Executive Chef Hugo Ortega uses “Regional Mexican Cuisine” to describe the menu at Hugo’s. Many may think this Mexican food is your basic Tex-Mex and yada… False. The “extremely diverse” menu is like that of no other Mexican restaurant in Houston. It ranges from borderline basic to incredibly ingenius.
The Spanish style classic décor, along with the high ceilings & never ending glass windows, add a romantic feel while dining at Hugo’s. Montrose truly is the best neighborhood for dining in Houston. It’s easy to get lost with the endless possibilities. There simply isn’t another neighborhood with so many quality restaurant options available at every corner.
There are three sections with inexpensive options before getting to the more expensive entrée sections. They are Cocteles, Sopas y Ensaladas, and Entremeses. It’s not surprising that Hugo’s is somewhat expensive, but rather exciting that there are options for those not overflowing with mucho dinero.
Hugo’s is known for having a fabulous Sunday Buffet, which begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $27 per person, with children costing $10.
The Sunday Buffet includes:
Tamales, Carnitas, Mole Verde, Costillas de Res, Escabeche de Pescado, Calabacitas Rellenas, Quesadillas de Hongos, Ensalada de Nopales, Escabeche de Pescado, Tikin Xic, Ceviche, Coctel de Camaron, Pan Dulce, Capirotada, Flan, Torta de Coco,Churros, Tres Leches, Lecheros, Aguas Frescas, etc…
While offering the traditional Mimosa for $4, Hugo’s also offers Mimosa en Mendoza “that honors the flavors of Argentina.” This drink consists of grape juice with black currant & orange zest. The menu states, “The resulting mimosa shares the flavors of Argentinian Malbec.”
Hugo’s has a margarita selection that is exceptionally inventive…
Sauza Silver, Hiram Walker triple sec, simple syrup & fresh lime
“Passing the Storm” Rita $9.5
Pomegranate, black cherry-ancho simple syrup, Mexican cinnamon, lime, Cointreau & El Tesoro Silver
Sean’s “Seleccion Suprema” Margarita $11
Herradurra Reposado, Gran Marnier, fresh lime juice, orange, & peach nectar
Gran Reposado Rita $9
Hussong Reposado, Gran Marnier, simple syrup & fresh lime
Oaxacan Rita $7.5
Monte Alban Mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice & simple syrup
The Bandolera $9
Herradura Silver, with Cuarenta y Tres Spanish Liqueur, fresh lime & orange
Hugo’s has a special vegetarian & vegan menu available. The menu includes items listed on the regular menu that fall into this category. This special menu makes deciding on an entrée much easier.
A server that wasn’t even responsible for my service came over and offered the vegetarian menu to me. He took the time to explain the menu, as well as suggest several entrées suitable for AVH.
The vegetarian menu is full of excitement. They offer pureed butternut squash soup with chile de árbol, pear & pumpkin seeds. The Ensalada de Aguacate y Mango is an avocado & mango salad with blue cheese & pumpkin seeds.
Also on the veggie menu is Platón de Quesos, which is a selection of cheeses from Spain, México & Texas served with quince jam, tomatillo marmalade, Marcona almonds & candied walnuts.
Hugo’s offers Tamales de Pescado which consists of three tamales stuffed with seasoned fish. Being a total amateur tamale person, the thought of a tamale has never enticed my inner foodie urge. The word “Hot Tamale” is a bit exciting, but that is about it. After my neighbor ordered this mystery meal, I decided a lesson in tamales is long overdue.
The first appetizer to arrive is the Pulpo al Carbón, which consists of grilled octopus with onions & peppers, served with chipotle tomatillo salsa & small tortillas. Double Yikes.
Assuming one were not in the mood for an octopus all bundled up in a tortilla, there is another option, cough, Chapulines… pan sautéed grasshoppers served with guacamole, tortillas & chipotle tomatillo salsa.
Still not excited? There is always the tempting Lechón… achiote rubbed tender suckling pig with crisp skin, habanero salsa & tortillas for rolling. Infinity Yikes.
The bartender made an excellent suggestion with the three quesadillas, which include mushrooms & huitlacoche; roasted potatoes & rajas; butternut squash & swiss chard.
This is a perfect starter, with the cheese not being greasy or super filling. The quality of Hugo’s food is apparent in every dish sent out of the kitchen. Each entrée is consistently incredible!
The Taquito de Langosta, which is listed simply as “a small lobster taco,” is absolutely superb. While dining at Hugo’s, I can’t ever resist ordering this appetizer. The lobster is quite tiny, but perfect if you are in the mood for lobster at a reasonable price.
For dessert, I ordered the Flan de Queso, served with passion fruit sauce, candied pistachios, strawberries & chantilly cream. The pairing recommended with this dessert is the Austrian Beerenausle, with a side note on the menu… “Elevates Flan to the dessert of kings.”
An interesting dessert offered is the Café y Cigarros. This is an adult milkshake with Mexican chocolate ice cream, café de olla, Del Maguey Mescal & Meyers Dark Rum. This was my first choice, but I went with the bartender’s recommendation, which was fantastic.
I returned to Hugo’s a few days later to take the ever so important cloud picture of the building. The front door had a massive dark cloud hovering above, so I decided to stand on the side.
While taking pictures of the fluffy cumulus clouds, I was soon approached by a little man with a big attitude. He appeared to be sweating with his adrenalin in full swing as he snapped, “Can I help you?” As I calmly answered, “No,” I quickly realized this person is about to waste three minutes of my life.
The Manager: “Is there something you need?”
The Manager: “Well, what exactly are you doing here?”
The Manager: “I am … The Manager.”
Me: “Really? Um, let’s see… I’m standing in the street taking a cloud picture. Could you cut to the chase?”
The Manager: “Well, you can’t take pictures if it is for reasons that are negative to Hugo’s.”
The Manager: “There is no solicitation allowed.”
1. the act of soliciting.
2. entreaty, urging, or importunity; a petition or request.
3. enticement or allurement.
Holy Guacamole. It is odd that this manager became sweaty hyper at the thought of a person taking pictures of the building. While I am no Perry Mason, I am quite sure I am legally entitled to take a picture of a building & clouds while standing on a street corner in Texas. Let’s go ahead and give this manager a Double Power Trip Wow.
Jeez. Do you think you would ever see David, the manager from Mockingbird Bistro, hanging out in the street telling people to get rid of their iPhone camera? No, you would not. Why? He is a qualified individual working in a management position…
Plain & Simple.
After fully repressing this manager, it is indeed a fact that Hugo’s reputation is well deserved. With authentic Mexican food, a variety of unique drinks, and impeccable service, you will leave feeling your fiesta is complete.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch