City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Food, Family and Fun

Houston Siblings Serve Up Tex-Mex Fare With a Side of Tradition

When you step inside Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage, you’re in for a unique dining experience bigger than the menu.

 You’re in for a celebration of family, tradition and the Tex-Mex favorites Houstonians love. Owned by siblings 60-year-old Ricardo “Rico” Valencia and 63-year-old Vienna Valencia Bement, the restaurant is a tribute to their family’s legacy.

 From the bright atmosphere to the wall adorned with a Day of the Dead mural of colorful sugar skulls hand-painted by Houston artist Gonzo247, it’s clear their vibrant personalities and love of family are at the center of everything they do. There’s also a welcoming dose of Southern hospitality.

 This makes sense when you consider the restaurant’s roots. Rico and Vienna served the community for decades as the former owners of Cyclone Anaya’s in Houston.

Cooking Up a Family Tradition

 Their passion for serving the community began when they were kids, helping out in their parents’ popular Tex-Mex restaurant, which opened in 1966.

 Cyclone Anaya’s takes its name from the professional wrestling persona of their father, Jesús Becerra Valencia.

 “It was all about the family, working hard and learning at an early age how to treat guests,” Vienna recalls. “That was very valuable to our success. You never know who would walk through the door, and we just treated everyone as family.”

 Rico and Vienna eventually took over the business. But years later, Rico faced a cancer diagnosis, and they sold the restaurant chain in 2017 while maintaining ownership of a location in Austin’s Domain NORTHSIDE.

 While Rico (now cancer-free) and Vienna closed that chapter, they kept their eyes open to new opportunities, opening Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage in 2020.

 “It’s a new, less formal concept,” Rico explains. “It’s very sports-driven with big-screen TVs, high-end finishes and everything is made in-house.”

 Located in Houston’s Oak Forest neighborhood where they grew up, the restaurant is across the street from Waltrip High School, where they graduated. While the restaurant is different in design and concept, some things remain the same.

 “What didn’t change was our work ethic, standards, quality, the way we treat our guests and the way we treat our employees,” Rico says.

 Rico and Vienna later rebranded their Austin restaurant to match Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage. And in November 2022, they opened their newest location in Greenway, nestled between River Oaks and West University.


Dining Is in the Details 

Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage offers diners a fun, nostalgic and upbeat atmosphere.

 Each restaurant features a beautiful design, open seating and vibrant artwork. The restaurants also feature an outdoor patio, partitioned off from the main dining area by modern garage doors.

 “Going back to our original location that our parents had, they had garage doors, so it’s an homage to them,” Vienna says.

 You can bring your dog to dine with you on the pet-friendly patio, where they can quench their thirst by drinking from complimentary water bowls and satisfy their hunger with biscuits ordered from a bakery.

 The menu features an eclectic mix of made-from-scratch Tex-Mex dishes with locally sourced ingredients, which includes their top-selling chile con queso and popular chipotle deviled eggs.

 “We’re the only Mexican restaurant that serves deviled eggs,” Vienna says. “People love them and get them to go.”

 There’s also a variety of drink selections, including local craft beers, ranch waters, jumbo margaritas and penny mimosa refills.

A Lasting Experience

The architecture, menu and location aren’t the only things that make Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage special.

 It’s also the people — the guests and staff — who come together to create an unforgettable experience. Thanks in part to the vision of Rico and Vienna, who are honoring the past while embracing the future.

 “I tell our staff, ‘Restaurants are theater,’” Rico says. “It’s an event. It’s an experience, and we take that seriously from the beginning to the end.”

 To learn more, visit

  • Ricardo "Rico" Valencia
  • Vienna Valencia Bement