Mexican Food in Texas

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roy51
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2003/06/17 13:05:13 (permalink)

Mexican Food in Texas

Of course, you'll find a plethora of Mexican restaurants all across Texas. (My favorite is Tex-Mex). In Fort Worth, Joe T. Garcia's is a must. Their fajitas are great. They now have a menu. In days passed you had two choice, enchiladas or fajitas. There's a few more things available now, but take cash, they don't accept cards.
If you're in San Antonio, Mi Tierra at market square is excellent. I've always liked Casa Rio down on the Riverwalk, mainly for the atmosphere, however, the food is pretty decent.
As far as chains go, El Fenix and El Chico are pretty reliable. The El Fenix at Cooper and I-20 in Arlington is pretty outstanding and The El Chico on Hwy. 183 in Irving is pretty darn good.
During my college years at U.T. in Austin we ate at El Patio on Guadalupe quite often. It was always one of our faves and it is still in business. When in the Lone Star State you'll have no problem finding good Mexican food to eat.
Good Dining.
#1

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    Bushie
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/17 13:37:21 (permalink)
    Roy51, I mentioned one in another thread (I think), but this would be a good place to talk about it. North of San Antonio in Selma there's an excellent little place called La Posadita; on the service road east of I-35. You should give it a try next time you're down there. With all the good places here around Austin, I've driven down to La Posadita many times for lunch on a Saturday. Wish I could go right now.
    #2
    ocdreamr
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/17 15:09:25 (permalink)
    Bushie,
    I'm ashamed to say I didn't realize you were from TX. I was thinking you were from the TN or KY area. Where is Round Rock? I will be in TX in November (if Southwest hold their prices) I will be at South Padre, where my sister lives the hard life. There's a great little joint on the island that does Shrimp rancheros well. Will get the name for it. We usually do Brownville down by the international bridge & one of the Mexican towns while I'm there too. Would appreciate any reccomendations from you, roy51 or Lone Star!
    #3
    roy51
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/17 15:54:51 (permalink)
    Thanks Bushie for the info. We'll definitely have to check it out.
    #4
    wtgriffin
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/17 16:32:08 (permalink)
    No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to one of the Blanco Cafes in town - I think there are three.

    One is within walking distance of the downtown hotels. The other two are both on Blanco Road in different parts of the city.

    It's the best three cheese enchilada, beans and rice meal in town. They also have other basics that are very good. And best of all, you can take your own beer to drink while you're there - they don't have an alcohol license to sell their own.
    #5
    Bushie
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/17 17:21:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ocdreamr

    Bushie,
    I'm ashamed to say I didn't realize you were from TX. I was thinking you were from the TN or KY area. Where is Round Rock? I will be in TX in November (if Southwest hold their prices) I will be at South Padre, where my sister lives the hard life. There's a great little joint on the island that does Shrimp rancheros well. Will get the name for it. We usually do Brownville down by the international bridge & one of the Mexican towns while I'm there too. Would appreciate any reccomendations from you, roy51 or Lone Star!


    Hey OC. Round Rock is a town 20 miles or so north of Austin. It was on one of the main legs of the Chisholm cattle trail, and there is a natural shallow land bridge on the Brushy Creek, marked by a round tablerock. Because of that, it was a perfect place for the cattle to cross. (In one of John Wayne's old movies, "Red River" I think, he speaks of crossing at the "round rock". That's it.) The original town was called Brushy (now west of I-35), but they moved the town to be by the railroad and called it Round Rock (now east of I-35). Anyway, you probably weren't asking for a history lesson...

    Your trip to your sister's place sounds like great fun. Also sounds to me like there may be a little ornariness brewing, huh?

    South Padre is not one of my stompin' grounds, but I can give you the name of a place. My wife's ex-husband opened a place a month or two ago named Costa Rica Food & Spirits. http://216.221.184.179/index_m.htm I can't "vouch" for it, since I haven't tried it, but if you happen to stop in please let us know what you think. (Probably shouldn't tell him you know me, though. )

    Have fun!
    #6
    wtgriffin
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/06/29 16:22:47 (permalink)
    Also, for you folks that go to West Texas, don't miss Kiki's in El Paso. It's in a funky neighborhood on Piedras Street. The side street leads up into the mountains and is great for a walk afterwards.

    But the main reason to go is the food. Try the Mexican plates, the enchiladas, the chile rellenos and the rest. Even though most wouldn't associate El Paso with seafood, you haven't lived until you've tried their green crab enchiladas and the brisket or crab machaca. I'm getting hungry just writing this.

    I've even a lot of Mexican food over 20 years living in San Antonio. And this place ranks in the top 3 or 4 restaurants I've been to.

