, but more of a “Am I missing something?” and “Where can I get a better version?” piece.

I’m still waiting for some answers… :wink:

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The one in Katy seems much beloved. Always cars in the parking lot; lots of love on the Katy/Fort Bend Foodies Facebook page. I went a few times, several years back. Liked it fine but not enough to put on regular rotation. Always figured that’s prob because I didn’t know the best thing to order.

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