Blog - Page 3 of 6 - Cyclone Anaya's Mexican Restaurant

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 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!


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


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

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Cyclone Anaya & family