Touted by a friend to a similar dish on El Tiempo’s now-expansive menu, a couple of years I ordered the Carne Asada “La Tana” – a 10-ounce or so cut of marinated skirt steak served with sautéed onions and pieces of sliced serrano peppers, some roasted garlic and then topped with melted white cheese for the first time. The beef was surprisingly tender and very flavorful, even more so with the complementary browned pieces of onion, garlic and bits of fiery pepper tempered with the melted cheese. It was terrific, one of the best beef dishes I had had in months. Bolstered by sides of charro beans and their delicious, unusual rice, plus the plentiful thin, fresh chips and their top-notch salsas, I could not finish my steak, which is very unusual for me.
Given the quality of their fajitas, especially the beef versions, I should not have been surprised at how good this dish was, it is nearly the same thing after all, but I was. And, for $25.69 at dinner, an order of the Beef Carne Asada “La Tana” is certainly among the best steak values in Houston. Given how expensive El Tiempo can be for some of their fajitas and mixed grills, this is an especially nice revelation. The dish is just $19.59 at lunchtime, where it can be perfect for sharing. The similarly, laudable regular version of the carne asada without the cheese, onions, garlic and peppers is $22.59 and $18.59 for dinner and lunch, respectively.
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