    Tim G.
    #7
    Texicana
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/07/20 12:31:19 (permalink)
    I spent my college years in San Antonio, and I can't recommend the places in or near the Riverwalk area for good TexMex, they simply don't spice it up enough, rather, they tame it down for the tourista trade. For sheer variety I would recommend Los Barrios (has some South American stuff like steak chimichurri) but great feisty mexican dishes, and El Mirador, and La Fogata.
    #8
    Bulldozer Rectangle
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/07/21 17:53:17 (permalink)
    I'll second El Mirador. We make a point of going there every time we're in San Antonio. Convenient walk from the Riverwalk area. Great Mexican breakfasts too. Not your typical Tex-Mex at all.
    #9
    St. Louis Browns fan
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/07/21 19:52:33 (permalink)
    For very cheap, fast-food style Mexican/Tex-Mex, try one of the 4 Chico's in El Paso. Beef stew burritos or 3 ground beef flautas in tomato sauce are just over $1 each.
    #10
    Texicana
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/07/23 13:24:44 (permalink)
    My all time favorite Tex/Mex-Mexican restaurant in Texas is La Suprema, the original place in Nederland Texas (they have another in Beaumont). Family owned and operated, great queso dip, and well known for their Machaca dinner as well as the crab empanadas. Texas Monthly reviews them faithfully, and I used to work there in the early 90's. Who knows, Jane and Michael, it might be worth checking out
    #11
    jdg68
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/07/27 23:35:55 (permalink)
    There is a good article about Tex-Mex in the latest issue of Saveur.
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    goldsborscht
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/08/03 14:03:44 (permalink)
    A good place is Acapulco in San Antonio. Between the dreaded Riverwalk and trendy Mi Tierra. Outdoor tables. Busy with locals. Very colorful stand. Good nachos and papusas.
    #13
    olphart
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2003/12/30 17:08:01 (permalink)
    As to fajitas, I don't think they get any better than Papasitos. They are as tasty and tender as beef tenderloin. The ribs there ain't none too shabby, either.

    Some of the best places in Houston are taquerias found in numerous strip malls around the city. These joints are often located in areas I am afraid to go into in broad daylight. These are the types of places where they check you for weapons when you walk in the front door. And if they don't find a weapon, they issue you one!
    #14
    Bulldozer Rectangle
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/01/14 11:19:49 (permalink)
    Just went to Maria Selma on Sunday in Houston. Thought it was pretty 'dang good, IMO. Certainly one that I would recommend to anyone visting Houston in search of good Mexican food.

    On a related note, apparently Houston is hosting some sort of football game in a few weeks. Would other Houstonians care to chime in on their Mexican recommendations for all those coming to Houston for the Super Bowl?

    For Tacos or Taquitos, can't go wrong with 100% Taquito. My faves include the pork with pineapple and the spicy brisket. Order includes 3 taquitos, which is not enough for one person. Get at least 2 orders (total of 6) for a good meal, along with a limeade. Yummy!

    For high-end Mexican, try Hugo's. Pretty expensive for typical Mexican, but quality is top notch, as well as the creativity. They serve salted peanuts and sunflower seeds instead of chips and salsa when you sit down; should give you an idea of how unique this place is.

    Non tex mex, authentic or not, try Otilia's or Tila's. Otilia's is in a gritty neighborhood, in an abandoned fast food joint. Food is simple, cheap, and extremely good. Tila's is a spiffier restaurant with unique Mexico City cuisine.

    Fajitas, Pappasito's is pretty good, but I tend to like Lupe's. It's a pretty tacky restaurant with 2 hour waits and screaming kids, but damn those fajitas are good.

    That's all I can think of right now. Anyone got any others?
    #15
    Lone Star
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/01/14 11:30:59 (permalink)
    For the best Tex-Mex in town - the Spanish Village on Almeda! Been there for 50 years, and I believe they are still using the same plates!

    I love to go at lunchtime, you see suits from downtown, people in scrubs from the medical center, and all sorts of other working folk.

    If you are looking for high-end chi-chi "authentic" (please) Mexican food, this is not the place.

    This is the kind of place Texans go to get their weekly fix!

    www.spanishvillagerestaurant.com

    I cannot say enought great things about the place!

    It is also not far from the stadium.
    #16
    olphart
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/01/15 15:38:00 (permalink)
    Lone Star, Spanish Village has been for OVER 50 years, because I first ate there – well, over 50 years ago!

    Lupe’s may be great, but I can’t imagine the fajitas being any better than Pappasito’s.

