Spend the Holidays With Cyclone’s!

christmas-blog-header

The Holiday Season is upon us! This is a special time; a time of togetherness, celebration, and reminiscing with family and friends. Our family treasures this time of year, and through our restaurants, we hope we can give you a refuge from the hustle and bustle, to truly enjoy and appreciate the season with your loved ones. Here are just a few of the things happening at Cyclone’s this month:

Decking the Halls

With the help of our friends from Flower Bar, we are decking the halls to fill even the grumpiest Scrooge with cheer. Each of our locations will have a unique set of decorations, meticulously arranged to provide the perfect holiday aesthetic. Timely tunes will also be mixed into our playlist to keep you humming, or singing, all month long!

Thanks for your hard work, Flower Bar!

christmas-decor

’Tis the Season for Tamales

We all have fond memories of making or eating tamales with family and friends while decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music, or just enjoying each other’s company. Here at Cyclone Anaya’s, Maria Jimenez brings her recipes and tradition to our tamales. She has been perfecting her craft since her Grandmother began teaching her the art of tamale making when she was 11 years old. Growing up in Michoacán, Mexico, her whole family would host tamaladas around Christmas each year. The tamales they made were family recipes that were passed down from generation to generation through careful practice at these family gatherings. The recipes passed down to Maria from her Grandmother are the same used to make our Homemade Gourmet Holiday Tamales today.

You can order them by the dozen, here: http://cycloneanaya.com/order-online

maria-with-tamales

Planning your Holiday Parties

Our Catering team is ready to help you plan the perfect Holiday event. Whether you would like to use one of our beautiful private rooms or a larger off-site venue, we can provide an entirely custom experience to fit your needs. From fully catered meals to beverage bars, floral arrangements, decorations, and more, we have a wide array of capabilities.

Get more details about our Catering offerings and get in touch, here: https://cycloneanaya.com/catering.

Finding the Perfect Gift

Give the gift of great food and good times with a gift card from Cyclone Anaya’s. Available in-store or online, these convenient gifts are perfect for those hard-to-buy-for family and friends. We offer the flexibility for you to create the gift card in whatever amount you would like. Order yours, here: http://cycloneanaya.com/giftcards.

An added bonus? You can tag along when they’re ready to use it!

Happy Holidays from your Friends and Family at Cyclone Anaya’s!


Last Minute Costume Ideas from Cyclone Anaya’s

This week, on Saturday 10/29, we are hosting our annual Halloween party and costume contest at each of our locations. All of your favorite ghosts and ghouls will be in attendance, howling the night away with spooky-strong spirits, frighteningly good bites, soul-shaking music, and of course, tricks and treats.

The party goes from 6 PM to 11 PM and the costume contests will run from 7 PM to 9 PM, with judging starting promptly at 9 PM. The top three costumes at each restaurant will receive a gift card prize; 1st place will receive $300, 2nd place gets $200, and $100 goes to 3rd place. Our Durham location, which will have a DJ that night, will even host a doggie costume contest on our pet-friendly patio! That contest will begin at 11 AM, with winners announced at 1 PM. Winners must be present to win at all contests!

If Halloween snuck up on you, or you’re still searching for the perfect costume to compete with, here are some last minute, do-it-yourself costume ideas that are sure to make an impression:

Margarita

margarita-costume

What you need: Green shirt or dress, colored cardboard lime wedge

Avocado

avacado-costume

What you need: Brown shirt, colored avocado shaped cardboard with face and belly cutouts

Chips & Salsa

chips-and-salsa-costume

What you need:Red shirt or dress, colored cardboard or foam cut into triangles

Taco

taco-costume

What you need: Brown shirt or dress, upholstery foam, colored felt, and glue

Cyclone Anaya

cyclone-wrestling

What you need: Extreme athleticism, charm, and wrestling trunks

 

 


FOOTBALL SEASON WITH CYCLONE ANAYA’S

Fall is here, which means most of our weekends are chock full of friends, family, and FOOTBALL! There’s nothing better than getting together with your fellow fans and cheering your team on to victory; whether you’re in the stands, at home, or at one of our restaurants.

