Tex Mex Pioneers: Molina's Cantina Turns 77 Years Old

ByLaura Taglialavore KTRK logo
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Tex Mex Pioneers: Molina's Cantina Turns 77 Years Old
Three generations of fathers and sons have run Molina's Cantina since 1941.

A Houston restaurant institution is turning 77 years old.

It was back in 1941 that Raul Molina Sr. and his wife Mary opened their first restaurant on West Gray Street. Now, his three grandsons run the business.

ABC 13 & You caught up with the Molina family to find out their secrets to staying successful for so long.

Molina's Cantina also shared a couple of their own recipe staples:

*Molina's Famous Margaritas (+ Jalapeno Variation)

  • 1.25 ounces Tequila
  • 1.25 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 ounces agave nectar
  • 3 thin slices of fresh jalapeno (variation)

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously for at least 5-6 seconds. Pour into glass with ice and salted rim. Garnish with lime. If adding jalapenos, put jalapenos and lime juice in mixing glass first, muddle with a muddler 5-6 times. Remember, the more you muddle, the hotter it will be. If you just add the pepper to the shaker without muddling, it will be only slightly spicy.

*Molina's Secret Green Sauce for Enchiladas or Grilled Chicken

Yields 10-12 servings (big batch recipe)

  • 2 large or 3 small avocados
  • 1.25 ounces cilantro
  • 1.75 lbs tomatillo
  • 0.15 ounces garlic
  • 0.5 ounces salt
  • 1.5 ounces jalapeno pepper
  • 0.25 gallon water

Peel shucks from tomatillos and rinse well. Remove stems from jalapenos and cook with tomatillos in water. Bring to a rapid boil and cook until soft. Using a blender, blend tomatillos, jalapenos and remaining ingredients using the remaining water to mix. Pour in a shallow container to cool. If using as a dipping sauce, serve chilled. Otherwise, spoon warm over chicken enchiladas (or simply shredded chicken wrapped in warm tortillas) or grilled chicken.