El Meson
El Meson

El Meson

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elmeson.com/
  • Phone: 7135229306
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm; Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Peter A. Garcia
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The Havana Room seats up to 28 guests for private dinners and is available Sunday through Thursday. Minimum charge for the private dinner is $1,200.00 which includes food and beverage. A 50% deposit in advance is required for reservation. The deposit is refundable upon cancellation 48 hours prior to the event. Business lunch reservations are also available with no minimum charge required. 20% Gratuity is added to the total. Multi course wine and food pairings are available. Chef Pedro is also a Certified Sommelier and he will be happy to personally consult with you on the menu preparation. Visit our website for more details.
  • Private Party Contact: Regina Garcia 7135229306
  • Entertainment: Flamenco guitarist Randy Cordero performs every Wednesday night at El Meson. Cordero has studied with such prestigious guitarists as Rene Heredia, Paco Garrigues "El Chatarrero", Chuscales, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Pedro Cuadra and Domingo Rubichi. No cover.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Kirby
  • Parking: Valet
A word from El Meson
This cozy neighborhood eatery offers classic Spanish and Cuban cuisine in a casual atmosphere. El Meson Restaurant is located in the heart of The Village, a quaint, pedestrian-friendly shopping and dinning district, a short distance away from downtown, the museums and the Medical Center. El Meson features an award winning wine list offering the largest selection of Spanish wine in Texas and a temperature-controlled wine cellar housing vintage wines, all modestly priced. The House Specialty, La Paella del Meson, saffron flavored Valencian rice with poultry, meats and seafood, is offered in a variety of ways and is custom prepared to order. The grill features fresh Prime New York Strip, Rib Chop, Beef Tenderloin and fresh Australian Lamb Chops, served with a roasted red pepper - port reduction sauce.
Continued
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El Meson reviews from OpenTable diners
44 reviews since June 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (32)fit for foodies (22)great for lunch (14)notable wine list (14)good for groups (14)kid-friendly (11)romantic (8)special occasion (8)late-night find (2)great for brunch (2)hot spot (2)Show More
  • Great Please try!
    meatloverVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Love the Food and Service! We eat there at least once a week if possible and have been doing so for more than 25 years!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A trip to Spain
    Happyeater
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This was the first time we visited El Meson and if didn't disappoint. There was a huge selection of tapas as well as many interesting other items. I had gazpacho and a tapas selection and my husband had a Caesar salad and two tapas. They were all good although I thought the soup a bit too salty. The sangria was very good as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service!
    SusieT
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Superb service. They really do a great job. Expensive but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    Coolneasy
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Food at El Meson is always top notch. They also make a mean margarita. This visit included a variety of Tapas items. All were exceptional. Nearby tapas restaurant is always too loud and doesn't make for peaceful dining. El Meson has better food without the noise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place to go - Good Wine List
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The food was very good - the three of us at dinner all enjoyed out meal. I may have not been the most excited as I just came back from Mexico the week before and was expecting similar food. Again, El Mason was very good.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sooo good!
