Vanessa Lomeli, best known to Houstonians as the former chef behind scrappy Hobby-area Mexican restaurant Habanera and the Guero, is finally getting a space of her own.
Lomeli’s new restaurant, called The 915, will open on Monday, March 22 at 2914 White Oak Dr. The name is a nod to the area code of El Paso, where Lomeli grew up, and the restaurant aims to bring a taste of the Sun City to Houston.
That includes dishes like red chile enchiladas, stuffed with chicken or cheese and topped with an over easy egg; green red flautas ahogadas filled with picadillo or potatoes and topped with a spicy tomato broth; brisket-stuffed flautas a la Chuco; along with green chile queso, nachos “Montados” and soups like red posole. She’ll also serve crispy tacos and loaded hot dogs like the Mexi-Dog, topped with bacon, queso, mayo, salsa verde, black beans, grilled onions, and fries; and the Juarez Dog, smothered in queso, beans, torreado, and charred tomato.
Many of these dishes will be familiar to fans of Habanera and the Guero, where Lomeli’s cooking developed a loyal following even as the restaurant struggled with both legal and inter-personal issues. Those issues culminated in a May 2020 appearance on the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible,” which saw Lomeli battling with her domestic partner and Habanera’s sole owner, Ben Downing, over everything from money to managing the kitchen.
Now that she has a place of her own, Lomeli is eager to blossom, saying in a statement that she wants to collaborate with artisan chefs and other creatives. For now, the 915 is BYOB and serving takeout only, with delivery available through Uber Eats and Grubhub, and Seamless. The restaurant plans to open for dine-in soon, and once she gets a liquor license, Lomeli also start serving her fresh lime and fruit margaritas. Hours for the restaurant are Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.