From the outside, Tecate Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is unassuming, to say the least. You might have been by and not really noticed. I probably drove by the place five or six times (there on the corner of 27th and Ella across from my favorite Lowe's) before my wife pointed it out. With short daily hours it seems we had been passing by when the kitchen was closed, but on this day there were cars in the lot.
My wife had heard good things about the food, and being junior Taqueria aficianado's, we needed to investigate.
The place is small and minimally decorated as with most authentic Mexican restaurants, but the staff was there at the door and offered a quick welcome. We were seated at the nicest available table and were promptly met with chips and salsa both of which were refilled promptly throughout dinner.
The Margarita's are served in small wine glasses, but they are delicious and deliver the goods. Don't be fooled. Tart and sweet, they disappear too quickly. Use caution.
The food, too, is very good. We arrived at the restaurant with the recommendation to try the seafood soup. Our server also raved on the soup and it's fresh preparation. While we didn't follow those orders, what we had was very good.
The appetizer Shrimp Vera Cruz is spectacular. Jumbo shrimp sauteed with red bells and onion in a thick tomato roux. The torillas on the side could make it a meal. The Ground Beef Taco Salad was alos very good. I like to order this salad in Mexican places to see how they treat it differently. Some places treat their salads like dishes in themsleves, other places serve salads as an afterthought. Tecate does it right. It is fresh, well portioned and served with a sassy housemade vinaigrette, a very pleasant surprise from a kitchen with some obvious talent. My wife had the Enchiladas Mexico. Another smash. We didn't even need a togo box. Unusual for us and Mexican food.
There is no website for Tecate, the restaurant, that I can find but a quick google search will give you some leads on directions and location. The hours seem to vary with early closing being the norm so call first. 713-868-5232. Search Tecate Restaurante Ella Houston or just click my link.