Long a favorite of the family, we ate there in early August for the first time since the advent of the pandemic. It had been too long. My meal was terrific, no surprise. The star, as almost always, was the entraña, a dark-brown cut of skirt steak crisscrossed with darker grill marks and topped with a nearly addictive chimicurri sauce and in a small pool by some bloody juice from being perfectly cooked to medium-rare.
The entraña is the signature cut at Saldivia’s. It is the rather humble outside skirt steak – which is from the plate section, below the rib and between the brisket and flank and whose fat has been trimmed off by the restaurant. Proprietor Gus Saldivia told us that he purchases halal steaks for its more natural and better flavor. The entraña remained juicy and remarkably tender for the cut, while being nicely beefy and extremely flavorful. Though no assist was necessary, the oily, tart and garlicky house-made chimichurri sauce is an excellent accompaniment. Made in the traditional Uruguayan, Argentine way, it is much more savory and complementary to food than the versions of chimichurri served at Churrascos and the newish Toro Toro in the Four Seasons.
The twelve-ounce steak came with a half-dozen slices of grilled carrot, squash and zucchini displayed in an alternating orange, yellow and green-tinged array, a thick column of yellow rice and some plump, roasted potatoes with a few small pieces of parsley, all provided welcome partners to the meaty centerpiece. It was an impressive plate for now just $35 or so. Excellent empanadas in several varieties, blood sausage, sauteed sweetbreads and crusty, fresh bread provided the delicious opening rounds. And there was plenty Tannant, the star varietal of Uruguay, to wash down the meats and everything. It was a fun, caloric and noticeably very tasty visit once again, notable even among meals at top local restaurants.
10850 Westheimer (between Walnut Bend and Westheimer), Houston, 77042, (713) 782-9494
An order of the entraña at Saldivia's earlier this month