A few nights ago I was lucky enough to dine at an amazing restaurant in Houston called Américas. My boyfriend & I had never been before so his parents decided to take us since we’re both huge fans of South/Central American food. Two summers ago I lived in Buenos Aires so I was pretty excited to eat some of the Argentinean dishes I knew and loved.
Everything about our experience at Américas exceeded my expectations.
The restaurant décor definitely grabs your attention as soon as you walk in – it’s sort of indescribable. The style is very modernist and funky, you feel as if you’re walking into another universe when you pass through the front door.
This is a picture I snagged of the bathroom, “eye” couldn’t resist:
To start, our wonderful waitress Amy brought us some delicious fried plantains with a Mexican salsa, Peruvian huancaína sauce, and Argentinean chimichurri. I’ve never had plantains that were so thin and crispy – they were amazing! (Plus plantains are low in fat & cholesterol 😉 ) The huancaína was probably my favorite – I ate a ton of the stuff in Argentina since it was one of the only spicy things I could get my hands on! The América’s huancaína was definitely not very spicy, but still thoroughly delicious.
Next we ordered “The Flight of the Ceviches” which came out beautifully and tasted so fresh – great ceviche is truly a rare gem.
The ceviches were so well balanced, all flavored with just the right amount of tang. We decided that our favorite was probably the Ahi tuna variation because of the hint of hoisin sauce.
After we took our happy time eating up all the plantains & ceviche it was time to order so I decided on the “Lomo y Mar”. Although it’s not the healthiest choice on the menu, when I go out to eat I like to order steak because it’s something I don’t get a lot of at home. Even though beef often gets a bad rap for being high in calories, if you’re a 20-something woman like myself who doesn’t eat it very often, you might be a little iron deficient. No need to go overboard on the red meats, but eating beef 1-3 times a week is the best way to get more iron in your diet, which gives you more energy! When you’re cooking at home also be sure to choose grass-fed beef as it is the healthiest choice.
Each bite of the Lomo y Mar was like a little piece of heaven. I ordered my steak medium-well and it was perfect, as was the shrimp. I was amazed by the how delicious the mascarpone mashed potatoes were – who would have thought to combine those two ingredients?
We were also served a group vegetable plate complete with grilled zucchini, broccoli and even yucca! Yum!
And even after all that food we decided to get more. When you go out to a restaurant as good as this one it’s hard to say no. We ordered the “delirio de chocolate” and “tres leches” both of which were fantastic. Ruben, the manager, recommended the tequila bread pudding that we ended up trying as well! It was very clear that he genuinely cares about his customers and he was kind enough to offer me a little advice on running a restaurant (a long-term dream of mine)! I’ve never been one to like bread pudding, but the cinnamon and tequila base made it truly one-of-a-kind, I loved it! I was also happy to find out that with the cappuccino I ordered came with one of my favorite treats – alfajores.
Now I’m sure many of you are thinking – with that much food how can you NOT gain weight? In my opinion, eating out, especially at upscale restaurants like this one is a treat & should be treated as such. You don’t need to eat out all the time, but when you do, enjoy it! Our table shared dessert between four people as opposed to eating a whole one by ourselves and we took leftovers home! You can still eat out enjoyably by ordering protein, veggies and steering clear of items with lots of dairy or carbs. I was pleased to find that Americas even offered a few dishes with quinoa! Have a few tastes of dessert – just don’t go overboard! My easiest tip: ALWAYS order water as opposed to soda (even if it’s diet) which is consuming empty calories.
Overall I’d say that Américas has earned its way to the top of my favorite Houston restaurant list and furthermore it has inspired me. Look out for an upcoming post of some clean-eating & low-fat South American recipes so that you can enjoy these dishes too, even if you’re not in the Houston area! Check back soon 🙂