Cyclone Anaya’s knows how important this time of year is and we’ve been hard at work preparing everything you need to make the most out of this football season. Check out what we have going on to help you have a successful Fall.

WATCHING THE GAMES WITH US

We’ve recently installed new TVs at all of our locations, making it easier for you to watch your favorite team from almost anywhere in our restaurants. Our staff will always make sure the biggest games of the day are playing, so you can catch all of the action while enjoying your favorite food and drink!

If you’re a fan of the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Rice Owls, or just a fan of great deals, we have amazing game day specials. We offer happy hour prices at our Rice Village location for Rice football games, at all of our Houston area locations for Houston Texans games, and during Washington Redskins games at our Fairfax, VA location.

Display by Flower Bar
Display by Flower Bar

TAILGATING OR HOMEGATING WITH CYCLONE’S

Are you looking for the perfect food to feed your crew at the tailgate or in your living room? Our famous wood-grilled beef, chicken and combination fajitas, as well as our Homemade Gourmet Tamales, are available TO-GO in our Express Paks. You can also include delicious appetizers, including chips and salsa, chile con queso, and guacamole.

express-paks-tamales-together

 

 


50 Years of World-Class Service: A Timeline of Cyclone Anaya’s

Newsletter Header 50th Party

In two weeks, on September 15th, we’re throwing a huge party at all of our restaurants to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. It’s been an amazing journey that started in Houston in 1966 by Cyclone Anaya (Papa) and his wife, Carolina (Mama). We’ve had some huge milestones along the way, spanning from the end of our Papa’s illustrious wrestling career, to the invention of the jumbo margarita, and then to the opening of our seven locations (with two more coming soon, in Austin and NW Houston!).

As we reflect back on our history, here are a few of the moments that stand out the most:


1934

Jesús Becerra Valencia, wrestling as Apollo Anaya, named Champion of Mexico at the age of 17

1943

Moved to the United States to compete in the National Wrestling Association (NWA). Because of his quickness and moves in the ring, he earned the nickname “Cyclone”, and thus, “Cyclone Anaya” was born!

Cyclone Wrestling

1960

Cyclone suffered a broken back in a wrestling match, forcing his retirement. Doctors told him that he would never walk again. With the support of his wife, Carolina, and the tenacious spirit that made him so successful in the ring, he beat the odds and made nearly a full recovery.

1966

Cyclone Anaya’s Inn opened at 1201 N. Shepherd Drive in the Heights by Cyclone and Carolina. From the beginning, it was truly a family business. Grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all there helping out; prepping food, serving, cleaning, and restocking. Grandaddy was known to all the guests as “Chop-Chop” because he was in charge of chopping all of our vegetables. Every day was a family event!

Original Sign

Cyclone at Bar Pics

1976

Tommie Vaughn Ford, an excellent neighbor to the original location (many salespersons would stop by in their downtime!), bought the property at 1201 Shepherd to expand. Tommie Vaughn is in the same place today! Cyclone purchased 1015 Durham, near the intersection with Washington, and continued the successful business there. Check out one of our ads from back then:

Cyclone-Anaya-Inn-Ad.jpg

1979

Cyclone sent Vienna to bartending school to sharpen her skills. When she returned, the family created the delicious margarita recipe that we still use today! In the process, they created the first jumbo margarita in Houston!

1981

Cyclone Anaya’s was passed to his children so Cyclone and Carol could retire in Del Rio, TX. Rico and Vienna still own and operate our restaurants today!

2004

Cyclone Anaya’s rebranded to logo and style you see today

2003

The opening of our restaurant in Memorial, on Woodway

2006

The opening of our restaurant in the Heights on Durham

2006

The opening of our restaurant in Midtown

2010

The opening of our restaurant in CITYCENTRE. Current Executive Chef, Jason Gould, was hired, bringing decades of culinary expertise with Michelin and five starred restaurants across three continents.

