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Mexican Food in Dallas Metroplex

I live near Plano, the city is "The Colony." I moved here after growing up in Southern California, I am 51.

Unless somebody here can show me otherwise, I guess we have to accept the simple fact there is not a single Mexican Food Restaurant in all of the Dallas Metroplex or North Dallas area that serves food that even slightly resembles what we have in Southern California? Specially, where they make tacos using their own deep fried corn tortillas instead of the premade, preformed taco bell shells we find here at even the "nicer" Mexican restaurants. Or where the enchiladas are topped with real enchilada red sauce (i.e. Las Palmas sauce in the stores or what you get in Southern Cal at places like El Farolito in Placentia OC or Casa Blanca in Hacienda Heights, CA or El Tepeyac in East LA).

They use Chili Con Carne on their enchiladas here.

Look, I know everyone has different tastes and if I grew up here, I would probably like this Tex Mex stuff. I am not being critical. It's just you would figure there would be at least one Mexican Restaurant that serves it the way they do in so many other places especially when you consider that so many people are moving here from California and elsewhere.

Well, thanks. I guess today it's going to be another taco at some Mexican Restaurant with a taco bell shell and a sauce on my enchilada that I am used to putting on my hot dog to make a chili dog.......unless anyone can help me......:)

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  1. First, lets establish that you live in the least culinary friendly part of Dallas. However, you can throw a rock at areas with much improved food friendly concerns.

    I know the version of Mexican food you are seeking, and ask that you seek out some of the better taquerias in town. there are some very close to you in Plano and one very good one in Allen.

    For fish tacos, my go to is La Calle Doce (all things seafood related are fantastic). Taqueria el Guache, Taqueria Cholula, El Paisa and many more. I hang in a group where we make most of these items ourselves, and rarely go out for them.

    Don't despair! But I must know what misguided soul sold you on The Colony?

    For a real treat, train your wallet and your sites to Javiers.


    La Calle Doce
    415 W 12th St, Dallas, TX 75208

    6 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude

      Thanks for the info but isn't Javier's pretty much "Tex Mex"?......As for "The Colony" we live in the Stewart Peninsula, and it's a nice little city. So far....even the cops are nice.......Have u ever been here or are you aware of any problems with it that I don't know?......thanks again.

      1. re: Eddiehaskell7

        I have definitely been to The Colony. I am sure your area is nice. I especially like the sushi place in the old Taco Bell (though I rarely, if ever, eat at sushi restaurants that get B's from the health department). As to Javiers, its more Mex Mex than anything, hard to describe but along the lines of your Cali taste I am sure. Check out the menu. Plus the cigar room in the back makes some kick ass drinks from true (and I hate this word) mixologists. Plus eye candy to boot.

        1. re: DallasDude

          Cool.......thanks Dallasdude, I appreciate the info. It is hard for me here to adjust to this Tex Mex Food. I realize now how spoiled I was in Southern Cal. We had so many good Mexican Places.......and again, I know if I was raised here and moved to Southern Cal, I'd probably long for Tex Mex there.....Javier's looks rather upscale....the authentic Mexican Food places in So. Cal were simple places with good food......El Cholo in LA, El Tepeyac is a legendary place in East LA, etc. etc.....I sure miss em......and what's with warm salsa?.....::)

          1. re: Eddiehaskell7

            Eh warm salsa in some places, not in others. Personally appreicate salsa cruda. I know what its like moving to various regions of the country and going to a culinary culture shock. I am sure once our Brethen of the Chow chime in, you will get some different views and ideas. Do check out the taquerias though, and best of luck in Dallas.

      2. re: DallasDude

        OK - what is the very good taqueria in Allen?

        1. re: DallasDude

          La Calle Doce is definatelya good place to go get seafood based Mexican. It's pretty darned good.

