After 44 years in business, Houston’s iconic Tex-Mex restaurant Armando’s is getting another sibling.
Husband-and-wife restaurateur duo Cinda and Armando Palacios will open the second location of their casual, cantina-style restaurant, Mandito’s, in early 2023 — this time in Bellaire, at 5101 Bellaire Boulevard.
Using a childhood nickname for Armando Palacio which translates to “little Armando” in Spanish, Mandito’s will offer Tex-Mex staples, including Armando’s highlights like fajitas, enchiladas, chile con queso, and twice-refried beans, as well as its own signature items like Mandito’s “world famous” burrito bowl and an assortment of margaritas, served frozen and on the rocks.
In collaboration with the Palacios couple, New York-based architect Rocco DiLeo has designed the space to include seating for 165 people, a spectacle of a state-of-the-art tortilla machine that can make 900 tortillas an hour, and a 42-seat, temperature-controlled patio.
Mandito’s, which first made its debut in 2017 in Round Top — a small town about 100 miles Northwest of Houston — is the Palacios’ renewed effort to show the importance of Tex-Mex as a cuisine in the Houston area, according to Cinda Palacios.
“Tex-Mex has a lot to say,” Palacios said in a statement. “For over 50 years, the stories of Tex-Mex cuisine have been largely disregarded — much like the people who have made the food iconic — and we want to preserve those stories and tell them to the world. Bringing Mandito’s to Bellaire is one further step toward achieving that ambitious goal.”
Armando Palacios first opened his iconic, white tablecloth Tex-Mex establishment, Armandos, in River Oaks in 1978, and he teamed up with his wife Cinda to establish the restaurant group, Palacios Murphy, soon after. The couple’s company now owns Lulu’s, an Italian restaurant in River Oaks steered by Cinda Palacios, as well as Popi Burger, Hotel Lulu, and Lulu’s and Mandito’s locations in Round Top.