Brunch at Cyclone Anaya's in Midtown

Categories: Breakfast

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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
I was giddy with the simple pleasure of walking to Cyclone Anaya's last Sunday morning, a brilliant sunshiney morning meant for strolling and patio dining. And even though we passed a dead rat and several homeless people on the way, it was still a lovely walk.

Cyclone Anaya's, too, was enchanting at first. I'd never been to the Midtown location despite its proximity to my house but was instantly impressed with the amount of effort put into the iron work, the colored glass that studs the canopy over the front door, the abstract sculpture near the entrance.

It's a lovely restaurant, to be sure. And the patio is equally lovely, especially before it gets too busy.

I wasn't wowed by the food, unfortunately.

An almost sugar-sweet Bloody Mary didn't kick things off on the right foot, either, although I was pleased to find the margarita much better than your typical on-the-rocks offerings around town.

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The guacamole had clearly been made ahead of time and scooped out of a bowl with giant melon ballers, though I couldn't fault the lovely presentation. What I could fault was a lack of either salt or acid in the bland guacamole. And I was even more discouraged to find pieces of avocado skin still left in the guac. No. Just, no.

Between our appetizer and our actual brunch items, the patio started to swing into its typically busy Sunday afternoon pattern. Two women in clothes far too short, tight and tiny for any point before noon perched at the "smoking tree" and cackled loudly while they preened and drank, like human female versions of grackles. Between the women, the underwhelming guac and Bloody Mary, and the very loud music on the patio, I was already starting to get annoyed.

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But it was mostly my own fault, wasn't it?

When our food arrived, I was again disappointed to see that my omelet was more like scrambled eggs folded around some sauteed vegetables, but that thought faded as I ate my way through the cheese and poblano peppers. It was good.

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My brunch companion enjoyed his migas with beef fajita meat mixed in -- and I had to admire the use of blue corn tortillas in the shuffle -- but the dish just didn't register with me. It had that same lackadaisical blandness as the guac; where was the oomph and the feeling behind the food? These are simple dishes, but with pronounced and satisfying flavors when done correctly. I wasn't connecting with much over brunch at all other than a headache that had begun to form. Was it the music? The human grackles? The lack of caffeine?

I contemplated ordering coffee after our plates were cleared, but decided against it. I'd had enough blandness for one day. And Catalina Coffee is such a short drive away, after all, with more love and care put into one cortado than into our entire brunch at Cyclone Anaya's.



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Location Info

Cyclone Anaya's

309 Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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14 comments
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Justdanielle1
Justdanielle1

I love me a good midtown Brunch but Cyclone's down there is quite scary. People dress odd. Butts, boobs hanging out and they aren't pretty ones - trust me. There are far better places for brunch which I won't say because I don't want the ghetto dressers coming to the normal places.

Sid
Sid

I had those migas for brunch once. They tasted like a plate of nothing. If middle school cafeteria served migas, they would be no more blah than the ones from CA.

Bruce R
Bruce R

That's an odd thing say. We argue about the quality of migas from restaurant to restaurant, but somehow you've managed to put a statewide assessment on the CA restaurants. What is TX migas? There is no such thing. Same for CA.

Texasota
Texasota

Cyclone. Anaya's. C. A.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Ah. I get it now. I mistakenly thought you were one of those people that inserted politics or regional bias in almost all of their posts, regardless of the topic. I am pleased to be wrong.

TQro
TQro

I'm with you on the grackles. At least kids have an excuse and are just being kids. And that rice looks horribly dry.

Presidentialswag
Presidentialswag

Pls. Tell me 1 single Mexican restaurant in Houston better than cyclones...ill wait....@whoisbigtam

sanders
sanders

Hey presidentilesnag have you heard of a little place called Taco Bell? Have you tried there cheesy double decker taco? That thing is delicious. And then they do this thing where they put Doritos in a burrito. It's super creative and amazing.

TexMex
TexMex

Amen Sanders. Amen.

MB
MB

Teotihuacan is better, even la taptia. C. A. is just high priced, so-so tex-mex.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Right off the bat and right down the street, Xuco Xicana, to start.

scantrell
scantrell

And La Guadalupana....not a place for afternoon brunch, but def. one of the best in town...their chilaquiles and machacado are sublime and best of all??? BYOB!

Guest
Guest

I've noticed that a lot of local guac has gone light on salt and lime juice. Anyone have any ideas as to why? Is the tart, sharp green stuff I love not 'real' guacamole?

Or are the people making it simply forgetting to taste it?

Memorialized
Memorialized

Yea, I've never been impressed with the food at CA. Especially the new one at City Centre.

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