Restaurants / Openings

New Houston Taco Restaurant Takes Over Shuttered Jenni’s Noodle House Space

And It’s All Happening Because of a Wild Dream

BY // 05.23.18

Ch-ch-changes are brewing in Greenway Plaza, but there’s no need to be afraid. It’s time to discover the full range of the husband and wife team behind Jenni’s Noodle House. Owners Jenni Tranweaver and Scott Tranweaver are blazing a new trail, making a serious transition to tacos.

Dream Tacos TX is on its way and it is taking over the couple’s closed Jenni’s Noodle House space in Greenway Plaza. The Jenni’s Noodle House sign is still up for now, but chairs are getting reupholstered and tables are already getting an update.

“We’ll be open by the fourth of June for sure,” Scott Tranweaver tells PaperCity. “We may be open next week. We just don’t know yet.”

The menu is a collaboration between Jenni Tranweaver and her longtime kitchen employee manager, a talented transplant from Mexico City. Jenni Tranweaver, the inspiration behind it all, has been eating his tacos for more than 10 years now. Meanwhile, she’s been experimenting with sauces at home for a decade.

Taco styles will be traditional meets travel. Just don’t call it fusion.

“It’s a wanderlust taco menu,” Jenni Tranweaver says. “There are just some tacos that I travel and I love. Garlic shrimp in Hawaii — I love that. I’m going to do it.”

Over the years, she’s kept track of this sort of wanderlust menu of what her kitchen employees love and share. “It’s basic, simple Mexican tacos where we explore new ingredients. Keeping it authentic, but incorporating a fresh new ingredient in there,” Jenni says.

Dream Tacos brings a simple menu with eight breakfast tacos and a dozen kinds of lunch and dinner tacos. Think beef brisket, beef fajitas, chicken fajitas, pulled pork, pork pastor, shrimp tacos, fish tacos and more. Weekend specials are on Scott Tranweaver’s mind, like fried pork chicharrones. There are even seven vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, such as salads, soups, a vegan posole and a morning taco with mushrooms, beans, poblanos and grilled onions.

The Jenni’s Noodle House creators are going back to basics with their Dream Tacos TX menu.

“Great tacos really come down to: Is the tortilla fresh and hot? Is the salsa amazing?” Scott Tranweaver notes. You can expect fresh, homemade tortillas on the daily along with Jenni’s perfected sauces. There are a couple mild ones, inspired by her Guatemalan employees and friends who just don’t like spicy.

But if you live for the burn, you’re in luck. “We tend to like things on the hotter side,” Scott Tranweaver says. “I think you’re going to see three or four sauces with ghost peppers, serranos.” And don’t let looks fool you. “There’ll be Thai chiles in the pico. It might look creamy and sweet, but it’s going to have a kick to it.”

More Than Margaritas

Dream Tacos will have counter service for breakfast and lunch, with full table service kicking off at 2 pm and happening on the weekends. For those of you who want to get there on the later side, a whole host of boozy beverages await. And no, I don’t mean just margaritas.

“We’re going to have frozen, kind of sake mojitos. I’m going to have a kind of frozen limeade with sake and port,” Scott Tranweaver says. The signature Dream Juice will be a frozen drink with a mix of tajin and salt on the rim.

The Tranweavers are also squeezing fresh juice in house every day, serving it up solo or mixing it in with wines, ports and beers. “Giving it a Mexican flair with a Jenni’s twist,” Jenni Tranweaver laughs. They will also offer up in-house chamoy and an in-house tamarindo drink.

It can be enjoyed inside a decor inspired by Mexican blankets, and flanked by TVs so you can watch your favorite teams. But it may be even better on Dream Taco TX’s expansive patio.

“You can sit outside on the giant patio with your puppy dog and Dream Juice and just smash chips and queso and tacos,” Scott says.

Tacos are a natural progression from noodles, he adds, with Jenni considering the concept for a while now. “My two boys, they eat noodles and they dream of tacos,” Jenni Tranweaver laughs. “I’m not even a Taco Tuesday kind of girl, but for them it’s tacos. What do you want for dinner? Tacos.”

Dream Tacos TX is even named for her son Logan Dream Tranweaver. “We dreamed about it, and we’re doing it,” Jenni says.

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