Lin-Manuel Miranda, the award-winning playwright, performer, and composer behind the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, was in Houston for politics this week, and even he couldn’t resist the city’s robust dining scene.
The actor made some dining pit stops in Houston while attending a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday, October 18. His restaurants of choice? Pappasito’s and James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega’s Xochi.
Though pressed for time, the multi-hyphenate actor made sure to dine in with his father and members of his team, Ortega says in a statement to Eater. Houston Chronicle and Chron.com reported that Manuel pre-ordered his food, including tlayudas de pollo — a popular Oaxacan street food dish made of thin tortillas that are topped with shredded chicken, mole negro, quesillo, and black beans. He paired it with the mezcal-based Masa Menos cocktail that’s made with corn puree and garnished with a corn-salted rim.
Ortega, who had a chance to meet Miranda (even signing a copy of his cookbook Street Food of Mexico for the performer), called it an “honor” to host him at Xochi.
“He is a person who understands and represents Latin values and is supportive of the Latin community. He is so humble, friendly, welcoming, and relatable,” Ortega said in a statement to Eater Houston. “And what can you say about his work other than his natural abilities are amazing. We loved having him... Thanks, Lin-Manuel, for visiting Houston and Xochi – mi casa es su casa!”
It seems as though Miranda, too, enjoyed his time in H-Town. Pictures of his visit to Xochi show Manuel smiling while taking a photo of an ofrenda, or the offering altar. The actor also posted pictures to his Instagram stories, with snapshots of Xochi, a local mural of George Floyd, Bohemeo’s, where he visited to help cheer on and endorse Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo during her rally, and Pappasito’s Cantina (Sadly, no pictures were posted from his visit at the Tex-Mex restaurant, so we’ll have to imagine what his order might have been. Maybe fajitas?).
According to reports, Miranda helped draw more than 2,000 people to the Democratic rally ahead of early voting in Houston, which begins on Monday, October 24, and runs through Friday, November 4. Election Day will be held on Tuesday, November 8.
ABC13 reported that Miranda acknowledged that some people might think his involvement in Texas’ political rallies was misplaced.
“I am a playwright, I write songs for a living,” ABC13 reported Miranda saying. “I understand that there is skepticism about my even being here, but I am also an American citizen who is worried about the direction of this country. The eyes of the country and the world are on Texas, and so we wanted to bring whatever spotlight we have here to show what’s at stake in this election.”