We’re Listening


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!

Meet Al: Cyclone Anaya’s Featured Fan

Photo Submitted by Al L.
Photo Submitted by Al L.

At Cyclone Anaya’s we are lucky to have so many regular customers and committed fans. They come from diverse backgrounds and find us in different ways, but they all seem to love Cyclone’s for the same reasons: delicious food, refreshing drinks, and most importantly, amazing service. One of these folks is Al L., who is also one of the most active fans on our Facebook page.

Al has been a regular at our Midtown location for a long time, in fact, practically since we opened there! He was introduced to Cyclone Anaya’s by a friend who was familiar with our story. They anxiously awaited the opening of the restaurant on Gray Street, and when it opened, they fell in love.

Al says he immediately felt welcome by the kind and attentive service from the bartenders, waitstaff, and managers. The food and drink were to his liking, too. Al calls our margaritas the best in town and raves about the nachos (his wife loves the tres leches). He’s somewhat of a connoisseur, too. He says he’s tried margaritas at many other restaurants, and they don’t measure up, even turning some away at first taste. What sets our food and drink apart, to him, is the quality and freshness of the ingredients, care in preparation, and the large portions.

Right from the get-go, Cyclone’s in Midtown became a frequent hangout for him and his friends, some traveling from as far away as Humble! It wasn’t long before the staff recognized him and he developed a bond with some of the other regulars. He says he’s met people from all walks of life at Cyclone’s who have become good friends: attorneys, engineers, realtors, entrepreneurs, and more.

Photo Submitted by Al L.
Photo Submitted by Al L.

Al and his friends attend Cyclone’s religiously during the week, and especially around sporting events. Home or away, he makes it a point to stop by. It’s a convenient pregame spot for home games and a perfect place to catch all the action during away games. He especially likes the recent addition of even more TVs around the bar. A fixture at Sunday brunch with his wife, Al even became an active part of the entertainment, by being hired on as a DJ for awhile!

We’re so happy that Al has made so many memories and meaningful relationships at our restaurant. We strive to give the same experience to all of our customers through friendly, welcoming service and delicious food and drink. If we’ve lived up to our goal, please tell us about it on Yelp, Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Photo Submitted by Al L.
Photo Submitted by Al L.

The Taste of Tradition: Tamale Season

Maria Jimenez proudly shows off her family recipe tamales.
Maria Jimenez proudly shows off her family recipe tamales.

We love tamales and, lucky for us, it’s finally tamale season! 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. Tamales are a big tradition around Texas, but where did they come from?

Tamales go way back; back as far as 7000 BC across Mesoamerica in the cultures of the Aztec, Maya, Olmec and Toltec. They liked them for some of the same reasons we like them today: they’re very portable, keep well, and are easily made in large quantities that can feed an army (or families like ours!). Their tamales were made with much of the same ingredients that we see today, but they typically used more fish and wild game, including frog!

In more modern history, they’ve become a holiday tradition in Texas for several reasons. As friends and families gather together during the holidays, it’s a necessity to be able to feed large groups, at which tamales excel. Many families will also host tamaladas, where the labor-intensive process of making tamales gives them a chance to catch up, laugh, and spend quality time together.

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.

From now until January 1st, Maria and her team will be making three types of tamales from these recipes: pork with chili gravy, spinach and Mexican cheese with chardonnay cream sauce, and chicken with spicy tomatillo sauce. You can order these by the dozen here, or by calling any of our locations. Because our tamales are handmade to order, we ask that all orders are placed at least 24 hours in advance of pick-up.

Facebook Tamales

We’re excited to share these special recipes with you, and we hope our Homemade Gourmet Holiday Tamales can become a part of your family tradition. 

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!




This glorified burger and hot dog stand caters to all: Grown-ups, kids, even the four-legged members of the family. This cozy, dog-friendly outdoor seating area in the way of bar stools and picnic tables, even promoting “Yappy Hour” where pups are rewarded with well-deserved treats after a run in the gated dog park adjacent to the newest restaurant located in the newly redeveloped Bagby Park. Rico’s offers Houstonian’s a place to indulge in good, casual food all day long and late into the night. The restaurant plans to stay open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, catering to the local crowds and their         after hour cravings.

401 Gray St.


The Woodlands..Our newest location


Woodlands front copy

We are proud of the success of our newest location. We have an amazing ambiance throughout this beautiful restaurant. The selection of unique artwork, booth design, table selection, lighting and many more exciting elements were hand selected by our owners Rico Valencia and Vienna Valencia Bement. There is a grand stairwell at the entrance the goes down to the restaurant. There is also street access to our patio that overlooks the waterway and a beautiful park with great architectural design visuals including a huge wall of water. Our guests really enjoy dining on our covered patio being able to look out and see how great this location is positioned.

