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El Tiempo’s carne asada, one of the best steaks for the money in town

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El Tiempo, the estimable local Tex-Mex chain, has long been known for excellent (and expensive) beef fajitas, friendly service, tasty and wickedly potent house margaritas and – at least among many of my friends – the propensity to add an extra margarita or two to the tab of groups. All were in effect during a visit last weekend to the attractive location on Navigation across from the original Ninfa’s, the progenitor of the El Tiempo establishments.

I visit El Tiempo regularly and in the mood for something new for me on their seemingly ever-growing menu, I ordered the Beef Carne Asada “La Tana” – a 10-ounce or so cut of marinated steak served with sautéed onions and pieces of sliced serrano (or jalapeño) peppers, some roasted Garlic and then topped with melted white cheese. The beef was surprisingly tender and flavorful, even more so with the complementary browned pieces of onion, garlic and bits of fiery pepper tempered with the melted cheese. It was terrific, one of the best beef dishes I have had in months. Bolstered by sides of charro beans and their delicious, unusual rice, plus the plentiful thin fresh chips and their top-notch salsas, I could not finish my steak, which is very unusual for me. There was a lot of food in front of me.

Given the quality of their fajitas, especially the beef versions, I should not have been surprised at how good this dish was, it is nearly the same thing after all, but I was. And, for $22.99, an order of the Beef Carne Asada “La Tana” is certainly among the best steak values in Houston.

El Tiempo
3130 Richmond, 77098, (713) 807-1600
5602 Washington, 77007, (713) 681-3645
1308 Montrose, 77019, (713) 807-8996
2814 Navigation Boulevard, 77003, (713) 222-6800
114 Vintage Park Boulevard, 77070, (281) 374-0500
eltiempocantina.com

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