Tasty Tacos for Happy Hour at Pistolero's

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Photos by Mai Pham
From Top Left: Seasonal frozen margarita, two tacos, queso and chips

There's something about Pistolero's, the new taco and tequila bar that took over the Nabi space on Westheimer, that oozes cool. I'm talking the bad boy, Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men," kind of cool that spoke to me immediately when I stepped through the doors. "You can hang out here for hours," it said to me. "You will want to come back here often," it whispered.

"Yes," my subconscious answered instinctively. It didn't matter that their tacos were the kind that you go home raving about, or their cocktails the kind that light up the camera for that great Instagram photo. I was already sold, even before I found out about their fantastic happy hour offering: Two tacos for $5 -- Oh. Yeah!

The regular price for a taco is $3.95, or four for $14, and 10 for $30. That drops down to almost half price from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it's a steal of a deal, cheaper and bigger than taco truck fare, and seriously gourmet.

We're talking oxtail, smoked tomato jam, and red onion gourmet, so juicy and bursting with flavor. There's red mole pork with grilled corn and green onion, barbacoa with chilichurri and cabbage slaw, or grilled portabella with cauliflower puree jalapeno jam and jack. Ask the server which their favorite is, and it will vary from person to person. I was told to get the oxtail (a total winner), while some of my friends, whom I'd sent there without me, were told to get the barbacoa or grilled shrimp with pickled veggies and avocado puree.

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The lengua taco in all its glory

During happy hour, frozen and house margaritas are $4, with $5 sangria, and $1 off beers as well. It's terrific all around, and if you want to sample more than the taco menu, it won't break the bank either.

Small, Mexican, but not necessarily Tex-Mex tapas-style plates are tasty and delicious. I couldn't stop eating their fried nopales (cactus), which are cut into chunks like popcorn shrimp, and served with a chili aoili, tasting a bit like fried okra with their kind of chewy, glutinous center, only better. The corn elote, or corn on the cob with bacon, chili aoili, shaved beet and honey lime was another standout small plate.

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Order it, and I guarantee you won't stop eating them...so addictive

If you're into cocktails, their menu of "cocteles" is pretty impressive, too, and hard to pass up. I had a tough time choosing between at Flor de Menta (silver tequila with muddled mint and lime, peach bitters, agave nectar, orange juice, hibiscus liqueur); a Ginger Mora (silver tequila, elderflower liqueur, bitters, fresh lemon juice, muddled blackberries, ginger beer,); and the Strawberry Limonada (silver tequila, muddled strawberries, agave nectar, fresh lemonade), the one that I chose in the end -- just three of the 14 on cocktails and infusions on the menu.

Pistolero's also has daily specials on top of their happy hour, most notably, Taco Tuesday, when all tacos are just $2 (what!?!). Yes, I will be here often.


Location Info

Pistolero's

1517 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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12 comments
ARTvsCRAFT77002
ARTvsCRAFT77002

<< thought it was OK but i wasnt impressed ~ ordered ceviche and had to "ask" for chips since the waiter told me they dont come with chips ~ REALLY?  good tacos ~ small pricey drinks ~ tacky "art" on the walls takes away from design of bar ~ love the design and materials used to design bar ~ small parking lot ~ too many other places to choose from that i dont see this as a place i have to go. 

chris.loll
chris.loll

The creepy, psychotic assassin from No Country for Old Men? I'm sure the Coen brothers totally intended for him to come off as "bad boy cool."

wuwu
wuwu

Mai, question please...where you interested in or given the opportunity to be the lead critic...many inquiring minds want to know why this spot was not yours?  Thanks

wuwu
wuwu

Mai, question please...where you interested in or given the opportunity to be the lead critic...many inquiring minds want to know why this spot was not yours?  Thanks

Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@ARTvsCRAFT77002 The tacos are better than good, in my honest opinion. Strange, the drinks I had were large and generously portioned. I could barely finish two and I was there for at least a couple of hours.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@chris.loll LOL, I just think of Javier Bardem. And the wild wild west. 

Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@Judith Cruz Villarreal It's seriously awesome. If you can eat oxtail, start with that taco! 


Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@wuwu Aww, I'm flattered. Thank you! To answer, no, I was never in the running; I did not apply. The role is something I am honored to do every now and then (MF Sushi review and next week's Corner Table review), but not something I could do as a full-time job. It's harder than you can imagine, and I applaud anyone who would want to, and can sustain it for long periods of time. 

ARTvsCRAFT77002
ARTvsCRAFT77002

The tacos were good BUT not exceptional in my honest opinion.  I had Sangria and there was more ice than sangria in the glass ~ sangria should be kept cold with minimal/if any ice served in cocktail.  Thats what i call a small drink.  I was there for an hour and had 2 drinks.  When i ordered the second sangria, i asked for no ice and was served half a glass of sangria. 

The service was good but again not impressive. 

~ NOT IMPRESSED ~

Was your tab comp'd or did you pay for it? 

Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@ARTvsCRAFT77002 The taco I had was exceptional. As in, it was unequivocally awesome. The flavor was perfect, the filling moist and juicy, the topping, the reddish/pink, crisply pickled onion, complementing the overall flavors. I was during happy hour, and yes, my tab was comp'd. On the strength of my experience, however, I sent in my best friends/loved ones that same week without me. They went later in the evening, when the prices were regular and they loved it. My friends were recommended the shrimp tacos and barbacoa. I've had experiences at other places where I was not impressed, but this was not one of them. I would gladly go back, gladly recommend my friends (and have). Your prerogative not to be impressed. If it was early in their opening, I'd give them a pass and try them again. If you didn't like it, tell me, what is a place that you did like? I would be happy to try it.

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