2013

The opening of the first Cyclone Anaya’s outside the state of Texas, in Fairfax, Virginia.

2014

The opening of our restaurant in Rice Village

2015

The opening of our restaurant in The Woodlands


We welcome all of our guests to join us Thursday, September 15th for our 50th Anniversary Party. We’ll have DJs, giveaways, and specials like throwback pricing to commemorate the occasion. Mark your calendars!

 

 


Your Cyclone’s Pokémon GO Guide

PokeHour

Pokémon GO is sweeping the nation (and the world) as players are trekking far and wide to find Pokémon, PokéStops, and PokéGyms! It’s a wild Pokémon world out there, with hot spots and doldrums spread out for miles. You already know that our locations are conveniently placed in the real world, but did you know that we’re in excellent positions in the Pokémon GO world, too? (If you haven’t heard about the craze, you can get a quick primer, here.)

To help you in your quest to “Catch ‘Em All,” we’ve broken down what you can find around each of our locations. We’re even hosting a PokéHour Tuesday 7/26, from 6-8PM, where we’ll be setting out lures and offering happy hour margarita specials for Pokémon players!

Now for the Pokémon GO scoop:

CITYCENTRE
CITYCENTRE-Pokemap

Have you ever wanted to sip your margarita and hunt Pokémon at the same time? Well, CITYCENTRE is right on top of a PokéStop, with a gym next door! There are plenty of other PokéStops within walking distance after you finish your meal, too.

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Rattata, Eevee, Horsea, Paras, Koffing

DURHAM (HEIGHTS)

DURHAM-Pokemap

If you’re looking for a place to train your Pokémon, Durham has you covered. We have two gyms within striking distance and a few PokéStops to boot! Come prepared because the competition at these PokéGyms is fierce!

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Exeggcute, Pidgey, Venonat, Eevee, Bulbasaur

MIDTOWN

Midtown-Pokemap

Midtown is a prime location for Pokémon hunting. With Bagby Park right across the street, trainers have easy access to a PokéGym and several PokéStops. After you’ve finished eating with us, stop by Rico’s Morning+Noon+Night across the street for even more Pokémon action!

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Doduo, Magikarp, Bellsprout, Spearow

RICE VILLAGE

Rice Village-Pokemap

Rice Village is another area teeming with Pokémon. We have a PokéStop located just behind our restaurant, accessible from the air conditioned confines of your favorite booth or table! There’s nothing better than nabbing Pokémon while you’re noshing on some of our delicious plates!

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Caterpie, Jigglypuff, Eevee, Pidgey, Squirtle

THE WOODLANDS

TheWoodlands-Pokemap

Located right on the Waterway, our restaurant is well positioned for those looking to relax or rack up the Pokémon! Enjoy yourself on our patio while also hitting several PokéStops. This is THE place in The Woodlands for Pokémon!

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Venonat, Bulbasaur, Pidgey, Meowth, Paras

WOODWAY

Woodway-Pokemon

While we don’t have any stops or gyms at our Woodway location, we are just a stone’s throw from a plethora of them in Tanglewood Park! After you’ve hit all of the PokéStops there in the sweltering Houston heat, you’re going to want to come in and cool off and plot your next move.

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Krabby, Venonat, Weedle, Pidgey, Zubat

MOSAIC DISTRICT (FAIRFAX, VA)

Mosaic-Pokemap

This spot has an embarrassment of Pokémon riches. There are several Pokéstops accessible from inside our restaurant or just outside, with a PokéGym right there as well to test your skills! For any Pokémon players in the DC area, this is a must stop location!

