3 1/2 years in the making

by Shawnda on August 1, 2007

in Restaurant review

It only took 3 1/2 years to get my husband to dinner at one of my favorite spots in Houston, Cafe Red Onion. I guess I can’t call it one of my favorites anymore – the last time I ate there was *literally* the day before I met my husband.

Far more exotic than Tex-Mex, the Red Onion prides itself upon “Latino Fusion” cuisine – a mixture of American and fresh tropical Caribbean and Latino flavors. If you’re visiting Houston, this place should default as one of your “must eat” locations.

I think of suggesting the Red Onion for dinner all the time, kick the idea around a bit in my head:

  • I imagine the “where’s the green stuff” look on his face when they bring out fresh yellow corn tortilla chips with the house papaya-chipotle and pineapple salsas before dinner.
  • I imagine the “What. The. Heck” look on his face when he sees everything is beautifully plated on, next to, or under an artistic mound of black beans, corn, and fruit salsa (because those things belong on someone else’s plate).
  • I imagine the “this stuff is waaaay too complicated” look on his face when he sees that Chicken Quesadillas aren’t just chicken quesadillas.
  • Then I usually promptly discard the Red Onion as a suggestion and we move on.

    However, because my in-laws (that’s still so funny to write, much less say!) are taking us to the Red Onion for dinner to celebrate my birthday tonight, I no longer have to imagine all those funny looks on my husband’s face – I get to see them! I will not whip out a camera at dinner, though – that silly moment will still be reserved for just the two of us.

    To my surprise, there actually are a handful of very normal items on the menu – “regular” chicken quesadillas and tacos al carbon. Jason enjoyed dinner, completely delighted with the handful of “normal” offerings on the menu. I returned home completely delighted at the Chicken Relleno I ordered – thinly pounded chicken breast stuffed with broiled grape fruit, crushed pistachios, goat cheese, cilantro, and chopped relleno peppers, plated with a creamy cilantro sauce, and a tropical black bean salsa. There were no leftovers… there never are.

    My “must make as soon as the kitchen is finished” list is growing quickly – I expect to turn out a Chicken Relleno knock-off within the first week!

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    { 5 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Deborah August 1, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Your husband sounds a lot like mine!!

    Reply

    2 Katiez August 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Now that you know it’s safe to take him there you can go back – and get him to experiment…

    Reply

    3 Lisa (Homesick Texan) August 1, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Happy birthday! Every time I go home, my mom always suggests we go here but we’ve always ran out of time. And while I love my old-school Tex-Mex, I’ll definitely try it next time I’m in Houston–sounds very refreshing!

    Reply

    4 Deryn Mentock August 3, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    The Red Onion is one of my faves…just ate there last night as a matter of fact! Most of the time my meat-and-potatoes guy has that “what’s this stuff” look on his face when trying something a little different but, thank goodness…he loves Red Onion too!

    Reply

    5 Cynthia August 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Happy Belated!

    How is that kitchen re-modelling coming along?

    Reply

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