|New Location on Woodway|
I'd heard many rave reviews about this place on many blogs--especially some good stuff about their Cebichés. Executive Chef and Owner Roberto Castre, Eater Houston's Chef of the Year 2011. The super-talented young Peruvian has made a real name for himself in the Houston Foodie Community. Per Latin Bites' website:
Born and raised in Peru, Roberto Castre decided he wanted to be a chef since he was 13 years old. He attended Escuela de Alta Cocina from Los Andes culinary school in Peru, where he learned the basic skills that allowed him to begin his career as a chef. Later he moved to United States, and worked in restaurants in Miami, New York, and Texas, where he worked with renowned chefs such as Stephan Pyles, and Paul Prudhomme.
Over the years, Chef Castre has been able to achieve remarkable tastes thanks to his creativity in the fusion of Latin flavors. His passion for food has allowed him to develop a variety of cooking techniques, from traditional to the latest trends in modern cuisine such as molecular gastronomy. His knowledge of Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian and New American Cuisines has been reflected in his style, which pays close attention to the balance between delicate flavor and sophisticated appearance. Those flavors and appearance also have a strong connection with his Peruvian background.
Chef Castre enjoys sharing and promoting the Peruvian gastronomy through his cooking. In 2009 Chef Castre started Latin Bites Catering, a catering company inspired by the exquisite flavors of the Latin American cuisine, which helped him open his first restaurant later in August 2010: Latin Bites Cafe. In January 2012 Latin Bites moved to a larger location in the Heart of Tanglewood, near The Galleria Area in Houston, Texas. Chef Castre’s Food represents the culture, tradition and heritage of one of the richest, most diverse and sophisticated cuisines of the world.
|Inca Kola from Peru|
Papas a la Crema:
Sliced golden potatoes
with 3 creamy cheese sauces made of aji rocoto
aji amarillo and cilantro served with boiled quail
eggs and Peruvian olives.
A cebiche mixto (White seasonal fish, shrimp, squid, and octopus)
with all three ajies: aji amarillo, aji limo and aji rocoto leche de tigre,
with an extra seasoning of cilantro, ginger and garlic
served over a bed of lettuce, sweet potato, Peruvian corn,
Peruvain rosted corn and red onions
|(l to r: Papas a la Crema, Cebiche Pescador, Pisco Punch Gelato)|
A fine lunch at Latin Bites Café
The Papas a La Crema is served cold. The aji sauces are very creamy and colourful. The yellow is more sweet, the red is a bit acidic and the green is a little spicy. The potatoes are soft and buttery. It was a very satsifying dish while I waited for the main event.
Cebiche (a/k/a Ceviche or Seviche) is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America, and the Philippines. It is the National Dish of Panama. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt, coriander/cilantro, and pepper may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, or avocado. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning. The origin of ceviche is disputed. Possible origin sites for the dish include the western coast of north-central South America,or in Central America.] Other coastal societies such as the Polynesian islands of the south Pacific are also attributed the invention of the plate. The Spanish, who brought from Europe citrus fruits such as lime, could have also originated the plate with roots in Moorish cuisine. However, the most likely origin of the plate lies in the area of present-day Peru--a nation on the West Coast of South America, due south of Ecuador and Southwest of Colombia.
The Cebiche Pescador was FANTASTIC!!! It was colourful, it was full of flavour--the lime juice was fresh and slightly sour, the spices were fresh and fragrant, the lettuce was crunchy, the corn roasted and semicrunchy, the yams sweet and chewy and the whole gaggle of tastes were a Fiesta in my mouth! I've had cebiche before, and I can honestly say that this is the best Cebiche I've had outside of Panama. This is a real winner and if you've not had Cebiche before, you are missing out if you don't go to try the Cebiches at Latin Bites Café
A little information about the Pisco Sour now: The national origin of the pisco sour is debated. Both Chile and Peru lay claim to the drink. In both countries, the variety of lime used is what North Americans would call Persian lime but Peruvians call simply "lemons". In the United States, the drink is usually made with commonly available Lisbon or Eureka lemons. With the increased availability of Pisco (a South American Grape Brandy) and regional bitters outside South America, the Pisco Sour, like the Mojito and Caipirinha, has increased in popularity in the United States. Since 2003, Peru has a National Pisco Sour Day which is celebrated on the first weekend of February (right on time with my review!) I had mine made into a gelato that was sour, slightly sweet, had a wonderful lime flavour, a slight boozy kick and was a perfect palate cleanser for after lunch.
The Foodie Professor's Report Card for Latin Bites Café:
Inka Cola: A
Papas a la Crema: A
Cebiche Pescadora: A+++
Pisco Sour Gelato: A+
Atmosphere: A (colourful, urban chic)
Cleanliness: (A for dining area/kitchen, A- on Men's Restroom)
Overall Grade: Solid A+
As Promised: Mai Pham's old video review here:
5709 Woodway Dr.
Houston, TX 770587
Zao an, Y'all!!!