In-laws get a bad rap, especially when they star in a remake nobody asked for except Albert Brooks' agent, but working with them can actually be very rewarding. Proving that: Nando's Cuisine, soft opening a week from Monday at Preston and Royal.
Co-run by a Gloria's bar vet and his chef mother-in-law (who spent 15yrs at Galveston's The Original Mexican Cafe), this 75-seater's granite, L-shaped bar stands as a gateway to dual dining areas lined with plastic moldings that evoke ruins of ancient civilizations (Galveston again?), and separated by a double-sided fireplace. The Tex-Mex & Veracruzan menu gets meaty with steak milanesa, Chuletas con Quelites (pork tenderloin/wild spinach), and a beef chile relleno in squash blossom sauce, though come on sauce, isn't it enough her show was cancelled? If you're a vegan, abandon that ridiculous cult and run straight for sea bounty like corn tortilla'd Nandillas de Camaron (w/ Oaxaca cheese, peppers, onions, 'shrooms), and crab-meat-sauced grilled tilapia doused in crab meat sauce.
Get happy with an in-the-works drinks menu that'll definitely include guava margaritas; get bonus-fat on sopapillas and tres leches; and, of course, get it on 'til the break of flan. Now that was a bad rap.