Frequent Pokémon Visitors: Oddish, Bulbasaur, Zubat, Staryu, Nidoran


Cyclone’s & Houston: 50 Years Later

This year, we are extremely proud to celebrate our 50th Anniversary! In 1966, Cyclone, our namesake, or “Papa” as he’s called by our family, retired after a prolific wrestling career and started this restaurant. Believe it or not, Cyclone Anaya’s started out as an icehouse and didn’t even serve food! Shortly after opening, however, his wife, or “Mama,” thought it would be a good idea to have food around, and began cooking for our guests.

We’ve come a long way since Mama and Papa opened our first restaurant and so has our hometown. Here’s a look at what some of Houston’s most famous landmarks looked like back in 1966:

Original Sign
This is a copy of the original sign that was outside our first location in 1966, at 1201 N. Shepherd. At the time, Tommie Vaughn Ford was next door, but when we moved, they took over our lot as well. They are still in that location today!
Reagan High School
Reagan High School
The Heights State Bank Building has served several purposes since then, but has kept the same great look.
The Heights State Bank Building has served several purposes since then, but has kept the same great look.
This is a newspaper advertisement from Cyclone’s early days.
This is a newspaper advertisement from Cyclone’s early days.
The Yale Theater was not too far from our original location at 1201 N Shepherd.
The Yale Theater was not too far from our original location at 1201 N Shepherd.
Views of Downtown Houston in 1966.
Views of Downtown Houston in 1966.
The Astrodome, opened only a year earlier, added its famous astroturf in 1966 because the original grass didn’t survive.
The Astrodome, opened only a year earlier, added its famous astroturf in 1966 because the original grass didn’t survive.
Rodeo 1966
In that same year, the Astrodome began hosting the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which continued until 2002.
Muhammad Ali fights Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome in what many think was the best performance of his career.
Muhammad Ali fights Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome in what many think was the best performance of his career.
NASA launched five separate Gemini space missions in 1966.
NASA launched five separate Gemini space missions in 1966.
US 59 through Downtown was under construction.
US 59 through Downtown was under construction.
CITYCENTRE was an empty field (see Phase II on the photo) in what would become Town & Country Village.
CITYCENTRE was an empty field (see Phase II on the photo) in what would become Town & Country Village.
A view of the Port of Houston in 1966.
A view of the Port of Houston in 1966.
1966 Map of Houston.
1966 Map of Houston.

Sustainably Delicious

Sustainability and responsible sourcing matters, which is why we actively search for ingredients that are more sustainable and closer to home. We believe that making these changes can make a real difference in the environment and the health of our communities. Not to mention the fact that they improve the quality and taste of our dishes!

We’ve started implementing two major changes that you will start to see in all of our restaurants soon: The use of chicken from an American Humane Certified farm and eco-friendly sweeteners.

Chickens in the barn at Danny Thornton's poultry operation in Carthage, MS.

Springer Mountain Farms (SMF) will now supply their all natural chicken for many of our dishes. They have been certified by the American Humane Association because of the unique and thoughtful way they raise and care for their chickens.

Springer Mountain Farms raises their chickens without the use of cages, hormones, antibiotics, animal by-product feed and more. There are a TON of amazing benefits from their methods, which result in healthier, happier, and tastier chickens. Even the corn and soybeans used to feed their flock is tested and approved in a USDA certified laboratory!

The other major change we’re implementing is a pivot to more eco-friendly sweeteners. How much of an impact will a switch in sweeteners have? Much bigger than you may have thought! Cyclone Anaya’s will now exclusively use ecoStick sweeteners, which has made some small tweaks on traditional sweeteners to enact big change.

ecostickThese sweeteners use less, more efficient, packaging which reduces their carbon footprint by almost 50%. They also use 50% less filler than traditional sweeteners. Those efficiencies can really add up. Consider this: If all Americans switched to ecoStick for one year, we would save 274,000 pounds of paper, 75,000 pounds of cardboard, and 1.37 million pounds of corn! All ecoStick sweeteners are non-GMO as well, which alleviates concerns for many of our customers.