    GlutenFree5
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We Love this place! Found it years ago searching "gluten free options in Houston" during a visit and are still coming back everytime we r in town! We talk about our first stop at EL Meson when we arrive. Food is always mouthwatering. Lupe our server never let's us down!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Houston Restaurant Weeks 2014
    MD2B
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Appetizers -Shrimp cocktail: tart, ceviche-like, light. Shrimp was unremarkable. Remove the shrimp, and you've got an excellent gazpacho. -Salad nicoise: well-constructed. Good balance of salty, sweet, and savory. Spinach was over-salted. Tuna and egg didn't add much to the dish. Apple was lovely. -Mushroom risotto: by-the-numbers dish, unable to stand on its own. Decent flavor. Suspect texture that was a bit dry. Mains -Striped bass: excellent dish. Fish was subtle and flavor evolved well. Lovely potatoes au gratin. -Paella: beautifully built. Just the right amount of spice and heat. Rice had ideal texture. Desserts -Flan: sweet, creamy, but too warm. -Tres leches cake: nice flavor, but too dry -Arroz con leche: too sweet
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous restaurant
    Ricee
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    El Meson is a fabulous restaurant! Service is great and food is super tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wedding Anniversary Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    My wife and I had plans for our 18th Wedding Anniversary and wanted El Mason to be our dinner spot. The location was ideal and we have always enjoyed that restaurant because it is accessible, has a nice ambiance, and the food is delicious. We also knew that we weren't going to able to carry out any left overs so a tapas style would be ideal. We experienced so many flavors and yet not over-served.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delivers
    BummerVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    El Meson is simply a dependable favorite place for us. Great food with no pretense. We go back over and over.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good but could be better
    GregVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Highly dependable during any other month but August. Tonight seemed to indicate that the staff was overwhelmed by Houston's restaurant week's popularity. Nothing to concerning by the way of service but nothing to write home about. Will definitely go back but likely once restaurant weeks is over.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WOW!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We had great food and fantastic server. The Solomillo, enchiladas verdes, were fantasitc, as always.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Average "Spanish" Meal
    darby
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Saturday evening with 6:00pm reservation - party of 2. Seated promptly. Ordered two bottles of Spanish red wine. Asked if it was maintained in a wine chiller. The reply was no - it is at room temp. Room temp in Houston Texas is 72 degrees plus, in northern Spain is much less. Red wine should be stored at 58 degrees. Ordered Tapas - jamon serrano/chorizo/manchego, garlic mushrooms, bacon wrapped dates, and scallops. The flavor was adequate, not great. Jamon Serrano did not taste authentic. Scallops were very disappointing - only 2 served and were not cook correctly - lacked flavor. Flan for dessert with Café con Leche con Baileys. Again, very average. Bill was $205 with tip. Too much tex-mex offerings: chips, salsa, nachos, quesadillas, etc.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • bigfan
    bigfanVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    We are local fans of El Meson, where you are always assured of a good meal and pleasant service without any attitude. The seafood is from the Gulf and fresh. I love the way they prepare vegetables, from the sautéed spinach to the mushrooms. And an interesting wine list for any preference. No wonder it's been in business for so long!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Been coming here for years. Food is always consistently good. Love the wide variety of options. Service is usually very good as well. Great sangria and the salsa is spicy and served warm.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Dinner
    Sandman
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Went for business dinner. Excellent paella and cocktails. Only area for service improvement was when I asked for a little bit more time to ollk at the menu, the waiter never came back and we finally had to motion to someone else that we were ready to order. Over all I would still recommend but never if you are pushed for time. We did go on a slow night.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 28 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 229 reviews are from the El Meson reviews archive.
  • Lunch
    BandN
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Solid lunch menu with good Cuban staples (black beans & rice, plantains). In the evening it can be crowded and noisy. Lunch time - not so crowded; quiet.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall - WONDERFUL!
    Overdressed
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    El Meson is one of my faves in Houston for many reasons: the food, the wine and the service. 1. the food - EXTENSIVE menu. Big selection of tapas, meals, desserts, etc. Lots to choose from, and unlike many places with an extensive menu, I still have not found anything they do poorly. Good for family style and sharing, as well. 2. the wine - great wine list. enough said. 3. the service - our servers were helpful without being pushy and always there to offer suggestions when asked.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyable
    Sugarlandgal
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We went here on a coworker's recommendation and we were not disappointed. The service was good. Attentive, but not hovering. The food was great, the flavor memorable. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • rcubed415
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    First time to this place. Good food, but the most enjoyable part was the attentive service by Lupe.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paella
    Nana
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    We started with the Patatas Bravas for our tapas appetizer. It was fabulous. Just as good if not better than what I had eaten on a recent trip to Barcelona. this was followed by perfectly crusty warm bread butter and a very light mixed baby lettuce salad with a refreshing dressing. Then came the house special paella which was beautifully presented. King prawns, large shrimp, Iberian chorizo, baby octopus, mussels, calamari, and chicken in the saffron rice. It was excellent. Had to try a dessert so we ordered the flan to share with cappucino. It was very fresh and perfectly prepared. A memorable feast.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad we founf
    Papa
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Very pleasant experience. Would have enjoyed more with better waiter. Just happened to get a less experienced waiter. Menu great, a taste of Cuba, Spain & Mexico. Had a nice Spanish wine & Sangria. All reasonbly priced. We'll go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kurth
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The waiter could not understand our appetizer order, even though we repeated it 3 times. He kept repeating the order back to us incorrectly and we kept correcting him. He delivered nachos made to his specifications. I did not accept them. Before the appetizers were delivered, John asked for our entree order and we requested the entrees be delivered after we had finished our appetizers. Of course the main courses came out before our appetizer were delivered. The waiter spent most of his time at the greeter's stand with the new greeter employee.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dining!
