Donna Cooks


(Used to Be) The Best Quesadilla Deal in Houston
February 14, 2007, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Food Travelogues

When I interned in Houston three years ago, I got off work every Friday at 11:00am. I would drive to north Houston to meet my boyfriend for lunch (who worked until 5:00pm like a regular Joe). The pickings are slim as far as good food goes in that area (Beltway 8 and I-45) but we did find a couple of deals that were just too good to turn down: the $3.50 super quesadilla and $2.50 torta at Ostioneria Michoacan, stuffed with your choice of fajita chicken or beef.

This past weekend, while we were in the area again, we decided to grab a quick lunch at Ostioneria Michoacan for old time’s sake. The restaurant (part of a local chain in Houston) had relocated from its unsightly strip mall location to a freestanding and more visually appealing building (relatively speaking) directly off of the I-45 frontage road.

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The inside had received its share of upgrades as well. The place was huge inside (seats 100-150) and was filled with Hispanic patrons, chatting away in Spanish during their Sunday lunch. The tables were filled with various seafood platters and mug after mug of michelada, which is like a bloody Mary, but made with Mexican beer instead of vodka. However, upon opening the menu I was disappointed to see that the deals we had come for were no longer there, the super quesadilla was now $5.50 and the torta $4.50 (still cheap but not quite the bargain as the old location). Nonetheless, we stuck with our old orders, one beef fajita super quesadilla and one chicken torta. Since our food choices weren’t exactly adventurous, we walked on the edge of the wild side with our drinks, one horchata and one michelada.

Chips and salsas (red and green) came out quickly along with our drinks. The mild red salsa at Ostioneria Michoacan is served warm on their thick tortilla chips. It is enjoyable, but in the past I had always preferred the green salsa. However, one dip into the green salsa and I realized that this recipe had been toned down since the relocation. The salsa used to have a much stronger tomatillo and cilantro flavor, but now it is bland and reminds me of runny green Tobasco. No thanks.

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The horchata tasted like Vanilla Silk Light, with a hint of almond. The michelada was interesting (it was our first time to try this drink). You get a cold, salt-rimmed mug filled 1/5 full with a hot sauce/tomato juice mixture and a cold bottle of Corona with a lime wedge. Pour the beer into the mug of hot sauce/tomato juice, add a squeeze of lime, and you get this orange-coral colored beverage:

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The super quesadilla was big and greasy as expected, and with more cheese than I remembered. The torta stuck to its old roots as well, big and filling with tender seasoned chicken chunks.

Super Quesadilla (and it is super in size):

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 Chicken torta (yes I found it odd that the plate was Asian-themed):

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We were beyond stuffed with our greasy but tasty food. But now that the quesadilla and torta are no longer awesome bargains, I don’t think I’ll be driving to Ostioneria Michoacan for my white-washed Mexican food fix. However, the restaurant does appear to serve up some mean seafood dishes (ceviche, fried fish, grilled shrimp, blackened fish) and is extremely popular among the local Hispanic population. So maybe next time I’ll actually try out some seafood at the ostioneria.  Imagine that, eating seafood at a seafood restaurant…

Ostioneria Michoacan
50 Aldine Bender Rd.
Houston, TX 77060

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