New Restaurant continues traditions of De Anda family

Houston’s Northeast side recently benefited from the opening of a new family restaurant at 5223 Hopper, called El Sabor de Mexico. The building is next door to the De Anda family’s banquet hall, and follows in the tradition of providing good food, entertainment and special facilities for our community.

The owner is Liza De Anda, who saw the restaurant as the culmination of her father’s dream of a complex of buildings that would serve the people of the Northeast community. Joe De Anda built the building in 1997 and intended it for weddings, birthdays, and private parties. After his death, Liza decided to make it more usable as a full-time Mexican restaurant.

The following history is in Liza’s own words:

We started in October of last year, and with all the work I have a new appreciation for those kinds of places. We saw it as a place to eat and be entertained. The colors are red and white, my father’s favorite. We wanted an atmosphere where people could relax, feel comfortable and have a good time.

Many of the features are things I like to do myself. Karaoke (I listen, but don’t ask me to sing), comedians, playing pool, watching Pay-per-View events on a big screen TV. We have a huge 10 x 8 screen on the back wall, and 4 other TV’s mounted around the building. Now all of this is available close-by, instead of a long drive across Houston.

We also wanted food that people would come back for. We interviewed many cooks. Many. I ate some okay stuff, some really bad stuff, gained a few extra pounds in the process. But I was determined to have the best food, so I kept on. Finally I found a young husband and wife team, Gerardo and Michelle Garza. The moment I put the fork in my mouth, I knew they were the ones…NO DOUBT!!

Now we can offer authentic Mexican food, along with delicious sea food. And when we tell you Jumbo shrimp, we mean Jumbo! And, hamburgers, hot wings, desserts that make your mouth water.

The Garzas have thrown themselves into this new business, wanting to make this restaurant their signature place as chefs. As an added bonus for patrons, they will always try to make your special order.

My next problem was needing the correct name for the new eating establishment. WOW that was hard. Then I saw a place called a “Taste of Houston,” and I thought, that’s neat. Why not a “Taste of Mexico?” But in Spanish, El Sabor de Mexico. But how was the Gringo (ha ha, no offense) going to pronounce that? A gringo told me, they just say that place “whatever” where the food is so good. SO, that’s why you see “pa el gringo…lo que sca.” You would not believe the response from that remark, but no offense is meant to the Hispanic people nor the American community. My people, I love you and I am here to serve everyone…
I need to thank my amazing carpenters who built everything I imagined–Frank Ulloa and Cornelio Aguilar.

This is a family business, with my sons Felix, Vincent Hernandez, and daughter Erica Hernandez. My sons’ girlfriends also work here, Veronica Rodriguez and Stefanie Samudio, nephew Joseph De Anda, and my youngest brother Christopher.

We have a nice safe family atmosphere. We have a dance floor, and will have a variety of music. We are looking for bands to play that want to make a reputation and have their name on our marquee.

We will also have an outdoor eating and dancing garden area in the summer.

Thanks to all who have helped me. As well as my family mentioned above, Terrie Davis, Ronnie, Frank, Joe, Cornelio, Mr. Silva. And thanks for my daugher’s patience, after I forgot her at school too many times during this whole process.

Please come and join us for a good time. We are all your family, and you will have a good meal, a fun time, and enjoy yourself at El Sabor de Mexico.