FullSizeRender_2 copyWe have a great space for catering as well. We have hosted many events that our expertly trained staff of servers and kitchen crew have perfectly executed. One of our successful events was for a very large group that was hosted by Texas Monthly.

Texas Monthly copy

“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great event we had last night at your location here in the Woodlands.
We had a great turn out.
Your team were AMAZING! The staff serving us was on top of their game.
Everyone was impressed how great your team – serviced our party for this event.
I can’t thank you enough for allowing Texas Monthly to have our event hosted by Cyclone Anaya’s.
Our Publisher, Travel Advertising Director, Sales Resource Manager and all our account reps were very impressed.”

Celebrating the Fourth of July


July 4th marks the 239th anniversary of the U.S., and the Americans among us mark Independence Day with parades and elaborate fireworks displays, picnics, barbecues, and, where possible, hammocks.  I am planning on starting my day with a great brunch with friends.  I can’t wait to get the best Huevos Rancheros in town with Mimosas. At Cyclone Anaya’s we’ll watch some sporting event on the big flat screen and catch up with all that is going on with friends and regulars at the restaurant.  A guaranteed good time.  I know we will meet some new guests and have those friends to hang out with in the future. As the afternoon is in full swing it will be time to plan our dinner and where we will watch the fireworks.  Dinner will be easy, we will order from Cyclone Anaya’s Express Pak “to go”. Some friends will just order some sides “to go” since they are planning on grilling at home. Not sure where we are watching the fireworks show yet. We might just stay and watch it from the Cyclone Anaya’s patio. “Things that make you say hummmm”. Nevertheless, it is a celebration of our country’s birthday and we celebrate with great food, friends and family. In between your grilled meals and cold beverages, we hope you’ll be sharing your Fourth of July thoughts and experiences with those around you and be safe.

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The Story of a True Legend

As many of you know, Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen takes pride in the family tradition that was born in the beginning of this journey. We would like to thank and recognize the star himself, Cyclone Anaya. In reading this blog, we hope to spread the love, memory, and tradition of our founder, a man of greatness.

The story of Cyclone Anaya is a one of a kind and began in 1966. As just a young boy, he embarked his career in the wrestling world. Shortly after, he became the Champion of Mexico at the age of 17. As the years past, Cyclone Anaya, also known by his family as Papa, pushed his wresting career to the United States and captivated the hearts of millions of fans.

During this time, he met his true love, Carolina- a former Miss Houston. Their love allowed them to grow together and become an unstoppable team. Married for over 50 years, they built a family together as well as a tradition. With the excitement of receiving numerous championship titles, Cyclone and Carolina also had the joy of parenting 5 wonderful children. After a career ending incident he and Carolina began their journey with life after wrestling, having 5 children. In an effort to provide for their family, they pulled together against all odds and created a small business, starting in Houston, Tx, that still thrives today. The business was full of pride and dignity, and the legacy is still carried on. Rico, the youngest son, is now the owner and operator of Cyclone Anaya’s. His right hand man, or lady I should say, is his sister Vienna.

Cyclone Anaya’s has been serving the great people of Houston for almost 50 years. They decided to expand their delicious, homemade family recipes and favorite drinks to Dallas and Fairfax, VA. Cyclone’s has become a true Texas Legacy, serving genuine family hospitality with great tradition. There is true dedication for the homemade recipes and favorite drinks that are produced from each location you can enjoy.

Welcome everyone, and thank you for stopping by! We are excited to express our passions, tradition, and happenings with you

Processed with Moldiv
Cyclone Anaya & family

World Cup 2014



The World Cup is here and we want to make sure you don’t miss any of the action! Enjoy the matches on our large flat-screens, while munching on delicious food, and toasting to every goal with one our award-winning margaritas. So put on your favorite jersey and catch the matches at Cyclone’s June 12th through July 13th.


We’re so excited about the games that we will be offering Happy Hour during all USA and MEXICO matches.

Samples of “Cerveza de Los Muertos”, Pay the Ferry Man Porter and Immortal Beloved Hefeweizen, will be handed out at our CityCentre/Durham locations during the MEXICO VS. CROATIA match on Monday, June 23rd!