        2. Native Californian here, though after Proposition 13 (way back when) we moved to El Paso. I moved to Plano a bit more than four years ago. I share your pain. The best restaurant Mexican food I've found in the area is "so so," with one exception I will get to. Again, in my experience, there are NO decent chiles rellenos to be had in the area unless you make them at home. Despite repeatedly asking at restaurants whether they roast and peel their chiles prior to stuffing and being assured they do, I have been served unroasted and unpeeled stuffed chiles that is a dining experience much closer to stuffed celery than what I think of as "true" chiles rellenos. In California, Anaheim/Ortega/Hatch chiles are commonly used, here it almost exclusively the pablano. I can handle that *IF* it's charred and peeled before stuffing. A second warning; there are some (gratefully not all) local restaurants that use flour tortillas for enchiladas. Not a bad way to fly if you want dumpling enchiladas, but I prefer to pass. And at one local Mexican eatery, I was served tortilla soup with flour tortillas! As they say, "Caveat emptor!"

          The other shortfall I find in the area is consistency. The quality of the food in many places (and not just in Mexican restaurants) flows with which cook is working.

          Ah, but wait! There is one local restaurant that serves TexMex and Salvadoran food that I recommend, though I have only been to her Garland location. It's Gloria's, and you can check out the menus (and locations) here: https://gloriasrestaurants.com I especially enjoy their tamales in banana leaf, but I can't recall ever having anything bad there.

          The ONLY local "restaurant" with any semblance of similarity to what they serve in California is Taco Bell. Oh, and Jack in the Box tacos are as terrible here as they are in California, but perversely, every once in a while, I've just got to have one. Probably so I can remember why I don't like them? '-)

          I will add that I haven't ventured too far out of Plano (Garland, Allen and nearby Dallas), so here' hoping that your experience is more rewarding than mine. Good luck!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Caroline1

            I have those JIB tacos once in a while, and at two for a buck it is generally after a rousing evening of fine boozing.

            Gloria's is very nice, I do not go very often and was unaware as to all the many locations until just now. The new hot spot for most restaurants is Frisco which is the stones throw I spoke of earlier. There is an Addison location, too.

            I am not aware of any enchiladas in Dallas served wrapped in flour tortillas, I have had these in other states like Nebraska and Kansas. They were pretty unusual. I really enjoy these 'flat' enchiladas that are really tasty, but I haven't seen 'em here. I like it this way once in a while. Not often

            Totally agree with the relleno rant. I had a nanny that did not speak a word of English that taught me the art of rellenos. They were always peeled. I had a relleno just a few short weeks ago at Uncle Julio's (another chain not especially worth mentioning and serves the warm sauce our wonderful OP spoke of) and the relleno was packed with a quasi melted Oxaaco (to the point of an ill choke) and ccertainly the al dente you described.

            I actually saw some terrific looking rellenos stacked as they were being cooked in front of the shoppers at a grocery called El Rancho. El Rancho has a 'deli' that is amazing. You will find one not too terribly far from your home in The Colony and will praise its corridors when you walk in.

            Nice to see you C1 in the Texas threads!

            1. re: DallasDude

              Thanks, DD! I generally keep silent on this board simply because I have had so little positive restaurant experience in the area. I don't do "small plate" restaurants, and I'm cursed by being a good cook, which always makes restaurant dining risky. So in the interest of "If you can't say anything nice...." '-)

              My mother made fantastic stacked enchiladas. which makes them very risky in a restaurant. I had them in ONE local restaurant (fortunately for them I don't remember which one) and it turned out to be three corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce and stacked. Nothing more! But I do make them at home My mother used to make them for a crowd. I refuse to make them for more than four, but preferably two. Ours not only have a share of shredded chicken or beef on top of each sauced tortilla, but also queso, chiffonade of lettuce, diced tomatoes and avacados, then the next layer until it's three tortillas tall and sauced once again. Oh, and a fried egg on top! With sour cream and refried beans on the side. Salud!

