Habanera & the Guero on Restaurant Impossible: Everything We Know

Restaurant: Impossible‘ is a mainstay at the Food Network where celebrity chef Robert Irvine sets out to try and salvage eateries, which are at the brink of shutting down. Armed with $10,000 and some great ideas, Irvine works with the owners to turn the fate of the businesses within two days. Of course, not everything is as rosy as it appears to be on television, so the restaurants receiving aid always urge their patrons to support them by eating at the venues. Moreover, businesses are grateful to volunteers who help with the artwork, or in whatever way they can to make the place more attractive to customers.

Here, we turn the focus to Habanera & the Guero, in Houston, Texas. The business is buried in debt, and there is a lot of infighting between the partners. What’s worse is that a 3-year-old is stuck in the middle. Irvine’s job is to convince Ben to slacken his obsessive grip on Vanessa, his partner, and chef. If Ben doesn’t let up, he’s likely to lose both his business and family. Let’s find out more about Habanera & the Guero, as well as how the business is flourishing after ‘Restaurant: Impossible.’

Habanera & the Guero: What Do They Serve?

Habanera & the Guero started as Habanera & the Gringo, and the business has been running for nearly five years. The restaurant’s site describes itself as a joint effort between an East Texas boy and a West Texas girl. Ben’s military background makes him perfect to handle the day-to-day challenges of running a restaurant. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s training at a culinary school and subsequent job in one of Houston’s top restaurants, makes her a wizard in the kitchen. The restaurant assures customers that by the time they leave, they’ll be friends.

Located on the 9902 Gulf Freeway, the restaurant was reviewed highly by The Houston Chronicle and placed on their Top 100 Restaurants List. The menu is based on Vanessa Lomeli’s upbringing and the family recipes she learned while growing up in El Paso. Since Texas is right on the border of New Mexico and Mexico, the multiple culinary influences are reflected in Habanera & the Guero’s menu. However, the place can’t be strictly called Tex-Mex.

Some of the food items like Beef Cheek Tostadas, Enchiladas Rojas, which is based on Vanessa’s grandmother’s recipe, and Rajas Con Crema show the restaurant’s diversity. Check out some of the scrumptious food below.


Here’s the Rajas Con Crema, which has now been added to the family pack. Check out a picture of their popular Enchiladas Verdes below.


The restaurant prides itself on the freshness of the food and the quality, despite the modest pricing. They’ve stated they exclusively use Nathan’s hot dogs. Check out a picture below.


Apart from the foods, the margaritas in Habanera & the Guero are to die for. With freshly blended fruits, the restaurant stands out for its diverse bar menu. Check it out here.


Currently, the restaurant is still operational despite the coronavirus pandemic but is operating at a lower staff capacity and taking all measures to ensure the safety of their customers. Check out the post below.


Habanera & the Guero Reviews Post Restaurant: Impossible

Despite remaining open, not many customers seem to have frequented Habanera & the Guero due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, it is not possible to judge the complete impact that the ‘Restaurant: Impossible’ makeover has had on the business. However, going by a Yelp review in February 2020, it seems that a customer is delighted with the food and hospitality.

He said, “Ahhhhhh this place is INSANE. First off, everything we had was amazing. I loved the Mexican hot dog and the tacos my partner got. He also got a jalapeño margarita which was fantastic. Our waitress was so nice and later on Vanessa, herself came out and thanked us for coming! What a cool place. I can’t wait to go back.” Check it out here.

A more recent review comes on May 10, 2020. A first-time customer is visibly impressed, and once again, the margaritas seem to have stolen the show.

Therefore, it seems that Habanera & the Guero has received a successful makeover, stopped their infighting, and are now doing rather well even during a global pandemic. [Cover Picture Courtesy: Quy Tran] 

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