back in the ring
The family behind one of Houston’s most well-known Tex-Mex brands is getting back into the local restaurant scene. Ricardo Valencia and Vienna Valencia Bement, the brother-and-sister duo who owned Cyclone Anaya’s, are opening a new Tex-Mex restaurant in Oak Forest that will debut in early 2020.
Called Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage, the new restaurant will occupy 4,500 square feet in Braun Enterprise’s development at 2001 W. 34 St., Bement tells CultureMap. Back in 2017, the siblings sold the six Houston-area Cyclone Anaya’s to Heritage Restaurant Group, which is part of the Sugar Land-based Dhanani Group. They maintained ownership of a location in Austin.
At the time, Valencia had just been treated for cancer. Selling the business their parents founded seemed like a wise decision. Now cancer free — and with a two-year non-compete agreement having come to an end — the siblings are ready to open a new Houston restaurant that follows the model of its Austin sibling. That means stripping away some of the luxurious dishes like lobster enchiladas and crab nachos that crept onto the Cyclone Anaya’s menu over the years.
“It’s going to be a scaled-down menu, but we’re going to do the burritos, the tacos, the enchiladas,” Bement says. “We’re not going to have the high-cost items. We call it ‘garage’ because the very first place my parents did had roll-up garage doors.”
In particular, she’s excited about reintroducing the family’s burrito to diners. Filled with beans, carne guisada, cheese, and pico de gallo, the burrito is topped with chile con carne, queso, and guacamole. Like most of the other dishes on the menu, it’s inspired by a family recipe her parents developed for their first restaurant. Currently, plans call for lunch and dinner during the week with brunch and dinner on the weekends. In addition, the restaurant plans to offer grab-and-go breakfast tacos in the morning to maximize the location, which is directly across from Waltrip High School.
From Bement’s perspective, the new location couldn’t be better. She and her siblings grew up in the neighborhood and graduated from Waltrip. While she still finds value in other restaurants in the area, especially the menudo at Mi Sombrero, Bement is confident that she and Valencia have something to contribute.
“It is so underserved in that market. Of course, there’s Mexican on every corner, so we have to do what we do to stand out,” she says. “There’s nothing better than getting nachos and a margarita.”
Especially when those margaritas are as famously potent as those the Valencia family developed for Cyclone Anaya’s. Bement promises she hasn’t forgotten the recipe.