Ef goes ’round town: North campus neighbor Nopalitos delivers authentic Mexican feast

Personally, I’m not a fan of Tex-Mex. If I’m going to eat something the “Texas way,” it’s going to be a 12 ounce rib eye or a big plate of BBQ brisket. And if I’m eating Mexican, I’m looking for the most authentic home-cooked meal, not something in between the two.

At Nopalitos Dona Maria, you get Mexican dishes so authentic, you’d swear you were at your Nana’s house. From the moment you walk into the light blue house with yellow trim, you hear the Mexican music playing in the background and smell the tortillas cooking from the kitchen. Bright orange, yellow, green, blue, and red colors decorate every wall and every booth making it seem even more authentic.

At Nopalitos the menu is full of popular Mexican dishes ranging from chilaquiles rojos, which are fried tortilla strips usually topped with a spicy tomato sauce and cheese, to enchiladas which are rolled tortillas typically filled with meat and served with a chili sauce.

Students like Adrian Jimenez are familiar with Nopalitos and its authentic cuisine.

“I like to get the menudo on the weekends to cure my hangovers. It’s almost as good as my momma’s,” Jimenez said.

Maybe you like to keep it simple when ordering Mexican food and stick to basic dishes like San Jac student Steven Montiel.

“I’m not too familiar with all of the Mexican dishes, but I do love tacos. So when I go, I always order three tacos de fajita, with flour tortillas and cheese,” Montiel said. “They have this green sauce there that’s really spicy but insanely delicious. I always have to have it with my tacos.”

Nopalitos is located at 1210 Holland Ave in Houston and they’re open Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. A second location is at 2806 Southmore Ave. in Pasadena.

They recently remodeled the place on Holland to make room for more seating, so finding a spot to sit at should not be difficult to do.

If you’ve never tried authentic Mexican food, Nopalitos is a good place to start. It’s not too far from the North Campus so if you’re in that area, I highly recommend trying it.