HOUReview

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

HiWay Cantina image
8.1

HiWay Cantina

Tex-Mex

East Downtown

$$$$Perfect For:Walk-InsCasual Weeknight DinnerEating At The Bar

Included In

HiWay Cantina, an EaDo spot from the team behind EZ’s Liquor Lounge, is a little rustic and a little retro. The food fits the archetype of a standard Tex-Mex place: molten chile con queso loaded with chorizo on almost every table, earthy pozole verde, and giant prickly pear margaritas that require two hands to lift. While nothing on the menu is outright bad—especially the cinnamon roll cheesecake for dessert—it’s HiWay Cantina’s energy we’d rather box up and take home. At the bar, solo diners sip palomas and gossip with bartenders like they’ve known each other for years. And if it weren’t for the reggaeton playing on the speakers, the sizzle of fajitas flying around the dining room would be the restaurant’s official soundtrack. After an hour or two of swaying to the music, we’re usually ready to keep the fun going at HiWay Cantina’s sister bar down the street—even if we don’t remember much about the bland enchiladas we ate for dinner.

HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

HiWay Cantina image
HiWay Cantina image
HiWay Cantina image
HiWay Cantina image

Food Rundown

HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Chile Con Queso

Queso sets the tone for any Tex-Mex experience. And this chile con queso, with roughly a foot-high cheese pull and some spicy chorizo added to the party, will get you excited for the rest of the meal. Though be warned that this dish is better than some of what's to come.
HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Guerrero Pozole Verde

Houston might be hot year-round, but this pozole verde is worth eating even in the middle of summer. The soup is earthy with a little heat, and comes with a corn tostada for dipping.
HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Beef Fajita Al Carbon

Few things compare to the giddiness we feel when a plate of sizzling fajitas lands on our table. The skirt steak is pretty standard: slightly smoky with a nice sear on the crust and a handful of peppers and onions frying next to it. But the dish gets the job done. We're still antsy for the platter to cool down so we can dive in.
HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

These chicken enchiladas come with a small mountain of rice and beans, and smothered in a tangy green chile gravy. But after getting past the sauce, it's clear that the seasoning didn't make it all the way to the chicken inside of the tortilla, making this dish pretty bland. Skip this and opt for some fajitas instead.
HiWay Cantina image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

Food mashups can be hit or miss, but taking the flavors of a cinnamon roll and infusing them into a giant slice of cheesecake should qualify as one of Earth’s better scientific discoveries. The spice from the cinnamon and the sweetness of the cheesecake balance each other for a dessert that feels like a loving kiss on the cheek.

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

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The Best Restaurants And Bars In EaDo (East Downtown)

Where to eat and drink in Houston’s EaDo neighborhood.

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