    MoreThanOnce
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    You can get a reservation online for a place with a friendly atmosphere, good service and excellent food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrible food
    Awful
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The food was terrible. In addition, it was Mother's Day and we ordered the Mother's Day special. Very expensive and easily the worst food I have ever eaten at a restaurant. The entire table agreed. Never again. This was money down the drain.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Highest Quality
    GeorgeB123
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    My wife and I love this place. The food is consistently excellent and the ambiance is nice.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    JaxnFranqui
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Is a wonderful place for dinner or small event. I had my daughter'a first communion lunch here and it was Wonderful. We have dinner here about once every two months and always enjoy our experience.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent quality and quiet
    BiancaVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    We eat here often and really love the food and the quiet atmosphere. The wait staff are always courteous and attentive. Great for dinner for two as well as business gatherings.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Traditional Cuban Spanish
    Raferjack
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Traditional Cuban Spanish recipes... Was with a person that is from PR and he says very traditional fare.. All I know is that all tapas were great... Also gluten free items are taken very seriously
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent
    muyyum
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Went to El Meson with a group of co-workers and had a lovely time. Food here is consistently good and it's never too crowded. Can't get enough of that white rice!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Service But MSG in Food
    platemonsterVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    El Meson is a wonderful restaurant. The service is always top-notch, and Friday night was no different. However, we believe the paella (we ordered the Paella Del Meson) has changed. It was very soggy, almost like a thick porridge. NOT how Spanish paella should be. There was no crispy bottom to the rice. After we got home everyone experienced a similar headache, the kind you get when you ingest too much MSG. Since the only thing we ordered were the ceviche (watery) and the paella, well, Occam's Razor would tell you that it was probably in either of those two. We are very MSG-sensitive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient lunch stop
    MstasiaVIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    This was a great spot while shopping in the rice village. Ceviche and gazpacho was very good. The egg drop soup was far too salty, we couldn't eat it. The flan was wonderful! Great attentive service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cuban Excellence
    FredfromHouston
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    There is a reason why this restaurant has been in business for many years. The food and wine were excellent (ask the waiter for recommendations). The Latin American emphasis includes the wine list, which includes nice Chilean vintages in place of more common French ones. The only downside is trying to find parking in the busy Village shopping area, but convenient valet parking is available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Experience!
    DinerHLMVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    The food was delicious, and the service was spot on! It was a bit quiet when we first arrived, but some more people started arriving about halfway through our meal. The bathroom had a terrible odor that you could smell in the hallway. It was an old stench like something is wrong with the drainage or sewer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paella was great
    GeorgeClooney
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We ordered the Paella El Meson for two. It was great and the portions even seemed smaller than before; which left room for dessert. The creme brulee was unimpressive. I ordered an americano, which was good, but was not offered a refill; I guess they are not free. The restaurant seems to be confusing too many latin themes: spanish, cuban, mexican. We were offered tortilla chips and salsa at the beginning; this was new and unexpected. The bread was great, but it should have come earlier, instead of the chips. They should focus, probably on spanish cuisine. (I once ordered a cuban dish and was disappointed.)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another enjoyable meal at El Meson
    OpenTableDinerVIP
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Excellent service. Comfortable tables. Extensive menu of Tapas, Paellas and many other great dishes. Many tequila choices as well. Always enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome job
    SusieT
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Had a bad experience last time but you made me believe again! Love this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    JoeKnowVIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Great service with interesting menu. Sort of Cuba meets Spain meets South America via Tex Mex.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Made the grade
    ChristianW
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    I was pleased with the restaurant's menu and preparation. Service was very good and timely. Enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We're out of that
    Impressed
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Went to El Meson to enjoy the Tapas menu. Three different items I wished to order were not available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet