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Celeb Spotting Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony gets a taste of Houston's diversity at Latin American restaurant

Carmelo Anthony Houston Rockets at Americas July 2014
Carmelo Anthony got a taste of a classic Houston restaurant during lunch at Américas in River Oaks. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11

The Rockets are putting on a full court press to land superstar free agent Carmelo Anthony. Along with an image of him in a Rockets uniform displayed at the entrance to Toyota Center and meetings with Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, stars James Harden and Dwight Howard, and coach Kevin McHale, the Rockets put their best foot forward by treating Anthony to lunch at one of Houston's most distinctive restaurants on Thursday. 

The group dined at Américas in River Oaks before Anthony headed on to a meeting in Dallas. Sure, they could have stayed downtown and eaten at a chain steakhouse, but why not go with a Houston original operated by a family with a 25-year history of operating restaurants in Houston?   

 Anthony must have liked his meal. He exited the restaurant with a toothpick in his mouth like a satisfied diner. 

An Américas representative tells CultureMap that a group of 10 to 12, which included owner Leslie Alexander, Rockets CEO Tad Brown, general manager Darryl Morey, executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and assistant coach Greg Buckner, dined in the restaurant's posh private room partitioned off by the retractable red felt wall next to the bar, where they were attended to by four servers who kept the group fed and happy (frequent laughter was heard from the room).

After the executives left, Anthony and Howard stayed and talked for a bit before going their separate ways.

On the menu? A veritable feast from chef David Cordua's recently revamped menu of specialties from Central and South America. A representative says they ordered smoked corn crab fingers, angel wings, lobster corn dogs and empanadas to start. Entrees included the Cordúas’ signature Churrasco steak, sea bass carnitas (current special on the menu), achiote-seared ahi tuna, pollo encamisado, and, just for fun, a few lobster tails. Instead of the restaurant's celebrated tres leches, they kept dessert simple with alfajores (miniature dulce de leche cookie sandwiches).

Cordua tells CultureMap that he didn't try to get a picture with the group, but plenty of diners did.

"It made for an exciting afternoon, though," Cordua observed. 

Anthony must have liked his meal. He exited the restaurant with a toothpick in his mouth like a satisfied diner.

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