Mi Sombrero in Garden Oaks must know something I don’t. Since 1978, according to its website, the restaurant has “focused on creating authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes tempered to the American taste.”
Perhaps that explains why, despite having read so many rave reviews from customers about Mi Sombrero's breakfast tacos, that I didn’t enjoy them as much as everyone else seemed to.
The servers were friendly, and the dining room was nearly full only an hour after Mi Sombrero had opened.
I considered the possibility that people will discover with time — or through learning from someone who didn’t grow up in their neighborhood — that Mi Sombrero may be an institution that transcends the food it serves, much like I have come to realize about some of the panaderias and taquerias of my childhood.
A pretty reliable, basic barometer that I use with Mexican restaurants is the quality of the tortillas. In my experience, decent flour tortillas aren’t hard to replicate, but a good corn tortilla is a much more valuable commodity for the discerning customer.
The corn tortillas at Mi Sombrero were dry and bland, and the lack of flavor was something that no amount of the restaurant’s admittedly terrific house salsa could reconcile.
Now, I understand it’s absurd for me to lodge such a complaint against Machacado con Huevo ($4.65 for two tacos), which translates to “shredded with eggs” and is actually supposed to be dried beef. But unfortunately, I found that this was the case with the eggs in all six of my tacos, including with the ham, or Jamón con Huevo ($4.17 for two tacos) and even with the potatoes in the Papas con Huevo ($3.77 for two tacos).
I was rescued by one of Mi Sombrero’s aguas frescas, the Tamarindo ($2.95). This refreshing beverage is made from pods from a Tamarind tree and has a flavor similar to an iced tea, with sweet and sour flavors. You can also go with the classic Horchata ($2.95), a rice-based drink with cinnamon and vanilla, or Jamaica ($2.95), which is derived from crushed leaves of the Hibiscus flower.
Address: 3401 N. Shepherd Dr. #4
Dining Options: Dine-in, takeout
Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Entrée prices: $5.79-$31.29
Senior discount: No
Healthy options: None
Star of the show: Tamarindo