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Great Mexican (not TexMex) in Dallas

randyjl Jul 17, 2009 07:51 AM

We have discovered a fairly new Mexico City style mexican restaurant. It is Lito's in Oak Cliff. Very unassuming in the shopping district on Jefferson. Very unusual dishes that we TexMex lovers are not used to. Hint: great tamales available only Fri, Sat, Sun. They even have sweet tamales! Lito's--318 W. Jefferson. Take my word, cross the river and be suprised all over again!

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    luniz RE: randyjl Jul 17, 2009 08:18 AM

    of course! Scott has a great report @ dallasfood with lots of pictures. I found it to be well worth the trip from Plano for mole verde and chicharron prensado. Those (white?) corn tortillas were easily some of the best I ever had.

    1. twinwillow RE: randyjl Jul 17, 2009 10:06 PM

      We love Lito's! And, Gonzalez Restaurant and La Palapa Veracruzana as well. They're all on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff.
      We never eat Tex-Mex in Dallas anymore. Once you've been to a few of these places on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff, you'll never go back to Maple Avenue in Dallas.

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        dfwdean RE: randyjl Jul 18, 2009 01:36 PM

        Oak Cliff has many authentic choices: but don't pass up West Dallas either, hidden little hole-in-the-wall jems also serving 'peasant' food not found at gringo-tex diners.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dfwdean
          Thefoodczar RE: dfwdean Jul 19, 2009 09:35 AM

          Guys, to take this discussion a little farther South of the border, don't forget that the Carrollton/Addison/North Dallas axis is quietly becoming a hotbed of Central and South American cuisine. Two suggestions: Secco de Cabrito at Inca's Cafe and Ceviche Ecuatoriana at El Fogon. If you guys know of any other places and dishes to try in this area, please let me know.

          1. re: Thefoodczar
            LewisvilleHounder RE: Thefoodczar Jul 19, 2009 02:03 PM

            The plantain soup (was on the daily special), almojabanas, tamale and empanadas all at El Portal on Trinity Mills and Marsh (next to Mena's Tex-Mex).

            Try out the seabass ceviche at Inca's Cafe too.

            The Cuban sandwich from real Cubans at International Bakery just doors down from Inca's Cafe

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder
              Thefoodczar RE: LewisvilleHounder Jul 20, 2009 06:52 AM

              Thanks, LH. I'm always on the lookout for good empanadas, and I've heard good things about El Portal. Also, the Carnitas Tacos at Tacos Plus near Belt Line and Webb Chapel are worth a look as well. I also want to try the Ropa Vieja at Carribean Cafe soon, even if I don't cotton to the idea of eating old clothes (that's the literal translation of "ropa vieja").

        2. twinwillow RE: randyjl Jul 20, 2009 10:49 AM

          Please, someone tell me the name of the Mexican seafood restaurant that's next to Two Guys. I forgot it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: twinwillow
            twinwillow RE: twinwillow Jul 20, 2009 01:56 PM

            Further to my post, the word, "shack" was included in the name.

          2. twinwillow RE: randyjl Jul 20, 2009 01:59 PM

            Got it! "seafood Shack" on Webbs Chapel. A friend reminded me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: twinwillow
              DallasDude RE: twinwillow Jul 20, 2009 11:04 PM

              Decent place. I am usually the only gabacho in the Seafood Shack. They have specials daily and some days really cheap raw oysters. Food is fairly quick and cheap. Look for great catfish and some nice ceviche.

            2. amokscience RE: randyjl Oct 5, 2010 11:00 AM

              Took me forever but I went south and tried El Ranchito and Gonzalez.

              El Ranchito - The sweetbreads (mojellas) were talking to me so that's what I had. Despite the full parking lot it looked pretty empty inside the darkened dining room. It was a heaping plateful served fajita style on a sizzling platter with onions and peppers. Came with corn or flour tortillas (or both). Remember to stir the sweetbreads or risk some of them charring past a desirable point. They were very clean tasting but were a bit bland without some salsa or salt. Once properly seasoned they were a good experience. Not going to rival the ones I had at Lanny's but good.

              Gonzalez - Appears to be a much smaller space than El Ranchito and was completely packed, well lit, and bustling. I was curious about the frequently bad-mouthed onion salsa and discovered that they were an unpalatable disaster. This is all the more confusing since you can ask for salsa fresca and get a perfectly good fresh salsa instead. Do not hesitate to request salsa fresca immediately when they deliver the chips.

              But I came to try the flour tortillas and they were as advertised. Thick, warm, pillowy, chewy, flavorful. I could eat just the tortillas and be quite happy. For the meal I had chilaquiles which came with refried beans and slow cooked beef in a ranchero sauce(?). I wish the chilaquiles tortillas had a bit more crunch but overall the dish was good and the flour tortillas (came with two) made the experience quite memorable. If I lived in the area I'd go often and would probably pick Gonzalez over El Ranchito

              Lito's is still painted on the back of the building they were once located in ... sad to see them go.

              El Ranchito Restaurant
              502 N Scott Ave, Keller, TX 76248

              1 Reply
              1. re: amokscience
                twinwillow RE: amokscience Oct 5, 2010 02:05 PM

                Yeah, Lito's had incredible food. Really sorry to see it gone.
                El Ranchito is good too but, I'm very glad to see you went to Restaurant Gonzalez. And yes, you MUST ask for the "salsa fresca" when you sit down. The "gringo" salsa is "ok" but, pales by comparison to the salsa fresca.
                Next time, have the pork stew. Incredible!

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