Only one restaurant carries the torch for Houston on list of the nation’s “essential restaurants” Photo from Hugo's Facebook Account

Hugo’s has done it again.

The venerable Montrose restaurant has made Eater’s coveted annual list of the country’s 38 best restaurants.

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The Mexican-food mainstay clocked in at No. 18 on the compilation, called “America’s Essential Restaurants 2017,” and was the only one from Houston. Franklin Barbecue in Austin was the only other Texas restaurant on the list, placing at No. 13.

Known for its arresting flavors–grilled octopus, anyone?–and assured service, Hugo’s has long held sway in H-Town.

But it’s a critical darling, too. Eater’s restaurant editor Bill Addison had this to say about owners Hugo Ortega and wife Tracy Vaught’s establishment:

“Cabrito, carnitas, barbacoa, and carne asada typify the pleasures at Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught’s 15-year-old crown jewel, where the fine-tuned yet heartfelt cooking shines among Houston’s profusion of first-rate Mexican cuisines.”

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Ortega’s other new restaurant, Xochi, located in the Marriott Marquis downtown, is also striking a chord with critics: It landed first on Alison Cook’s list of Top 100 restaurants last year.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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