La Cruda Brand BBQ serves Mexican brisket at Manuel’s

Houston is commonly known as “The Houston of Texas”. “Hustle Town.”People are strong, determined and resilient in this city. It’s evident in our music, in our art scene and in our food. While we may be powerful on our own, working together can make us extraordinary. A recent partnership was formed between La Cruda Brand BBQAlso Manuel’s Mexican restaurantThis collaboration provides greatness in far northeast Houston.

Isaac Macal was just 10 years old at the time I met him in Houston. He was working as a pitmaster, and I was a photographer. Our lives have drastically changed since then. Macal made it a point to turn his love for food into a business, and he did so in July 2020. That’s how La Cruda Brand barbecue was born. For about $70 each, he started selling whole briskets from his backyard smoker. To his friends and family, he also sold barbecue plates as well as short ribs.

Manuel’s offers breakfast tacos with brisket, in collaboration to La Cruda Brand BBQ.

Marco Torres

Macal runs a food truck that has a 250-gallon smoker and a trailer of 20 feet. La Cruda is an artisan food truck that can be found at festivals, local food trucks parks, and other places. The food truck serves popular favorites like brisket quesadillas, BBQ baked potatoes and other savory dishes. Macal, an innovative chef offers many specials such as smoked barbacoa and pozole as well as a wide range of flavors and varieties of smoked sausage. Macal’s invention, which he calls “The Invention”, won him over at an Austin food festival. “a” “piggyback,”It was a pulled-pork grilled-cheese sandwich served on a croissant.

Jose Guadalupe Reyes, the owner of Manuel’s in Summerwood met Macal one fateful day at Ingenious Beer in nearby Humble. There, La Cruda Brand BBQ was the brewery’s food vendor. Reyes and his employees purchased several items at the truck.

Reyes is from Durango, northwest Mexico. His entire family hails here. It’s a proud and big state. Jose Ramon Reyes is his father. He immigrated to Houston as a teenager. After rising through the ranks, he became a line chef and then eventually the general manager of La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Cypress.

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant opened in Summerwood, north Houston, in 1987.

Marco Torres

Jose Manuel Reyes Senior and Reyes Senior opened their own restaurant in 1987. It was called the Manuel’s on FM 1960, Spring. Atascocita opened a second store in 1993. Summerwood had one by 2004. There were eight Manuel’s restaurants at one time. Only one Manuel’s restaurant survived over the years. You can enjoy a wonderful mix of authentic Mexican cuisine and many Tex-Mex favourites.

Jose Guadalupe Reyes immediately invited Macal to his restaurant after their first meeting. Macal quickly became a frequent customer. He loved the food and had the brilliant idea to combine his brisket with the BBQ potatoes Manuel’s offered for lunch. Reyes hesitated at first, but eventually made the decision to order the brisket from La Cruda. You could use it for any of his menu items.

The combination of Texas-style barbecue beef brisket and Mexican food makes for a delightful combo that excites me. So, on a hot summer afternoon, Manuel’s invited me to visit. Macal’s promise of a beautiful place was fulfilled almost one year ago.

The moment I walked into the restaurant, I immediately felt at home. The salsa served with chips was delicious and didn’t taste bland, unlike some Tex-Mex spots.

The chile relleno at Manuel's is filled with La Cruda Brand BBQ's brisket.

Manuel’s Chile Relleno is filled with La Cruda Brand BBQ Brisket.

Marco Torres

Macal recommended that I have the queso and beef brisket appetizer. “but ask for the one with melted white cheese instead of the yellow cheese,”Reyes smiled with joy. Reyes had just tried out a new menu item, a delicious brisket-and-papas breakfast taco. It featured beans and cheese served in a handmade flour tortilla. This was my favourite taco this year.

La Cruda Brand BBQ serves Mexican brisket at Manuel’s

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