The changes that we have made with Springer Mountain Farms and ecoStick are just the beginning! We are still looking for more eco-friendly and local suppliers to increase quality and decrease environmental impact. If you have any ideas, please email cycloneanayamanagement@cycloneanaya.com or post them to our Facebook or Twitter page. We’d love to hear from you!


Your Cinco de Mayo Week To-Do List

Margarita Battle-Logos

If you love Cinco de Mayo, then you’ll love what we have planned! We’re turning Cinco de Mayo into a week-long celebration, including a big-time margarita competition, special margarita pricing on Cinco de Mayo Eve, and a ton of festivities on the big day itself.

On Monday, May 2nd from 4:30-7PM at Cyclone’s on Durham, we’re kicking things off with what we’re calling the Margarita Battle Royale! We’re putting the best margaritas in Houston head-to-head in a blind taste test competition. Heavyweights like the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, El Patio, Beaver’s, and Rico’s Morning + Noon + Night are joining us in the ring to claim the title of “Best Margarita in Houston”!

We have a star-studded panel that includes judges from CultureMap, Houstonia, KHOU, Urban Swank, Treadsack, and The Leader. These folks have serious margarita credentials! We’re inviting you to become a judge as well! Purchase a ticket here for your own flight of the competitors’ margaritas, and a ballot to join in the voting of a “Fan’s Choice.” We’ll even be raffling off a Jose Cuervo Rolling Stones Guitar! All ticket/raffle sales will be donated to the Houston Food Bank to help support the amazing work they’re doing in the community.

Once the dust has settled from the competition, we’re going to warm up for the main event with $5 regular house margaritas ALL DAY on Cinco de Mayo Eve. While you’re enjoying your favorite margaritas at a great price, try some of our most popular eats, like our brisket tacos with spicy slaw, jumbo lump crabmeat nachos, seafood ceviche, or our seasonal special crawfish enchiladas!

Finally, on May 5th, or CINCO DE MAYO, the party will really get started! Make your way through our extensive margarita list to find which one is just right for you. While you’re imbibing on our signature cocktails, we’ll also have DJs spinning tunes at every location to keep the mood right. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to get your hands on A TON of festive prizes and giveaways.

With so many fun things happening, Cyclone Anaya’s is THE place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We hope to see you and your friends out with us all week!


9 MUST-TRY DISHES

We’re extremely proud of the food offerings we have here at Cyclone Anaya’s. Our extensive menu is bursting with flavors that will please any palate and includes a few items that you won’t find at any other restaurant. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 9 “Must-Try” items on the menu. Whether you’re a regular or a new guest, these dishes should be at the top of your list to try next.
Crabmeat NachosJumbo Lump Crabmeat Nachos
This dish is truly one-of-a-kind. These nachos start with blue corn tortilla chips, then are topped with Mexican cheeses, roasted yellow corn, refried bean, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapeños. If we stopped right there, it would still be an amazing dish, but we take it to the next level by adding jumbo lump crabmeat! When we say jumbo, we mean JUMBO!

Seafood CevicheSeafood Ceviche
Speaking of phenomenal seafood, nothing is more fresh and refreshing than our Seafood Ceviche. This features scallops, shrimp, and fish cured in lime and herbs. You can even add jumbo lump crabmeat! To top it off, fried plantains are served alongside it to complete a perfect pair.

Facebook TamaleBetsy’s Tamales
Who doesn’t like tamales? These came to us by way of a regular name Betsy, who shared her old family recipe with us. Made in-house every day, these homemade-style pork tamales are topped with chile con carne, melted cheese and onions. If you like tamales like Grandma used to make, these are for you!

Crawfish EnchiladasCrawfish Enchiladas
We’re right in the heart of crawfish season, which means you’ll find one of our favorite seasonal specials on the menu: Crawfish Enchiladas. This Tex-Mex/Cajun mashup features plump crawfish tails, sautéed in garlic butter, wrapped in tortillas, and served with chipotle cream sauce. Sure beats peeling them!

