What happened to

To bring some levity to the site, I am starting this thread to discuss certain Houston landmarks, TV shows, restaurants, etc. Specifically, things how we remember them versus how they are now.

So, let me start:

What happened to Taco Cabana? When I left Houston many years ago, Taco Cabana was legit delicious. When I visited a few years back, the menu had changed and the food sucked. Did it change owners? That was our go to spot after a night on the town. Nothing like greasy food to suck up some alcohol.

Also, what happened to Taqueria Arandas? Again, it used to be a greasy spoon, dive place, great food but dirty floors! Now its all bougie and the food has gone down. My girlfriend (now wife) and I used to go their all the time. You could eat like a king for little to nothing.


totally agree on Taco Cabana, I have no clue what happened.

I never really knew what Taqueria Arandas really tasted like b/c that was my group of friends hang out spot after a night of drinking. When I was at UH. Always tasted good but we could not taste anything anyway, so who really knows.


Used to go to the Kirby location but back when it was Two Pesos.

Large fajita nachos and a frozen margarita FTW.

TCabana was always meh. But it seems like some franchises just sort of wither and die after a while. Is it because we tire of them and get on to new places or does turnover and cost cutting kill them?


Taco Cabana failed to keep their places clean, especially the salsa bar. It was great for a time, but too many places to go that the food is good and the dining room is spotless.

They were positioned to dominate the market and blew it.


Yeah their fajita nachos were legit.

To me, it seems that franchises blow it in one of two ways:

(i) overexpansion
(ii) underinvestment

Some franchises expand too fast and lose control over quality. McDs almost fell into that trap when it first began franchising. It was Ray Kroc who put in place the requirements that made McD’s so strong: active involvement by ownership, menu consistency (no Mc Hot Dogs or Fried Chicken) and control over the supply chain. That way, in every country the McD’s you got to offers the same items.

Underinvestment is also an issue. Some franchises simply don’t obtain the capital they need, and don’t expand at all, so they wither on the vine. Two Pesos is an example of this. Frenchy’s too.

Actually Two Pesos was acquired by TCabana after losing a lawsuit to TC for essentially copying them. Think it went all the way to the Supreme Court (or maybe Texas SC). Looks wise TP was basically a TC but with blue lights.

Fun fact, at Two Pesos if you didn’t grab your ticket after picking up your supreme fajita nachos from the pickup counter…and just left the receipt there…strong chance they would make it again if they were busy LOL. Sadly, Taco Cabana fixed that glitch.


Who remembers Bennigans on 59 and Kirby. Whatever happened to Black eyed pea?


Right next to Two Pesos! I remember eating with some UH friends there once…we had caucasion, black, asian, & hispanic guys at one table. Waiter asked we were there for a United Nations meeting. LOL.


Shipleys had to change their donut recipe due to the oil they were using was banned. Apparently it was super unhealthy. I used to be able to crush 7-8 donuts in a day, now after about 1 your kind of over it.

Taco cabana 100%

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Many a light night at Taco Cabana, after clubs closed. That one on Kirby.


In high school me a my buddy could each put down a large pizza and never gain a pound now I freaking look at a pizza and I gain 10lbs.


Interesting. My wife loves Shipley’s; alas, she can no longer eat regular donuts due to a gluten allergy. But she did sneak in a Shipley’s donut when we were back in Houston.

Sounds like my family!


This is what happened to Taco Cabana (or “Taco C” as we called it); well, the one in San Antonio:

I agree with you. I used to frequent that place in high school and college but it’s just not very good anymore.

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Alot of people eat there in high school and college. Then they graduate and realize there is much better mexican food


In the 90s, there was a place called Sombrero Rosa in San Antonio at Wurzbach & I10. Was a go-to place for me for a quick meal with good salsas. I think Taco Cabana bought them out. Was never the same after…

Across the street from a TC - didn’t that place have a big sombrero? I remember the 99 cent fajitas

Taco cabana used to be good because the food was decently priced and good. After a while quality went down and prices went up. Also it became infamous for people who were drinking to go, so it became kind of like Chachos or whatever the place is called that’s open 24 hours. The one on campus is good. When all the lines were too long at any other food place.

Taqueria Arandas, i haven’t been there in a while use to go for a burrito or after a night out but just quit going for some reason. Can’t remember what the food taste like.

Chacho’s was decent, although the fact that it was cheap and open 24 hours was the main draw.

Another great spot was House of Pies. Is that place still around?

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House of Pies is still here. One on Kirby caught fire few yrs ago but pretty sure it finally reopened.
Even better they opened a new location here in Cypress where I live. Been there a couple times in the 6 mos or so since it opened.