    It’s not actually Mexican, but Café Red Onion is one of my favorite restaurants. It is a blend of Mexican, Honduran and other Latin American dishes. The Triple Chicken Quesadillas are great as are the Chicken Flautas. And the seafood enchiladas are the best I ever had.
    #17
    alb
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/07/27 15:39:22 (permalink)
    Truly authentic: El Nopalito in Galveston TX. Fantastic! The original location is only open until about 2pm, since it's in the housing projects and not considered safe after dark. But during the day it's fine, and a lot of cops eat there. They also have 2 other locations now but I've not been to them. Most of the wait staff don't speak English but they are polite and get the job done efficiently.
    #18
    synman
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/08/02 09:40:14 (permalink)
    My fave TexMex in BigD has grown into a chain to be reckoned with.

    Herrera's Cafe started as a 9-table shack on Maple just west of Oak Lawn.

    After a fire they moved to a new place cattycorner from the old one.

    Our last trip back home we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at their newest location at Belt Line and Central Expy.
    This makes for at least 5 locations around town that I can think of...perhaps there are more?

    Very consistent from location to location, though I still prefer the quasi-original on Maple (it is dry, so BYOB).

    Their salsa is nuclear hot, but with plenty of flavor...the combo burrito with guiso, refrieds and rice in a freshly made, thick and hot flour tortilla
    is to die for. They are the originators (at least in Dallas) of Crazy Nachos...piled high with stewed chicken, taco beef, guac, cheese and sour cream.

    I've been going there since high school...over 30 years, and rarely miss a visit whenever I am back home.
    #19
    roy51
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/08/31 16:43:37 (permalink)
    Synman, you are correct. The original Herrera's was great. Ojeda's on Maple, which has grown into a chain also, was pretty outstanding. Their location on Hampton Rd. in Desoto is pretty darn good.
    #20
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/18 03:48:37 (permalink)
    I put El Mirador in SA on my list of restaurants to try months ago and finally had a chance to try it this weekend. I'd done no other research on it - just the recs here. I arrived at the restaurant at 11am, uncertain whether to order lunch or breakfast. The decision was made for me -- lunch isn't served until 12N on Sunday, and only until 2pm! No problem. I had chilaquiles, very similar to migas. Very good breakfast, with a side of refritos and potatoes, plus their very dark green salsa. There was an omelet bar but no one tending it when I came in so I thought it was closed due to the hour; next time I might try a custom omelet.

    There is a covered patio where you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast surrounded by bougainvillea and banana trees. From the exchanges and hugs between waitresses and customers, there are lots of long time regulars here.

    I looked up some more info on El Mirador on Digital City and I guess I should have gone Sat eve rather than Sunday. Oh well, I'll be back.

    #21
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/18 04:16:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bulldozer Rectangle

    Just went to Maria Selma on Sunday in Houston. Thought it was pretty 'dang good, IMO. Certainly one that I would recommend to anyone visting Houston in search of good Mexican food.

    On a related note, apparently Houston is hosting some sort of football game in a few weeks. Would other Houstonians care to chime in on their Mexican recommendations for all those coming to Houston for the Super Bowl?

    For Tacos or Taquitos, can't go wrong with 100% Taquito. My faves include the pork with pineapple and the spicy brisket. Order includes 3 taquitos, which is not enough for one person. Get at least 2 orders (total of 6) for a good meal, along with a limeade. Yummy!

    For high-end Mexican, try Hugo's. Pretty expensive for typical Mexican, but quality is top notch, as well as the creativity. They serve salted peanuts and sunflower seeds instead of chips and salsa when you sit down; should give you an idea of how unique this place is.

    Non tex mex, authentic or not, try Otilia's or Tila's. Otilia's is in a gritty neighborhood, in an abandoned fast food joint. Food is simple, cheap, and extremely good. Tila's is a spiffier restaurant with unique Mexico City cuisine.

    Fajitas, Pappasito's is pretty good, but I tend to like Lupe's. It's a pretty tacky restaurant with 2 hour waits and screaming kids, but damn those fajitas are good.

    That's all I can think of right now. Anyone got any others?
    I haven't been able to save enough to go to Hugo's yet but sure hear good things about it.

    For traditional Tex-Mex I like Lopez on Wilcrest and El Toro in Clute, both family run operations in business since 1960.

    Otilia's is great. They've finished the remodeling but you can easily tell it's a former Whataburger. Not the best for ambiance, but great food.

    I also like Pico's on Bellaire and just (finally) came across a good taqueria near me, Taqueria Altamirano, on the SW Fwy @ Gessner. Love their tostada con ceviche and tacos al pastor. The fajita tacos, however, are somewhat disappointing - more like stew meat than grilled - and the birria (goat stew) was very disappointing. They have some guilotas (quile, so the server told me!) dishes on the menu and it's convenient and open til 3am on weekends. Other taquerias I've tried in my part of town are really more Tex-Mex than Mexican.