Brisket TacosBrisket Tacos with Spicy Slaw
If you love Tex-Mex, you won’t find a better combination of Tex and Mex than these brisket tacos. The brisket is rubbed with a chipotle seasoning and slow roasted to tender perfection. The tangy spicy coleslaw and salsa verde top off this amazing mashup of cultures!

Ribs Close UpWood-Fire Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Our wood-fire grilled baby back ribs are one of our most popular items and they only make an appearance once a week, for lunch on Thursdays. These premium ribs are hit with our housemade special seasoning, then slow-grilled to tender perfection over a wood fire, locking in that smoky flavor. Our ancho honey barbecue sauce adds the spicy sticky sweetness that will drive you crazy and make you a Thursday lunch regular!

IMG_4971Enchiladas Anaya’s
The Enchiladas Anaya’s aren’t your run-of-the-mill enchiladas. These gourmet enchiladas are made with two red corn tortillas, beef or chicken flavored with our special seasoning, cheese, mushrooms, and onions. Our chile ancho sauce, a smoky, sweet and spicy treat, smothers the enchiladas to complete the decadent experience.

Carne Asada TampiquenaCarne Asada A La Tampiqueña
If you’re REALLY hungry, this is the meal for you. 10 ounces of our delicious fajita meat is covered with chile poblano, red bell pepper, red onion, sliced mushrooms and chile chipotle. Ready for more? You’ve also got a cheese enchilada, guacamole, rice, and beans to finish. Come hungry!

Pollo JaliscoPollo Jalisco
This is a beloved dish by Cyclone’s regulars. When Chef Jason Gould joined Cyclone Anaya’s in 2010, he was threatened not to remove the Pollo Jalisco from the menu. Something with that kind of following HAS to be good! This is another big dish, with two large chicken breasts, sautéed in our special cilantro butter, topped with mushrooms, chipotle and chardonnay cream sauce. Give it a try to see why it has so many dedicated fans.

Chocolate Coco CakeChocolate Coco Cake
Chocolate Lovers take note: Our made-in-house Chocolate Coco Cake is decadence to the extreme! Luscious chocolate sponge cake is layered, with rich chocolate mousse in between. On top, you’ll find even more chocolate mousse and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Can you think of a better way to end your meal?


We’re Listening

Listening-6

We love hearing from customers. There’s no better way to gauge how we’re doing than to get input from the people who visit our restaurants every day. That’s why we value the opinion of our guests so much, who take the time to tell us about their experience either in the building, on a review site, or on social media.

These days, many of the people who visit our restaurant share their experience online in a number of different ways and in an increasing number of places. It’s a HUGE priority for us to be there, listening for that valuable information, then processing it into meaningful results and a better experience for all of our guests. You may have noticed more online activity from us, and that’s because we’ve hired Raconteur Creative, a digital communications agency, to help us ensure we don’t miss a word of it.

We keep an eye out on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and review sites like Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, and more! We look at EVERY piece of feedback from our guests and share it across our organization, at all levels, to continuously improve and address concerns. We strive to create amazing experiences for everyone, and it’s information from our customers that have helped us do that and will continue to drive change.

We LOVE to hear praise, since it lets us know when we’ve gotten it right. It also gives us a chance to reward our employees and give examples to others of how things should be done. Take this experience, for example, of a guest who initially shared the experience on Instagram, then blogged about it. What a great thing to show and inspire everyone at Cyclone’s!

We really value the feedback we get when we miss the mark, too. As a family owned and operated business, we hold ourselves to a high standard, so it’s obviously disappointing to hear when we haven’t lived up to them, but it’s important to know so we can improve. We use these comments as teaching moments and opportunities to improve training and processes.

We like to think of our guests as an extension of our family and your input means a lot to us. Thank you all for taking the time to share your experiences with us. We’d like to encourage you to continue to do so, on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you prefer to post. And if you’ve yet to like or follow us, do so here:  Facebook | Twitter!