Patrick Boylan, Author at Cyclone Anaya's Mexican Restaurant - Page 2 of 2

Houston’s Original Jumbo Margarita

The Jumbo Margarita has become a staple in Houston, as many recent Super Bowl visitors quickly found out! But did you know this gargantuan refreshment originated right here at Cyclone Anaya’s? We’ve been serving this colossal cocktail since we invented it in 1978! Since then, the craze has grown even bigger than the jumbo glass it resides in. This is how it all got started.

Cyclone Anaya’s has, and always will be, a family owned and operated restaurant. Back in the 1970’s, the whole family was intimately involved in day-to-day operations and service. Grandparents, children, including current owners Rico and Vienna, and cousins helped out anywhere they were needed. Vienna and her Grandfather, known as “CP” or “Chop-Chop” because of his vegetable chopping duties, worked behind the bar.

At that time, and since they opened in 1966, Cyclone Anaya’s was a beer bar. With 18 different beers on tap, an incredible selection at the time, customers were happy and regular. Many of those beers were served in large Coors goblets. While business was booming, Cyclone knew the addition of liquor drinks would grow the customer base even more, so he decided to send Vienna to bartending school.

Upon her graduation, she returned and began to concoct the first Cyclone Anaya’s margarita. The whole family was involved, trying and sampling all kinds of ingredients and portions to find just the right mix, and eventually, they did.

Cyclone Anaya was larger-than-life, not surprising for a world champion wrestling superstar, so it was only natural for the first margarita served to be larger-than-life, too! One problem: no one made margarita glasses that big! They would instead use the huge Coors goblets to serve their jumbo margaritas.

Cyclone Anaya’s began selling the first jumbo margaritas in Houston in 1978 for just five dollars, and they were an immediate hit! Local politicians, football players, visiting wrestlers, and the community at-large flocked to the restaurant for the mighty drink (as anyone who’s tried them knows, mighty in more ways than one!). From that moment on, the jumbo margarita became a staple in Houston and our signature cocktail.

For almost 40 years now we’ve used the same time-tested recipe for our margaritas, and they’re as popular as ever. We’re so lucky to have so many loyal guests and employees who have helped us continue this tradition our family started so long ago. We hope you can stop by again soon for Houston’s Original Jumbo Margarita!

Houston Super Bowl Visitor’s Guide

Welcome to Houston, the City with No Limits! In just a few weeks, football fans all over the country will flock here for Super Bowl LI. In the spirit of Texas’ famous hospitality, we’ve put together this guide to give you ideas of things to do, places to stay, and how to get around. We hope you enjoy this quick Houston primer!

We are the size of several major cities – and even some states! You could actually fit the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago inside the city limits of Houston, AT ONE TIME! According to our Mayor Sylvester Turner, we have consulate offices representing over 94 countries and our residents speak well over 180 languages. There are many things to do, sights to see, and plenty to eat; it just depends on how far you want to travel!

How to get around

While there are public buses and a developing rail line, there isn’t much public transportation to speak of in Houston. We Houstonians love our cars, so driving is the best way to get around. If you plan on seeing a lot of sights while you’re in town, renting a car would be your best option. Some attractions, such as NASA, are as far as 30 miles away from Downtown.

If you don’t plan on going far or you’re looking for late-night transportation, Uber is thriving here. No matter what part of town you’re staying in, there are sure to be several Uber drivers ready to take you to your next destination.

Where to stay

NRG Stadium, where the big game will be played, is on the south side of town, just south of the Med Center. While there aren’t a ton of great options within walking distance, there are several close by neighborhoods with plenty of places to stay and tons of things to do.

The Galleria, found on the west side of town, just outside the 610 Loop, has a plethora of hotel options, shopping, and more. When the Final Four was in town last March, all four teams stayed here and many of their fans did the same. From here, you’re a quick Uber ride from the game, and many other area attractions.

If you’ve visited Houston before, you may have skipped over Downtown, but the area has been revitalized of late and offers some great hotel and nightlife options. The NFL will be hosting many of their events here, so if you want to experience all of those activities, Downtown may be the best option for you. This is another area within a few miles of NRG Stadium.

If you don’t mind staying just outside of town, CITYCENTRE is a great option. This development is packed with hotels, shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment. Located about 15 miles from NRG Stadium (relative to other Houston distances, this is just down the road), renting a car would probably be the best option for getting around.

Things to do

Houston is big and diverse with a million things to do, so we’re sure you’ll have a great time no matter what your preference is. Some of the most popular things to do in Houston include eating (and drinking) authentic Tex-Mex, visiting NASA or San Jacinto Monument, shopping in The Galleria or River Oaks, and viewing endless art!


