Food + DrinkGayest & GreatestLifestyle

Gayest & Greatest 2018: Dining Out

Taqueria Adrian serves up authentic Mexican, with a side of motherly love, to Montrose bar patrons.

In search of savory drunk-food after a long night of bar-hopping? Look no further than Taqueria Adrian, an LGBTQ-friendly taco truck in the heart of Houston’s Montrose gayborhood. 

Voted Best Food Truck in OutSmart’s 2018 Gayest & Greatest Awards, Taqueria Adrian is situated in a parking lot adjacent to the Eagle Houston bar. The truck is operated by a progressive Mexican-American family that has served queer Houstonians every weekend for nearly two years.   

Working the grill from dusk until the early-morning hours is José Cano—who sizzles the chicken, beef, and vegetables. His grandson, José Vallejo, constructs tacos, tortas, and quesadillas, and presents them in paper baskets so they can be eaten fresh. Taking orders is Cano’s wife, Irene Dominguez, an LGBTQ ally who is the friendly face of Taqueria Adrian. 

“The best part about working in Montrose is the people,” Dominguez says. “All of our customers are extremely friendly, and I enjoy getting to know a lot of them on personal levels.”

Around 10 p.m., when business is slow, Dominguez has time to chat with her customers until their food is ready. She knows many of the truck’s regulars by name, and has even connected with some of them on social media.

“I have gotten close with several of the people who eat here,” Dominguez says. “I am not only here to feed them, but I also hear them out when they need to confide in someone. For some customers, I have become a second mother for them to talk to.” 

Taqueria Adrian is busiest from 1 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Dominguez says she doesn’t keep track of how many customers the truck serves nightly, but when the Eagle closes, the line extends through the parking lot onto Hyde Park Street. 

Quesadillas—corn tortillas stuffed with Monterey jack cheese, grilled onions, pico de gallo, and one’s choice of meat—are Tacqueria Adrian’s best seller. 

“People seem to really enjoy our food,” Dominguez laughs. “I’m sure they need it after being out late at the bars.”

Named after one of Dominguez’s grandsons, Taqueria Adrian debuted in front of the Eagle in January 2017. Dominguez’s friend, a supervisor at the Eagle, wanted to take a chance on her authentic Mexican food truck and allowed it to park in the lot outside of his establishment. 

“We’ve never stationed ourselves anywhere else because we like it in Montrose so much,” Dominguez says. “We love to be around the people here, and we love what we’re doing.” 

To place an advance order at Taqueria Adrian, call Dominguez at 281-806-4169.  

– Lourdes Zavaleta

Best 24-Hour Restaurant

House of Pies
Finalists: Katz’s Deli, Midtown Bar & Grill, Spanish Flowers

Best Bakery

Acadian Bakery
Finalists: Common Bond Cafe & Bakery, Dessert Gallery, El Bolillo Bakery

Best Barbecue

The Pit Room
Finalists: Brookstreet BBQ, Goode Company, Hungry Farmer Bar-B-Q, Pinkerton’s Barbecue

Best Breakfast

Baby Barnaby’s
Finalists: Lankford’s Grocery & Market, Snooze, Urban Eats

Best British

The Black Labrador
Finalists: Queen Vic, The Red Lion Pub

Best Brunch

GloriasHamburger Mary’s (tie)
Finalist: Hugo’s

Best Cafe

Barnaby’s Cafe
Finalists: Brasil, Nectar

Best Cajun

BB’s Tex-Orleans
Finalist: Ragin’ Cajun Restaurant

Best Central/South American

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine
Finalists: América’s, Andes Café

Best Chinese

Ambassador Chinese Restaurant
Finalists: Auntie Chang’s Dumpling House, Kam’s

Best Cuban

El Meson
Finalist: Cafe Piquet

Best Deli

Katz’s Deli
Finalists: Carter & Cooley, Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen

Best Dessert

Dessert Gallery
Finalists: Acadian Bakers, The Chocolate Bar, Rita’s Italian Ice-Heights

Best Food Truck

Taqueria Adrian
Finalists: Bernie’s Burger Bus, Big Judy’s, Rita’s Italian Ice-Heights

Best French

Finalist: La Table

Best Greek

Niko Niko’s
Finalists: Helen Greek Food & Wine, Theo’s

Best Hamburger

Hamburger Mary’s
Finalists: Acadian Bakers, Barnaby’s Cafe, Lankford’s Grocery & Market

Best Hot Dog

Good Dog Houston – Montrose
Finalist: JCI Grill

Best Indian

Finalists: Khyber, Kiran’s

Best Italian

Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Riva’s (tie)
Finalist: Carrabba’s

Best Japanese

Finalists: JINYA Ramen, Nippon Japanese Restaurant

Best Lunch Spot

Jenni’s Noodle House
Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Raising Cane’s-Montrose, Urban Eats, Velvet Taco

Best Mediterranean

Finalists: Aladdin, DiMassi’s

Best Mexican

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe
Finalists: La Mexicana, La Tapatia

Best Middle Eastern

Fadi’s, Mary’z Lebanese Cuisine (Tie)
Finalists: Aladdin, Bijan Persian Grill

Best New Restaurant

Finalists: Dream Tacos TX, Gus’ World Famous Chicken

Best Pizza

Pizzeria Solario
Finalists: Bollo, Romano’s, Star Pizza 

Best Place for a Romantic Date

Spindletop at the Hyatt
Finalists: Brennan’s of Houston, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Tony’s

Best Place to Celebrate

Hamburger Mary’s
Finalists: La Table, Rainbow Lodge

Best Budget-Friendly Restaurant

Raising Cane’s – Montrose
Finalists: Barnaby’s, Jenni’s Noodle House, Tacos A Go-Go, Torchy’s Tacos

Best Restaurant for Elegant Dining

Brennan’s of Houston
Finalists: B&B Butchers, La Table, Starfish

Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining

Cedar Creek
Finalists: Backstreet Café, Brenner’s on the Bayou

Best Seafood

Finalists: Pappadeaux, Starfish, Truluck’s

Best Steak House

Steak 48
Finalists: B&B Butchers, Morton’s Steak House, Pappas Steak House

Best Steak Night at a Bar

Free Grillin’ at George (Thursday nights)
Finalists: Guava Lamp, Neon Boots, Pearl Bar 

Best Sushi

Finalists: Oishii, Osaka

Best Thai

Nidda Thai
Finalists: Nit Noi, Thai Spice

Best Vegetarian/Vegan

Hobbit Cafe
Finalists: BellaGreen, JuiceLand

Best Vietnamese

Finalists: Kim Son, Pho Saigon

Friendliest Restaurant Staff

Urban Eats
Finalists: Gloria’s, Jenni’s Noodle House, Riva’s


Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is the managing editor of OutSmart magazine.
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