Houston >Food & Dining > Hugo's
1602 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX | Directions 7700629.742799 -95.399883
Neighborhoods: Central, Neartown/ Montrose
Chef Hugo Ortega serves up pretty amusing regional Mexican cuisine at his Montrose restaurant. They also host one of the best brunches in the city, with two different brunch options on the weekends. On Saturday's, they offer a menu brunch (with select items) and a special Brunch Buffet on Sundays.
Wonderfully Elegant Mexican Cuisine – If you are looking for tex-mex and want tex-mex prices, don't go to Hugo's. However, if you are looking for excellent service, flavorful regional Mexican dishes, and a superb dining experience, visit Hugo Ortega's eponymous restaurant. Seasonal dishes that include squash blossoms are a must, the lobster taquito addictive, the whole snapper a la veracruzana stunning, the costillas (ribs) just delicious. Fantastic beverage program overseen by Sommelier Sean Beck. Mojitos and sangria are $5 during happy hour with food specials like ceviche. Sunday brunch is hands-down the best in town.
Handmade and homemade is the best way to describe the regional Mexican fare at Hugo's - where they roast and grind their coffee, chocolate and corn, and make their own queso fresco, chorizo in-house. Don't miss their Lobster Taquito!
Shut up and eat. – Have loved coming here numerous times before for the fantastic flavors and tender meat. Was disappointed this last time, however, due to the obscene noise level. It was so painfully loud, I couldn't wait to leave. It's a shame, because the cocoa is to die for. Also, stick with the margaritas -- the palomas are just too grapefruity (? Needed more lime and tequila) for my taste.
One word - WOW! – I was so proud of how impressed my attorney was for my choice of a place to meet for lunch. A lover of Mexican food he was speechless almost until the last bite, claiming to never had had such a savory dish. I explained to him that Authentic Mexican cuisine is beyond comparison to the more common assumption of what is taqueria food or 'tex-mex'. (Although, those types can also be very appetizing.) Hugo's offers spectacular entree selections, consider that these are the creme de la creme - delicacies - from Mexico. We had the exquisite crabcakes and the camarones enchipotlados. The sauce accompanying the succulent shrimp is indescribably delicious. Furthermore, at all levels the service is most friendly and accommodating. This place knows what they're doing! A jewel in the community and the entire Houston. I look forward to returning soon as I wish to try every dish on the menu! Caballeros, los felicito de corazon; Hechenle ganas compadres!
Best Mexican Food Outside of Mexico – I spent the better part of the 90's living and working in Mexico. My wife is Mexican. I am very familiar with mexican food.
This is the MOST AUTHENTIC Mexican food I have had on this side of the border. I have eaten in San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, and El Paso. Hugo does a great job of combining some of the regional favorites from around the country. This reminds me of leaving Mexico City to spend the weekend in Cuernavaca and being served this at a restaruant in town. The seafood "coctels" are jazzed-up versions of street food in Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. Some of the Gulf seafood can be traced to Vera Cruz and the Yucatan.
No kidding here, folks. This is the real deal. Do yourself a favor and shell out the $25 for brunch and then don't eat all week. Then you'll REALLY get to try a little of everything.
La Fonda San Miguel in Austin, TX is the only other place I've had real Mexican food in the US. What we are used to eating here is really a fusion of border food. You can find some of the dishes like a chimichanga (deep-fried burrito) in Monterrey or Nogales, but not much further south. "Fajitas" doesn't exist in Mexico. It's simply called flank steak or skirt steak and comes as one piece that you put into your own tortilla. Chile con Carne is cowboy/vaquero food and made it's way into the cheese and enchiladas between San Antonio and Laredo. Speaking of cheese, yellow cheese or "cheddar" cheese is sold in Mexican grocery stores but almost never makes it's way into smothering a whole plate of melted tortillas and sauce.
I am not saying one is better or worse. I LOVE Tex-Mex. But if you eat at Hugo's be prepared that it not at all like you will expect if you come from that point of view. Chef Hugo has done an amazing job of procuring local growers to supply him with specialty items found primarily in Mexico. So be prepared. Some of the fare is "fine dining" in Mexico. Some is street food dressed up. ALL OF IT IS AMAZING.
Exceeded Expectations – Had lunch there on Sat and shared several small plates. The shrimp and snapper ceviches were well prepared and very fresh. The seafood did not suffer from being marinated too long in the citrus and you could still taste the freshness of the seafood. The lobster taco and shrimp tostadas were fabulous. These dishes certainly are not amongst the more adventurous offerings here but they were very satisfying. Excellent caipirinha cocktails also (not a margarita drinker). I had been to Hugo's a while back and realized this Sat that I had waited much too long to come back.
Great Sunday Brunch – Although a bit pricey for Mexican food the value ($27.00) of the sunday brunch is fantastic. Great service, atomsphere and everything we tried was splendid. They have 2 seatings for brunch at 11 and 1. Make reservations; you wont be disappointed.
Great service! – We had amazing experience here. I went here for the first time in May, and in addition to the wonderful food, I just have to say we loved our waiter. We were interested in trying different things, and he would push us just to be a little more adventurous. All his recommendations were spot on. My favorite restaurant remains Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, but this is a close second, and is my friend's current number one favorite.
Well, I like it – I liked it. Atmosphere great. Location great. Drinks great. My partner and I eat out at a LOT of restaurants in Houston and we have also dined in large cities all over the country including New York city. I believe I know what I'm talking about when I say this is great Mexican cuisine. I was never seated badly and the wait staff was always attentive. The only con is that the lighting is so low you have to strain to see the menu. I never use valet parking because I don't like other people driving my car, but if you do use it you have to know it won't be free. Come on whiners, get real!
I am concerned about the health inspection thing!!!
Bad Service – First of all, DO NOT make online reservations. I had a reservation through open table, brought the print out and everything. The hostess took the print out, and there we stood, waited 20 mins to find out they had no clue they took reservations this way. We waited a total of 45 mins after our reservation time. For the price, the waiter should've been a little more involved, but just did the basics, brought the food, never refilled drinks, never asked about dessert, then left the check. The sad thing is, the food was pretty good, but I can make the food at home without the added attitude and cost.
Health Inspection Failed – I have been to Hugo's on several occasions. I paid for the best and found out today I received the worst. Channel 11 News just aired a "dirtiest restaurants in Houston" special and Hugo's was on it for health code violations. Being a former prosecutor for the city and knowing alot about these violations made my stomach turn even more. I cannot believe I trusted them to prepare food that was put into my family members mouths. Simply put, aweful and a hazard to your health.
Rude valet to annoying mamager! – I was told that my spouse and I would enjoy this place, but from the start with the valet it was awful, then to go in and complain to a female manager who barely spoke English and defends the valet for trying to charge me when there's no sign anywhere that there's a fee to valet!?!? Go figure, needless to say, they should have managers that are a bit more concerned with what the client has to say, and that can communicate readily. I would not go back.
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