Monday, June 19, 2006

"Original" Irma's

She: Apparently there are two "original" Tex-Mex restaurants in town: "Original" Ninfa's and "Original" Irma's. I've now eaten at both, and I think I prefer Ninfa's. But I'll freely admit that 1) I'm not a huge fan of Tex-Mex in the first place; and 2) I'm comparing a current Irma's experience with a year-old Ninfa's experience.

Irma's (22 N Chenevert, Houston, TX) definitely has some good things going for it. For one, their special lemonade is superb--I'm not sure what's in it, but it looks like strawberries and perhaps some other fruit in addition to lemon juice, and they serve it with a few small pieces of fresh fruit floating at the top. It's tasty and refreshing and a welcome change from regular old lemonade.

For another, they have terrific guacamole. It's hearty with lots of chunks of avocado in it, plus plenty of cilantro, which I love. I only wish they'd serve it in bigger portions.

The rest of the Irma's experience, though, was fairly run-of-the-mill. I had fajitas, and nothing stood out in my mind as particularly memorable, although this is not to imply that the food was bad. On the contrary, the food was filling and good, and I can see why Irma's has the fans that it does. But I seem to recall Ninfa's having much better flour tortillas (Ilove homemade flour tortillas) and tastier fajita fillings.

Still, Irma's is definitely one of the better Tex-Mex experiences to be had in town. (I'm sorry, folks, but I'm just not a big fan of Chuy's.) It's a good place to bring out-of-town visitors who want to know what Tex-Mex is all about.

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