Change is in the air at Amazon Grill, the Upper Kirby go-to for fast-casual Latin cuisine. The restaurant recently revamped its menu, and the results seem to be winning raves. There was a line out the door last Friday for lunch. "We're giving our diners more of what they want and what they love," says Executive Chef David Cordua, who was integral to the menu adjustments. "Our menu used to have one burger option; we added five. We added taco options." Available for the asking: the Cabrales Burger with blue cheese fondue, crispy leeks and arugula, and Tempura or Skinny Fish tacos, done up on flour tortillas with remoulade and crunchy cabbage. "And we're cross-branding a little with our other restaurants," says Cordua, something he thinks will intrigue diners.
Those other restaurants include the Cordua family flagship, Americas, Artista and Churrascos, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. The new Amazon Grill menu features a spot called Cordua Signature Entrees, which include popular items such as the chimichurri steak and a mixed grill Cordua calls "a great value." There's even a nod to the Corduas' private label wines on the wine list, with the "Ave" Sauvignon Blanc and the "Corazon" Cabernet Sauvignon.
In keeping with Amazon Grill's fun and casual style, Cordua has incorporated more street food elements to the menu. "They're designed to be finger foods," says Cordua. "Because everyone loves eating with your hands." Look for Chicken Tinga Fries as an appetizer (available with yucca or sweet potato fries, as well as traditional French ones) and things like S'mores and popsicles for dessert. You can also sample the new flavors during the daily happy hour, from 4 to 7 p.m. Or drop in on Friday and Saturday evenings between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., when the kitchen is open late and the salsa band takes the floor.