Here are some dishes we suggest pairing the beer with:

Immortal Beloved Hefeweizen
Shrimp Salad
Soft Shell Crab Tacos
Chicken Fajitas
Chili Relleno

Pay the Ferry Man Porter
Beef Nachos
Tamarindo Sliders/Sandwich
Betsy’s Tamales
Enchilada Anaya’s
Carne Asada Tampiquena

Photo: Samples of Day of the Dead Beer being handed out at our CityCentre location in Houston, Texas

Global Lime Shortage

Lime Shortage Post

As reported in the New York Times, many factors – drought, disease, and regional violence – have made wholesale prices of limes skyrocket. I reached out to our Research & Development Chef, Jason Gould, to find out how we are dealing with the global lime shortage. Have recipes been altered? Prices been raised? Read on!


Q & A 

with Cyclone Anaya’s Research & Development Chef, Jason Gould

An internationally bad lime harvest lead to a major shortage in the U.S. this year – how have we felt the affects in the kitchen?

We’re definitely feeling the effects, but we find it best to maintain consistency. We have not altered any recipes, and we have not raised our prices. We are not cutting corners because of the shortage. However, instead of assuming our guests want a lime with their beer, water, cocktail, etc – we now ask. Limes are on request.

Right now, prices are higher than they’ve ever been – have you altered recipes or prices, if not, do you have plans to?

No. We can’t – it is what it is. There is always something with a price spike, we expect this. In the food industry you have to roll with the punches.

How have you managed waste and prep levels?

Limes are never wasted – we just cut them up and use them. They are not just garnish. We mostly use the juice from the lime. When used for garnish we are more conscious of how big the slices are.

Have you educated your staff on the change in price trends? If everyone is aware of what is going on, does it help you manage costs better?

Yes, they are aware and we are definitely not over preparing anymore.

What are some of the dishes offered that use fresh lime juice?

Dressings, Ceviche, Guacamole, Key-Lime Pie, and drinks!

How is the quality of lime that you are receiving?

Unfortunately, they are smaller in size and are not yielding as much juice.

Which has felt the shortage more – the kitchen or bar?




We’re definitely feeling the shortage, but we find it best to maintain consistency. We have not altered any recipes, and we have not raised our prices, nor do we have plans to.


Lime Facts

– About 1,000 limes are used a week per Cyclone’s location. We use over 300,000 limes per calendar year.

– A severe drought, citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing), harsh winter, and Mexican Drug Cartels have pushed wholesale prices of limes up significantly this year.

– Some Airlines have stopped offering limes in their in-flight beverage service.

“We still serve limes, though they’re more difficult to source. So, on some flights we’re substituting with lemons,” – United spokesman

“We temporarily pulled limes about two weeks ago, due to skyrocketing lime prices,” – Alaska Airlines spokeswoman

February 2014 – California Wine Trip!

Last week, Republic National Distributing Company generously hosted the Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen corporate team on a trip to Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Eric and Jennifer of Republic wined and dined our team in style! We visited five wineries – Simi, Korbel, Kendall-Jackson, Trinchero, and Darioush. Our trip was both educational and recreational. Many, many wines were tasted, some of which will be seen on our new wine menu (April 1st)!

IMG_1909Korbel Champagne Cellars – We went on a production tour at Korbel, the science and technology that goes into champagne making is truly fascinating.IMG_1913Korbel Champagne Cellars – World’s Largest Bottle of Champagne. The bottle contains ~1K glasses of bubbly! photoSimi Winery – Luke, who guided us around the winery was very informative! He showed us how the type of glass you drink from affects the aroma & taste of wine. unnamedSimi Winery – The executive chef at Simi served us an amazing dinner with wine parings. 

unnamed-2Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens – the grounds were gorgeous!unnamed-3Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and GardensIMG_1940Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and GardensIMG_1917Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens – beautiful day! IMG_1922Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens – Wine & food pairing! IMG_1927Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens – Wine & food pairing! Short Ribs topped with fresh truffle, yummy.IMG_1931

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens IMG_1933Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens of=50,533,399-2

Auberge du Soleil – Brunching at a Michelin-star rated restaurant, what a treat!IMG_1970

Trinchero Family Estates – Wine & food pairing! We had lots of short ribs on our trip. IMG_1952Trinchero Family Estates – They paint a red stripe on the center of their barrels so wine drips appear less obvious. 

IMG_1959Trinchero Family Estates – gorgeous cellar!IMG_1976Darioush – a winery noted for limited-production Bordeaux style estate winesof=50,533,399-1Darioush – architecture with Persian influenceof=50,533,399Darioush – excellent wines!unnamed-4Oakland Bay Bridge – Sunset in San Francisco