Armando Palacios, Armando's
Born in Harlingen, Texas, Armando moved to Houston in the early 70's and found work as a delivery boy, navigating around his new home. After spending years working retail at an upscale men's clothing store, he received an invitation to his 10 year high school reunion in 1977 and decided he needed something more interesting to report. With only $100 in his wallet, a ravishing sense of style, and attention to detail, Palacios set out to open a restaurant. He found the perfect location - a small house on Shepherd Drive at San Felipe. ARMANDOS, on the brink of River Oaks, would soon become the definitive dining destination for the next two decades.
In the beginning, Armando cooked, cleaned, served and bussed. His patrons were his friends and former retail clientele. The limited menu consisted of delicate chicken dishes, his signature linen-thin flour tortillas, beer, and wine. After two years in business, Palacios perfected his famous recipes and listened to his patrons by closing briefly for renovations in 1980. During this time, Armando expanded the menu by adding beef dishes and introducing his now famous Margarita. In 1983, Hurricane Alicia swept away the old plywood "ARMANDOS" sign privatizing the legendary restaurant as the spot frequented by national celebrities and local socialites.
In 2000, ARMANDOS closed its doors. Time away made Armando a better man, husband, and father. As a stay-at-home dad, he was able to spend quality time with his daughter, Alexandra. His lesson to Allie that all things are possible with determination became the driving force behind Armando's new passion, The New World Museum.
Opened as Armando's way of giving back, The New World Museum is devoted to the presentation and interpretation of Hispanic Contemporary Art on a world-class level. Chartered in 2000 as the city's only major Hispanic Museum, New World Museum is one of only a few non-collecting Art Museums in the United States. Working at the museum allowed Armando time for reflection and education.
In March 2007, Palacios accepted the challenge to revive his famous ARMANDOS. The long awaited return of Armando's version of Mexican bistro fare has energized old friends and new acquaintances. With wife Cinda Ward and partners Steven and Cathy Frietsch, Henry and Joy Wuertz, Armando strives to make every visit to the new ARMANDOS a festive and memorable event.