Katy – Houston is a diverse city, nearly nearly one in four Houstonians are not born here and this is reflected in our eclectic and delicious food scene.
Houston’s restaurants are influenced by kitchens from across the world and in Katy restaurant, Michy’s Chino Boricua, one woman is bringing us the kind of Chinese food she grew up with in Puerto Rico.
We sent Houston Life correspondent Melanie Camp to check it out. You can watch the video above.
People come from all over Texas to Michy’s Chino Boricua. Sharon, Dani, and Jorge made the trip from Dallas looking for a taste of the kind of Chinese food they remember eating growing up in Puerto Rico. “Especially because I’m Puerto Rican, and we don’t have Puerto Rican Chinese food like this in Dallas. So, we had to drive all the way here to get the food,” said Dani.
“Chinese food in Puerto Rico, it has been influenced by the Puerto Rican culture, by the flavor. So to someone living in Puerto Rico, that is their version of Chinese food...It’s not a fusion. It is what it is,” said Michelle Lao, owner of Michy’s Chino Boricua. “This restaurant pays homage to my culture, my childhood, my parents. It’s a combination of Chinese and Puerto Rican food,” said Michelle.
Michelle or Michy, as some people call her, grew up in her parents Chinese restaurant in Puerto Rico.
“Watching my parents work literally day to night, you know, everything from the kitchen, cashiering, I’ve seen it all. When I was a little girl. I used to work at the cashier, you know, just helping out here and there. So I grew up in that environment and I really think that it did leave an imprint on me. Because ever since I was little I’ve wanted to open my own. So and here we are, you know, like dreams do come true,” Michelle said on Houston Life.
Believe it or not Michelle’s parents were not so happy to hear of her dream to open a restaurant of her own.
“So being from the restaurant industry, especially as an immigrant, you know, you work so hard at something that maybe you might not necessarily love in order to provide for your family for them to have a better future. So for them just hearing how I wanted to do this. I think they were a little skeptical at first, but it’s something that I always brought up to them,” said Michelle whose parents eventually realized her dream was the real deal. “I mean, I’ve learned everything from them, literally,” said Michelle.
And how’s this for full circle? Kevin Diaz is a regular at Michy’s. He recently discovered that Michelle’s parents owned the restaurant that he used to go to and love in his hometown in Puerto Rico.
“Once I found out that they were from Puerto Rico, we started talking and we found out we were from the same town and it was the restaurant I used to go all the time at lunchtime when I was in high school. So, I feel like home every time that I come here,” said Kevin.
Whether you are craving a taste of home or wanting to try Puerto Rican Chinese food for the first time, you can find Michy’s Chino Boricua at 2424 Greenhouse Rd #180, Houston, TX 77084. Visit them online here.