One of this year's most eagerly anticipated new restaurants has made its debut. Urbe, a street food concept from husband-and-wife duo Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught, began a quiet soft opening Friday, August 27.
Known for their restaurants Hugo's, Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, and Xochi, Urbe has been in development for approximately two years and is the first casual concept for Ortega and Vaught's H-Town Restaurant Group. Located in the former Cafe Express space in Uptown Park, the restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch for now with dinner and weekend brunch to follow (weekdays 8 am-3 pm; weekends 10 am-3 pm).
For breakfast, Urbe serves breakfast tacos (choice of brisket, carnitas, or potato) along with the James Beard Award winner's take on classic Mexican breakfast dishes. For example, his Chilaquiles Gordos features black beans stuffed between two corn tortillas. The Mollete de Aguacate enhances familiar avocado toast with refried black beans, chihuahua cheese, bacon, amaranth, and a sunny-side-up egg.
At lunch, Urbe serves eight different tacos — including pastor, birria, barbacoa, fried fish, roasted sweet potato, and charred octopus — along with corn-based plates such as a tlayuda, huarache, and gorditas. Other options include taquitos, a squash blossom quesadilla, enchiladas (choice of vegetable, chicken, or brisket), and three tortas.
As part of the renovations that transformed Cafe Express into Urbe, H-Town reoriented the space to put the bar near the entrance and the kitchen in the middle. Inside the space is clean and bright. Front and rear patios offer plenty of outdoor space.
Expect much more about Urbe in the coming weeks. For now, the time has come to eat some tacos.