Thursday, May 21, 2020

Habanera and the Guero - Restaurant Impossible Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Houston, Texas to makeover Habanera and the Guero. Habanera and the Guero is being destroyed by the owners constant fighting and is on the verge of closing within a month. Robert Irvine will have to convince the owners Vanessa Lomeli and Ben Downing to concentrate on the restaurant in hopes of saving it.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Habanera and the Guero to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

Positive Reviews:

  • "Love this place. Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita, my favorite drink. Mexi-dogs are sooo good! The queso is what they are known for and it doesn't disappoint. B and V, hope you guys are doing okay during this pandemic."
  • "This place is such a hidden gem!!!!! I've driven past this place for so many years until I started seeing friends post badass looking margaritas from this place. My boyfriend and I gave it a try... and it's truly the best Mexican restaurant! Good quality and authentic food for a great price. I've had the verde and the mole enchiladas, both are amazing but the mole enchiladas are the BESTAnd the margaritas are huge! And the service makes it 10x's better! Everyone is super nice :)"
  • "Looks can be deceiving. This place doesn't look like much on the outside, but it is a great place. The tortilla chips and green salsa are wonderful. We had the queso blanco which was better than 95% of typical Tex-Mex restaurant queso. My wife had the snapper and loved it. I had the enchiladas verdes and was impressed. The flavor and presentation were A+. The rice was not very noteworthy. The margaritas are a work of art and strong."
  • "This place doesn't look like much on the outside, but it is definitely a gem on the inside! Love the decor, very clean, and everyone was super friendly. Not your usual Tex-next. Menu is a little different with exciting options to choose from. Food is very fresh and the drinks were great! Green sauce has a bite to it! Definitely will go back!"
  • "Holly smokes!! Pleasantly surprised. I came in expecting a common Mexican Taco spot, which is what I was looking for in terms of delicious food (guys, I came in flip-flops). Anyway, came in to this awesome looking place, modern-authentic decor, great staff and totally attentive. The sangrita drink was tasty and the green enchiladas were hot and delicious . Sucks that it's so far from my house, but will make the trip back with my hubby. Love it!"
  • "Best beef fajitas I’ve ever eaten anywhere. Location can make a scary first impression, but worth it if you are there for their fajitas or their hotdog (not kidding)."

Negative Reviews:

  • "Way over priced for two chicken tacos with rice and beans. $12 for bland rice and small tacos. Would have been better off at taco truck."
  • "The place got a renovation, it's beautiful inside, much brighter now. Menu got so much smaller. Got the fish this time because they don't have the shrimp dish I always get. The dish was $19 and I'm leaving here still hungry. So disappointed. :( I really liked this place but I don't think I'm coming back. I'm not making the 45 minute drive for this."
  • "Used to be good but now they’ve remodeled and taken a bunch of things off the menu including fajitas (which seems like a ridiculous move at a Mexican restaurant). Will try calling in a few months to see if they’ve brought back fajitas or not but if not I probably wont be back i’m sorry to say"

*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:

  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover happened in February 2020.
  • Here is the Habanera and the Guero website and Facebook page.
  • Here is a Reddit thread when they were filming where people talk about how the food is always good, but it is not in the best area.  
  • The restaurant used to be called Habanera and the Gringo, but a lawsuit in 2017 by Gringo's Mexican Kitchen made them change their name after a settlement out of court. (Link)
  • From 2016 to 2018, Habanera and the Guero made the Houston Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants list. 
  • The State of Texas has mixed beverage gross receipts listed online and in February 2020 (the month of the makeover) Habanera and the Guero had $26,965. (Link)
  • Due to social distancing guidelines, the restaurant had to shift to takeout only, but they are now allowed to operate at a reduced capacity.
  • Here are the reviews for Habanera and the Guero from Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google.
    • The reviews both before and after the makeover are very positive.


The reviews for Habanera and the Guero since the Restaurant Impossible makeover have been mostly positive, but they were also positive before the makeover.  Everybody seems to love the food, drinks and decor.  There were a few negative comments about the prices for the portion size.  It seems that even the positive reviews talk about the bad location and the fact that the restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside.  Maybe being on Restaurant Impossible will make more people willing to try it out despite its location.

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant: Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold. Also Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter

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