Katharine Shilcutt's 10 Favorite Dishes in Houston
6. Snapper al cilantro at Teotihuacan
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
It's easy to dismiss the bright pink Teotihuacan as just another Heights area Tex-Mex place from the outside. But inside is one of the city's greatest treasures: Teo's wonderful snapper al cilantro. Huachinango al cilantro -- in fact, just huachinango (red snapper) itself -- is a very popular dish in the coastal areas of Mexico, the snapper itself is commonly seen in preparations like huachinango a la veracruzana. And while this vaguely Provençal dish is good, it's the version in a creamy, tangy cilantro sauce that captured my heart many years ago.
It's the only thing I even order at Teotihuacan, even though the rest of its food is good too (grilled shrimp and El Pastor, a plate of amazing short ribs for only $10). This is an extreme rarity for me, especially in this profession. And that's how great the snapper is.
The egg-battered fish is always cooked to a nice medium well, never overdone, and covered in a butter-based sauce that's slightly tart from a generous amount of lemon juice and white wine. Those who hate the "soapy" taste of cilantro won't find it here, where the sauce takes that edge off the herb and instead enhances its sweet, vegetal flavor. A few pieces of fish and sauce tucked inside one of Teo's freshly-made flour tortillas, and you might never order anything else here again either.
2243 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX