Coastal Mexican Cuisine with Caracol

Caracoal (7)Houston has more than its fair share of Mexican restaurants and I think we can claim some of the best in the country.  The finesse of Mexican cuisine can be lost, however, in the sizzle of the fajitas or the oozing cheese we have come to expect when we think Mexican.  The creator of some great restaurants including the Backstreet Café and Hugo’s have put together an awesome alternative to that perception of Mexican food with the coastal Mexican cuisine found at Caracol.  With a focus on fresh seafood the restaurant brings together fresh flavors with unique spins on more traditional dishes and the results are remarkable.

Caracoal (8) Caracoal (6)The restaurant itself is an ode to the coastal Mexican colors, decorated in bright hues of blue and white.  One a sunny day the patio presents a perfect place to be transported to a beautiful coastal village, while in the heart of the Galleria, as you drift away with every bite of the delicious food.  The menu is separated into sections so you can focus on your favorite prep for the seafood explosion.  From an innovative raw menu to a more tradition hot you can choose exactly how close you want to be to the coastal Mexican flavors.   I started with the scallops and my taste buds were instantly awakened by the interesting combination of bread crumbs and seasoning that put my scallops in a whole new light.

Caracoal (9)In moving to dinner what caught our interest more than anything else was the sides so although we ordered the spicy shrimp we could not wait to dive into some interesting accompanying dishes.  The spicy shrimp was delicious, giving me flavors reminiscent of a spicy curry, the real star of the table were the sides.  Caracoal (1)We went with the Repollitos Asados (charred Brussels sprouts), Tamal Azteca (layered tortilla casserole) and Col Rizada (sautéed kale).  Between the layered tortilla casserole, which was a dense take on an enchilada feel, and the kale with its favors of lime and cheese, I could eat those two dishes, and only those two dishes, that every week.  The flavors took something familiar and make it unique and definitely left an unforgettable impression.

CaracolTo wrap a meal we were obsessed with, the deserts on the menu knock the whole experience over the park.  I have made my passions for churros no secret and with them on the menu my vote was locked and loaded.  Yes the apple empanada was delicious, but those churros….Delicioso!!!  We enjoyed ours with the pineapple marmalade on the side to give us a chance to enjoy the hot, crispy, melt in your mouth flavor of the churros.  Despite an evening full of rain leaving such an enchanting dinner was like come back to reality, only it’s a dream I can escape back to! And one I plan to revisit frequently!!!

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