Openings & Closings: Sexy Tex-Mex

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo courtesy of Facebook
Viva la Vida.
Remember when Houston was going to get its own version of Vivo, the popular Austin Tex-Mex restaurant, complete with "rock star chef" Paul Petersen? And remember when that whole plan went to hell after Petersen and his investors couldn't get along? And remember when the investors announced that they were going to open their own goddamned Tex-Mex restaurant in that location anyway?

Well, it's now open, and it's called Vida Sexy Tex-Mex. No, seriously, you guys. The restaurant, located at 4224 San Felipe (next to the railroad tracks), promises to offer "Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine in a mature, sensual environment." So...swinger's club? Or restaurant? OR BOTH? Either way, Vida doesn't allow children under 16 on the premises, so at the very least you don't have to worry about screaming toddlers interrupting your sensual meal of Magic Stack Enchiladas Verdes or nachos.

And although I'm giving the place a hard time, I have to admit that some of the menu items sound quite fetching: a red snapper ceviche with plantains ($12) and a cream of black bean soup with chorizo ($4). I'm even looking forward to trying Vida's version of puffy tacos ($13) -- no sexual pun intended.

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Breakfast at Georgia's: coming soon to downtown.
Meanwhile, Eater Houston has been keeping us abreast of two important moves in Houston's Latin food scene: Convivio's grand opening and the news that Latin Bites is moving from its tiny Nance Street location.

Convivio is the most recent tapas joint to open, joining the brand-new Majorca on West Gray. You'll recognize Convivio's location as that of the old Table 7 Bistro. But now chef Oscar Aguilar -- he of the popular Decco Cafe on Woodway -- has moved in and opened up shop. It's not the kind of inexpensively-priced tapas joint I'd like to eventually see, but it's a move in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Latin Bites has apparently succumbed to the pressures of having a packed house every night. After all, its current space on Nance (memorably home to Dharma Cafe and Ray's Franks) only holds about 10 tables. From the looks of it, Latin Bites will be moving its ceviches and causas to the old location of The Rockwood Room on Woodway. Look for a new pisco bar to go with the new space.

Finally, downtown is getting not one but two new grocery stores: Phoenicia is slated to open in October and Georgia's Farm to Market -- my favorite grocery store on the west side -- is moving into the old Byrd's Market location.

My sources tell me that the reason behind Phoenicia's long-delayed opening is owner Bob Tcholakian's good-natured yet time-consuming perfectionism. The floors have already been redone once, for example, as they were not up to Tcholakian's standards. Will it be worth the wait? No doubt.

As for Georgia's Farm to Market, prepare to see a real grocery store instead of the mishmash of unformed ideas that was poor Byrd's. Owner Georgia Bost tells the Chronicle that the store will stock "grass-fed and natural meats, produce, groceries, including vegan and gluten-free options, as well as teas and spices" and will also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.



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16 comments
Lily
Lily

I went to Vida's last night after reading this. The fish tacos were delicious- you have the option to have them grilled or tempura fried - tempura is amazing.. There is plenty of sauce and flavor in the tacos.. Margaritas are very strong as they do not use sweet and sour mix, just lime etc..I also got the red snapper ceviche- I prefer ceviche with only fish so I really liked it. You definitely need to check it out!!

Jjjbbeee11
Jjjbbeee11

When I read "Vida Sexy Tex-Mex" I had thought it was a reference to me not a restaurant. Either way to all you ladies it still holds true.

bubu
bubu

I'd like to pretend the Sexy Tex-Mex thing isn't happening. 

KiefnerC
KiefnerC

RE: Vida, I Love the idea of no kids under 16 or whatever. Civilised. No stray little league teams to contend with. The place looks cozy too. I'm willing to try it!!

Somebody
Somebody

Sammy's Wild Game Grill on Washington just opened yesterday as well.

Along
Along

Is Georgia's closing their I-10 location and moving downtown or are they opening a second store?

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

Puffy Tacos…OMG that was too funny…

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

Is Vida Sexy Tex-Mex(that name alone might keep me from going there) in the space that used to be the Roll N?  From dive bar to mature, sensual tex-mex joint makes sense in this town.

Mckayk
Mckayk

I agree. This place is great. Even put plaintains in the black beans. In a world where every restaurant seems so loud that you can't relax, this is a great alternative and the food is amazing.

shane mosley
shane mosley

that's a potentially terrible location - traffic, poor parking access – and the freaking train!!! turning left into there may be impossible

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

It's on the other end of the strip center from the old Roll-N Saloon. Quite a pair, huh?

Plinkster
Plinkster

I think this is in the old Roll N location. If it is at the other end of the center it wouldn't really be next to the RR tracks?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Trust me on this. I've seen it with my own eyes. Anyway, Roll-N was at 4200 San Felipe and is now a bar called The Railyard. Vida is at 4218 San Felipe, on the opposite end of the strip center.

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