like abuela used to make
Creative Mexican comfort food restaurant and michelada bar serves up new Spring Branch locale
One of Southwest Houston’s favorite destinations for regional Mexican food will soon add a second location. La Cruderia is coming to Spring Branch.
Scheduled to open later this month, La Cruderia has claimed the former The Branch space at 7710 Long Point. Founded in 2019 by Jorge Loredo and his sister, chef Norma Loredo, La Cruderia serves a range of regional Mexican dishes paired with an extensive selection of creative micheladas. Opening a second location represents an important step in the restaurant’s growth. As Jorge and Norma tell CultureMap, they opened with considerably more humble aspirations.
Jorge explains that he originally approached Norma about opening a michelada bar in the style of places he and his friends would go to watch sports. However, the chef, who studied at Houston Community College before working at restaurants such as Canopy, La Fisheria, and Peska, had more ambitious plans in mind.
“I wasn’t very excited about just creating micheladas,” Norma tells CultureMap. “I wanted homemade Mexican food that reminds you of home, how my aunt, grandmother, and mom cooked — very simple food but good ingredients that’s put together nicely.”
To accomplish that goal she created a menu that pulls from different regions of Mexico. A meal at La Cruderia could include ceviches inspired by dishes from Sinaloa, seafood from the Yucatan, tacos from Mexico City, a classic cochinita pibil, and on-trend quesabirria tacos.
Jorge also got his micheladas. The restaurant serves three different bases — classic, spicy, and negra — that can be enhanced with add-ons such as shrimp, mango, or gummy bears. They’re popular, but the establishment has solidified its identity as a restaurant first and foremost.
“The food has definitely taken over. It’s a good sign,” Jorge says.
When it came time to look for a second location, the siblings considered the Heights and EaDo but eventually decided on Spring Branch after working with restaurant real estate broker David Littwitz. As Jorge notes, the Spring Branch location has similar demographics to their original outpost on the edge of Chinatown; he expects the area’s Hispanic population will give La Cruderia a base of support that they can build on with the area’s diverse demographics. It’s also near real estate developer Braun Enterprise’s Spring Branch Village project that includes Feges BBQ, The Blind Goat, and Jinya Ramen, which demonstrates the neighborhood is emerging as a popular area for dining.
“We’re nervous, but at the same time excited. Obviously it’s the next step to growing,” Jorge says. “We’ve made a decent name for ourselves in the community. Bringing that name to a new community is exciting.”
The new space is substantially larger than La Cruderia’s original location. While it will open with the same menu, Norma has plans to use the new location’s grill to add some unique menu items. She’s also considering rolling out a brunch menu after she returns from a maternity leave that will start in November.
In the longer term, both siblings aspire to up the restaurant’s tortilla game. Currently, they make corn tortillas with Maseca, but having more room in the kitchen allows for the possibility of a full tortilleria that would nixtamalize heirloom corn.
“With the [additional] space, we could acquire a machine that would help us make different kinds of tortillas. Blue corn tortillas are something we really want,” Jorge says.
The Spring Branch location will also have a full liquor license that will allow La Cruderia to add tequila and mezcal cocktails to its roster of micheladas. Ultimately, Jorge wants Houstonians to consider La Cruderia in the same light as the city’s other top Mexican restaurants.
“If you like Cuchara, this place doesn’t present itself like that, but that’s who I want to compete with,” he says. “That’s my style. It serves street Mexican food with nice presentation. It welcomes all people. Cuchara is a few years ahead of us, but I think we can catch up.”