Urbe, Chef Hugo Ortega’s Informal New Houston Restaurant, opens in Uptown Park

Urbe, the long-awaited street food spot from James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega, has finally opened its doors.

The restaurant quietly debuted last week at 1101 Uptown Park Boulevard, Suite 12, after “months of” unspecified delays likely influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is Ortega’s fifth restaurant, alongside the highly acclaimed Houston restaurants, Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Xochi and its eponymous Montrose restaurant, Hugo’s, and the first fast-casual eatery to exclusively focus on the famous street foods from Ortega’s native Mexico. Chef Paula Leguizamon will be in charge of the kitchen and will come to Hugo’s after three and a half years.

The restaurant’s menu is influenced by Ortega’s own time as a street vendor as a child, selling everything from cakes and sweets to shoe shiners to passers-by. As for food, expect slow cooked meats like birria, barbacoa, carnitas, and skewered pork al pastor. Chicharrones a la mercado, or large platters of fried pork skin similar to those found in Mexican markets, are sure to be a star on the menu, along with tlayudas, gorditas, fresh seafood, and tortas filled with chicken milanese. Breakfast tacos and starters such as chilaquiles are served in the mornings, along with plenty of pan dulce, Mexican cold brew coffee, and horchata.

Urbe is temporarily open from 8 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. for breakfast and from 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch. Dinner should follow in the coming weeks.

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