Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th through October 15th. The month-long celebration highlights the many contributions of Houstonians who hail from Mexico, Central, and South America have made to the city. Houston real estate owners love the city’s unique fusion culture, and there is plenty to celebrate.
First off, a celebration needs food. Of course, most people have a favorite taco joint or two near their Houston homes. But the food of Mexico, Central, and South America has a huge variety and delicious regional cuisines. Now is the perfect time to branch out and get to know the special sauces and spices of these cultures. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
Andes Cafe is a great place to start your culinary explorations. Located in East Downtown at 409 Travis Street, it’s open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and for dinner Monday through Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m.. Brunch is also served on Friday and Saturday, with open hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday, when the cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
They serve dishes from Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, and Bolivia. For lunch, try a trancapecho from Bolivia, which is a sirloin steak sandwich served with rice, roasted potatoes, fried egg, and locolo salad. Sample Argentinian churrasco for dinner, a grilled skirt steak accompanied with fries, a house salad, and chimichurri sauce. The brunch at Andes Cafe has been voted the best in East Downtown. Try the Chilean Bistec a lo Pobre, a steak with caramelized onions, fried eggs, fries, warm bread, and pebre (a distinctive condiment from Chile that you’ll love).
Visit Andes Cafe on Facebook to see a full menu and keep up with specials.
For a taste of Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, head to Sofrito. This amazing gem of a cafe is tucked into the Houston real estate location of Dr. Gleem Car Wash at 3103 Ella Boulevard in Montrose. Don’t let the odd location deter you. You’ll find both breakfast and lunch offerings that are totally unique to Sofrito. Stop in for breakfast and fuel up with a breakfast taco and choose from three versions. Choose chicharron, eggs, cheese, cilantro and sofrito sauce or egg, ham, and cheese. Vegetarians will like the eggs, potato, and cheese taco. There’s also the guava parfait for something sweet.
If you drop in for lunch, you can choose from several different sandwiches. The Cubano sandwich is a great choice. Pile on slow-roasted pork, pineapple, achiote-glazed ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles, all on Cuban bread. If you’re in a rush, pick up a few empanadas. They’re only $2.50, and you can get them filled with ground beef, plantain, and cheese or roasted pork, glazed pork, and carne asada or chicken with cheese and red sofrito sauce or black beans with caramelized banana and Cotija cheese.
Sofrito is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sunday. Find the full menu on the Sofrito website.
After trying out these different dishes, you might feel inspired to try making them yourself. The Houston Farmers Market is the place to go for fresh produce and other special ingredients. Established in 1942, the market is open every day, except New Years Day and Christmas, from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Discover fresh fruit and veggies to bring back to Houston homes, as you would in any farmers market, as well as fresh eggs, locally made sausage, and honey. In addition, there are tons of different chiles, spices, unusual varieties of beans and rice, and much more. There are also prepared bakery treats and vendors selling freshly-made dishes, so you can have a meal out with friends and family. Currently, the market is undergoing some major construction. Follow the Facebook page to keep up with the news, and check out the website to see the current list of vendors.
The Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston is dedicated to bringing the riches of Hispanic culture to the wider Houston community. Because of COVID-19, many of their events for Hispanic Heritage Month will be held virtually. On Tuesday, September 29th, hear all about the history and importance of corn during the Rethinking the History of Maize. The online event will begin at 5 p.m. and is free to attend, though registration is required.
Other events will be held outdoors with social distancing. Several movie screenings will take place in this way. Come to the Institute’s Houston real estate location at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 25th for a fun evening of movies and dancing. Bring your own food and drinks to enjoy. Admission is free, but you need to register for a ticket.
There are many more events planned for the month, including photography classes, a presentation by the ambassador of Argentina, and the Festival Folklorico at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Visit the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston online to find the full schedule and register.
We hope this list will help you to get started discovering and appreciating the many Hispanic cultures that make Houston the vibrant place to live that we love so much.
We are committed to going above and beyond and guiding you every step of the way, and will not settle for less than complete satisfaction.