    On a sad note, I recently revisited Merida on Navigation for the first time in I don't know how many years. It's just down from the original Ninfa's. Almost 30 years ago I discovered Conchinita Pibil there, the roast barbequed suckling pig dish from the Yucatan (Merida specializes in the cuisine of the Yucatan which frequently involves lard ). That remains the most sublime pork dish I think I've ever had but, alas, they don't do it nearly as well now. I like the Conchinita Pibil at Otilia's and Pico's better, especially Otilia's.

    A recent brief review of Hugo's from Gourmet:

    http://www.epicurious.com/restaurants/features/gourmet/rest04/houston

    Edited to fix spelling.
    #22
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/20 15:38:15 (permalink)
    OK Hermit, now we're back to regional tortilla terminology. What's a Fajita Taco?
    #23
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/21 04:14:40 (permalink)
    Really Bill . Just the simplest (and original) presentation of 'fajitas.' Grilled butterflied skirt steak, cut against the grain and served in warm flour tortillas with a simple pico de gallo or salsa. Also known around here as tacos al carbon to distinguish from the usual Tex-Mex taco which has seasoned ground beef.

    It's the way I prefer it, never cared for those sizzlin' fajita platters with the 'deluxe' fixins - sour cream, grated cheese, grilled onions and peppers (usually cooked to mush), etc. -what I think of as the Taco Bell treatment.
    #24
    Hillbilly
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/21 08:55:32 (permalink)
    roy51 said it all in the first post on this thread back in June 2003. "Joe T. Garcia" and "Mi Tierra" are the best.
    #25
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/21 11:52:54 (permalink)
    Well Hermit, they may be Taco Bell presentations, but outside Texas, it's not the skirt steak, but The sizzling pan delivered with great flourish that gets called Fajitas. Doesn't seem to matter what meat they use.
    As far as tortillas, flour is what I've always been served with the fajitas but after the corn vs. flour thread, many seem to think only corn tortillas qualify as tacos. I'd never heard the two terms combined.
    Bill
    #26
    Bushie
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/21 20:51:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    Well Hermit, they may be Taco Bell presentations, but outside Texas, it's not the skirt steak, but The sizzling pan delivered with great flourish that gets called Fajitas. Doesn't seem to matter what meat they use.

    Call me a "fajita snob", but I've ALWAYS maintained that fajita is skirt steak, and anything else is "grilled whatever". I first stated in a company newsletter food column back in the '80's that "there is no such thing as a chicken fajita". I stand by that.

    So there.
    #27
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/22 00:34:16 (permalink)
    I agree with you assesment, bushie. No, you're not a Fajita snob, either. I've always been amused by the corruption of the term. I was only wondering about the tortillas.
    #28
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/22 03:30:30 (permalink)
    Sorry for any misunderstanding, Bill. I've eaten at Taco Bell a grand total of 2 times in my life so I mostly know what their food is like from the ubiquitous ads. When I started thinking about this I was somewhat surprised to find I've had 'fajitas,' i.e., a sizzlin' fajita platter 4 times since ca. 1984, and always found them disappointing with all the extra goop. Never had 'em in Oregon .

    'Faja' means 'belt' or 'skirt' in Spanish and a Texas A&M researcher has found the term 'fajita' in use by butchers in South Texas as early as the 1940s. Ranch hands in the south and west Texas and northern Mexico ranching country frequently received some of their compensation in the form of the less marketable cuts of meat - the head, tongue and skirt among them - and they devised ways to prepare them. Butterflied grilled skirt steak on tortillas (your choice) were apparently common fare in homes on both sides of the border but only made their appearance in a commercial venue in 1969, first at a food stall at an outdoor festival in Kyle, TX, and then on the botanas platter (appetizers) at the Roundup Restaurant in Pharr that same year.

    Sonny Falcon was the guy who operated the food stall and he called his offering fajita tacos. He later operated a Mexican restaurant in Austin, I think, and was one of many restaurantuers who refused to offer chicken and shrimp fajitas because there is no muscle on either of those critters that is a 'skirt.' But, the customer is always right, I guess, and most eventually relented.
    #29
    Bushie
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    RE: Mexican Food in Texas 2004/10/22 08:27:38 (permalink)
    It's always fun to come to Roadfood and find an excuse for diversion from the mundane.

    I found this article by the venerable Robb Walsh. It reiterates what hermitt said and adds some other interesting history:

    http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/2000-09-28/dining/cafe_print.html
    #30
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