Speaking of authentic Tex-Mex, we’d love for you to stop by one of our six Houston-area locations for scratch-made Tex-Mex favorites and world-class service. We’re a family owned and operated restaurant that just celebrated our 50th Anniversary! Started by Cyclone Anaya, a professional wrestling champion from Mexico, and his wife Carolina, a former Miss Houston, we’ve been a Houston staple since 1966! If you have a minute, you can read our full story, here.

Find the location closest to you, here:

Art + Museums + Galleries

From the Museum of Natural Science*, Museum of Fine Arts*, Menil, to the Buffalo Bayou Collection, Houston has over 19 museums and galleries. Find out what you would be most interested in here:

Rice University Skyspace  6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005

Rice University campus is home to the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, which is a sight to be seen just around sunset every evening. Plan to park and arrive 30 minutes before sunset so you can experience the beauty! More information here:

The Galleria  5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056

If you enjoy shopping, the Galleria is a must see on your tour of Houston! The constantly expanding and changing shopping center can be overwhelming, but it is well worth it for the people watching! Plan for at least an hour and be sure to stop by the ice rink.

Bagby Park  415 Gray St, Houston, TX 77002

Check out the “Midtown” sign at Bagby Park and take a picture with the downtown skyline behind you.

Astrodome  8400 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77054

The 8th Wonder of the World, while no longer in use, still stands proud and majestic in NRG Park. When you head to the game, make sure you’re there early enough to make the short walk to the Astrodome to grab a quick photo and see her in all of her glory. Can you tell we Houstonians are a little sentimental about it?

Downtown Tour

If you are planning to stop by the NFL Experience or NFL Live at the George R Brown Convention Center (1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010) and Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010), stick around and check out the sights! You can plan to see a show at the Hobby Center, Alley, or Wortham (more information here: or walk through downtown and see the sights…

Just East of Discovery Green you will see Minute Maid Park, which incorporates the original train station called the Union Station and the Annunciation Catholic Church, the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Houston.

Making you way across downtown, you can stop by “U.S. Post Office Building” at 701 San Jacinto Street no longer a Post Office but still a federal building. You can still walk inside the lobby to see the original architecture and old post office boxes….and then walk past Courthouse Square to see the Original Harris County Courthouse.

Next, stop in at the Christ Church []. Founded in 1839, Christ Church is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and is located in the heart of downtown Houston. Christ Church Cathedral was Houston’s first religious congregation and is the only one still worshiping on its original site from the days when Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas.

Then, make your way to the 32 story Niels Esperson Building at 808 Travis Street which was one of the tallest buildings in town at one time with beautiful original architecture in the main lobby. Making your way to City Hall, you will pass the theater district. Once you stop by City Hall, you will see the Houston Public Library and Sam Houston Park showcasing original building and homes of Houston [].

After leaving downtown, drive along Memorial Drive and you will pass the

Police Officer Memorial, and along the Buffalo Bayou trails, towards Memorial Park []  and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center []. If it’s a nice day, pull over and take a walk to enjoy the greenery in the middle of town!

If you get through all of the sights between Downtown and The Galleria area, take a road trip! Here are a few options less than an hour drive from downtown:

San Jacinto Monument  3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571

A must see is the great San Jacinto Monument, which is taller than the Washington Monument in D.C. and this is only 25 miles east of our City Hall. Stop by the Monument and Museum first, take the elevator to the top and be sure you greet the volunteers working! From the observation deck, you will be able to see the industrial area below, the Galveston Bay, and the city skyline if it isn’t too foggy. After the Monument, stop by the Battleship Texas as it is one of the few battleships left that fought in both world wars. Budget at least 2.5 hours including travel time.

NASA Johnson Space Center  2101 E NASA Pkwy

Less than 27 miles from City Hall, NASA’s Johnson Space Center is one of the most famous Houston-area sites. This is where Mission Control is based. If you don’t have time to tour the whole Space Center Houston, you can still see the Saturn V Rocket for free. It’s considered property of the American Taxpayers so you are able to pull up to the main gate of JSC (turn left onto Saturn from NASA 1, will be on Right) and tell the guards you are going to Rocket Park. They will allow you pull an immediate U-Turn into the visitor parking lot to see the rocket.

While you are in the Clear Lake area, you can stop by Kemah for some shopping or to check out the boardwalk and watch the sailboats head out to race in the bay!


Roughly an hour drive from downtown, you could visit Galveston Island which was one of the nation’s busiest ports at one point in time. This historic town has a lot to offer, including the Moody Gardens [], depending on what you are interested in seeing. Take a look here to get a better idea:  




Spend the Holidays With Cyclone’s!


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!


’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:


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:

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:

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:



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



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

Chips & Salsa


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



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

Cyclone Anaya


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




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.


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


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.




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:


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


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


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.


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


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 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!


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!


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


The opening of our restaurant in Memorial, on Woodway


The opening of our restaurant in the Heights on Durham


The opening of our restaurant in Midtown


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.


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


The opening of our restaurant in Rice Village


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!