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Aug 22, 2009 05:51 PM

Truly Authentic Mexican Food in DFW

Since moving to Dallas I've eaten some fantastic Tex-Mex, yet I still haven't found a restaurant that serves what I consider authentic Mexican food. My point of comparison is a place called Tu y Yo in Somerville, Massachusetts, just near Tufts University. There you can find corn flour turnovers stuffed with fried grasshoppers, frog legs in green mole, and several meat dishes that incorporate pumpkin seeds, cactus fruit, along with peppers and other aromatics. Can any of the board's knowledgeable readers suggest a similar establishment in DFW?

Many thanks!

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  1. You might want to check out - Scott covers a lot of places you might be interested in (in particular his journey through Jefferson, I believe).

    1. Bostonian,

      What you might be searching for might not be easily obtained. From the looks of that yeateraunt you had a blend of Oaxacan and Cocina Poblana. The green mole (not sure if it was an actually Mole Verde or Mole Poblano) but that is more influenced by the state of Publa, hence the Cocina Poblana. The fried grasshoppers are most definitely a delicacy of Oaxaca as they had them everywhere there. Pumpkin seeds though can be used in several cuisines through out Mexico as are the cactus pears.

      Do we have a restaurant that has grasshoppers, no but we do have one that makes a Huitlacoche Quesadilla.

      Do we have a place that has frog legs, not that I know but we do have a good hand full that have some rarely eaten beef parts (tripa, lengua, cabeza, mollejas, etc).

      Do we have a place that makes Mole Verde, yes. Do we have a place that makes Mole Alvadereno, yes. Do we have some places that use the cactus tuna....I would imagine for Aguas Frescas but not any culinary cookery applications.

      Jefferson Blvd in Oak Cliff
      We have a place that has items in a pumpkin sauce but I don't care for the place. Cafe Veracruz is the place not so much from Veracruz but they rather mix all the cuisines together on the menu.

      I would highly suggest Lito's on Jefferson for Mole Verde and Chicharron Prensado (pressed pork skins reduced in a chile gravy).

      I would also highly suggest La Palapa Veracruzana for the enmoladas for the Mole Alvaradeno (the owners wife is from Alvarado in the state of Veracruz) so it is her family's recipe that is a bit different from other moles. It also happens to be freshly prepared so it doesn't have the tinny canned taste. They also have a great camarones a la diabla that is a freshly prepared chipotle sauce.

      Down the street is El Ranchito which does a great job of grilling items so the mollejas would be the best thing to get there.

      Richardson area
      If you are looking for the huitlacoche then Taqueria EL Fuego is the place in Richardson (Campbell and Plano Rd)

      We have plenty of authentic style places but you might have to drive a bit and get out of the chain and Tex-Mex areas. The need for Oaxacan places is not that great as most of the residents here are from the northern states in Mexico (Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Tamulipas, San Luis Potosi). I am not saying there aren't residents from Oaxaca and Puebla but rather there is not enough demand for those cuisines.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

        Another place that is a little more fusiony but does have some traditional dishes and has a quail in mole pipian is Cafe San Miguel.

      2. Thanks to all who have replied. Lewisville Hounder, nice explanation for why Oaxacan food may be in less demand in DFW.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bostonian in Dallas


          Not a problem. I would guess that there is a small enclave of Mexicans either from the state of Puebla or Oaxaca that surround that restaurant in Somerville, MA. I know how difficult it is to find any Mexican food up north let alone interior cuisines. Puebla and Oaxaca both border each other so the cuisines can be very similar. Both of these states along with perhaps Yucatan (not Quintana Roo - Cancun) are the major culinary destinations outside of Mexico City. I know from personal experience that Oaxaca was a foodie paradise for down home Mexican cookery. Oaxaca also happens to be much of the inspiration for Rick Bayless, who recently won Top Chef Masters. I could go on and on about Mexico but I am sure you will find you fair share of great places here in Dallas or even Texas. Dallas is working on educating our palates into the interior cuisines so we will see more of them in the future.

          If you are up for a roadtrip there is a lady down in Austin who makes Oaxacan style tamales, I have yet to try them to compare to the ones I had in the markets in Oaxaca City.

          I know there is also a good number of Oaxacans in the Houston area. I know this because the guide I used in Oaxaca, her husband stayed with relatives there. There is also a good Oaxacan Meat Market in Dickinson. Houston also has some great Mexican food if you are down that way. Otilia's on Long Point has always been consitently good. The michelada's (spiced beer) there are like the ones I had in Oaxaca. Just a heed of caution though I have seen the waitstaff at Otilia's go off on people who ask for chili con queso there (my sister in law).

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            Excellent points. Unfortunately a great many North Americans forget how large Mexico is and that what is common and typical in one locale may be virtually unknown in another. It's kind of like a European visitor to the US spending a brief vacation in Central Texas and then going home and advising a friend that is going to be traveling to Seattle to be sure and get the barbecue brisket because it's so delicious and available everywhere.

        2. Good explanations, 'Hounder. You know how much we all love the Mexican restaurants on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff.
          We've got some friends from NYC coming in tomorrow and we're planning on going to (my favorite) Gonzalez Restaurant on Jefferson to take care of their, "Mexican fix". I'll be having my favorite, Guisado Puerco. Can't wait!

          3 Replies
          1. re: twinwillow

            I can't say that I have a singular favorite. I go by what particular dish one restaurant is great at. Let me know if you would like the list with explanations.

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              i need the list please.. lol. Not sure what particular dish i want.. I really like enchiladas so maybe that is a place you could start?

            2. re: twinwillow

              Is this still a good recommendation?? Trying to find a good authentic mexican place

            3. The dishes you described sound nothing like i have seen in DFW so i'm jealous