A Round Top favorite will debut in Bellaire next week, with the owners of Mandito’s Tex-Mex announcing they will open their long-awaited 165-seat restaurant, bar and patio in Bellaire Town Center Thursday, April 13 — “elevated cuisine set against a casual backdrop.”
The restaurant, 5101 Bellaire Blvd., boasts both traditional Tex-Mex favorites and a plant-based menu, seasonal and do-it-yourself margarita options, a press and oven capable of cranking out 900 tortillas an hour, and a high-tech digital waitlist.
The concept is the latest from the Palacios Murphy Hospitality Group, known for 45-year-old institution Armando’s and Lulu’s eateries in River Oaks and the original Mandito’s, Hotel Lulu, and Popi Burger in Round Top. It is the passion project of Armando Palacios and Cinda Murphy Palacios: The name “Mandito” — Armando’s childhood nickname — and the cultural influences of Mexico and Texas pay homage to his upbringing.
They collaborated with New York-based architect Rocco DiLeo on the colorful design blending old world and new, with handmade straw light fixtures from Mexico and bold custom prints by artist Sarah Shoemake. The 42-seat patio will be temperature-controlled year-round.
The food is made from scratch daily and features classics — enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and Mandito’s signature burrito bowl — and plant-based options including a Tex-Mex kale salad, kale and mushroom tacos and Beyond Beef ® crispy tacos. The restaurant will offer large- and small-scale catering options, including boxed meals for groups of 8-10 that can be ready for pickup or delivery 15-20 minutes after ordering.
Equal attention goes into Mandito’s bar offerings, developed by consultant and master mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf Torren. In addition to original cocktails, Mandito’s will feature a full menu of classic and original margaritas, agave spirits from the beverage side, guests will enjoy a variety of elevated and classic margaritas – as well as original cocktails. Mandito’s Tex-Mex enlisted beverage consultant Courtenay Greenleaf Torren to develop an agave spirits program that features raicilla, bacanora, mezcals from six different states and 18 different tequilas from both the Los Altos and El Valle regions of Mexico, along with sotol from Chihuahua and Durango.
Guests will be able to custom create their own margarita with any agave spirit or sotol on the menu and one of five salts: mesquite smoked, black lava, sal de gusano, hibiscus or Tajin. Seasonal margaritas will change every two months, with “The Bluebonnet” as the opening feature. It features Agavales Tequila Blanco infused with butterfly pea flower, lavender syrup and fresh lime juice.
Mandito’s Bellaire will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with hours from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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