              1. re: DallasDude

                From last year, my one and only misfortune to eat at Cristina's (in Southlake) produced no-taste food, all wrapped in flour tortillas. The overall experience was very bland. Beef buritto and soft taco were identical except one was topped with gloppy velvetta-like sauce, the other with chili con carne. Same with the cheese soft taco and enchilada, except worse as both were just tasteless, shredded yellow cheese wrapped in the tortillas and ladled w/more tasteless cheese.

                Everything was made with flour tortillas.

                That said, I have read on other sites that the fish, chicken and steak entree's are very good, but I won't be finding out.

              2. re: Caroline1

                Thanks Caroline. Not a lot of good news in your post.......pretty much my experience too....actually, my wife told me I might like Gloria's too........funny, I never thought I would so much look forward to Taco Bell as I have since I moved here.....well.....I guess I will keep searching.....if I stumble across anything, I'll let you know and maybe you can let me know.......oh and we still havent found a real good Chinese place either.......certainly nothing like a Fu Shing in Pasadena CA..or Kuishimbo on 6th in Los Angeles...........but we'll keep looking for that too.........California restaurants are simply the best.......I guess.....thanks again and good luck....P.S. My mom has eaten at El Tepeyac in East LA for decades and she always got the same thing......Chile Relleno........she can't find a good one here either.......

                1. re: Eddiehaskell7

                  For really good Chinese food in our little corner of the world, may I recommend "Chinese Kitchen" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. Great cook book! And there are some good Asian markets in the area. As for a great Chinese restaurant, I suspect it's right next door to the great Mexican restaurant. I'm still looking for both of them! '-)

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    Some restaurants that please my family's California tastebuds:

                    First Emperor Chinese (Polk St, Richardson across from Kirin Court) - hole in the wall Chinese food, much more meat than vegetables

                    ThaiSoon (Coit Rd, Richardson) - tiny little place, always packed, much more vegetable than meat!

                    Amigos Comida Casera (Beltline east of 75 a couple miles) - great service, very inexpensive, yummy free amuse bouche of a mini tostada. love their beans. They do NOT make a great fried taco. I wish they did. Try the "Enchiladas Mexicanas."

                    I still fry my own tacos & make my own shredded beef after 7 years! At least I am a good cook like Caroline. And very modest. :D

                2. re: Caroline1

                  Gloria's in nice for a chain. I love their papusas, and their black bean dip is off the charts good. You will also find more fresco/blanco type cheeses rather than melted cheddar jack and heavy sauces. It's definately worth a shot. we like it.

                3. You're gonna be hard pressed to find more than a handful of quality Chinese (of any kind) restaurants in Dallas. However, to assert there is no real Mexican food is slightly absurd; no offense intended. Can't get good Cali-Mex here just like you can't get good Tex-Mex in California but both places have authentic Mexican offerings. Most of the large sit down restaurants here are NOT where you will find true Mexican food but rather they are generally smaller hole-in-the-wall type places. In my experience, that's true of the good restaurants in Mexico as well. A quick search for taquerias in your area should lead you to some good Mexican. My favorite larger authentic Mexican place is Cuquitas (love the guiso de puerco) and they make their corn tortillas fresh. If you miss the Mexican food with a Cali flare, I don't know where that can be found here. But I think it's tough to avoid authentic Mexican in Dallas if you follow your nose/belly.

                  9 Replies
                    1. re: twinwillow

                      The Colony is a chain restaurant predominant community. If you want authentic Mexican food, come to the northside of Fort Worth to the taco trucks. A "chain" restaurant in the Dallas area called Taco Diner serves more close Mexican food than Tex-Mex. Remember, moving from So Cal to the Colony is a huge culture shock. Good luck.

                      Taco Diner
                      432 Grand Ave, Southlake, TX 76092

                      1. re: BellaDonna

                        Thanks Bella.......appreciate it.....u are correct.......People are nice here in Texas....but there's no place like home....California is being ruined by politics......it is the most beautiful state to live in.......in my opinion......but very expensive......oh well......I hear there's a Carl's Jr. in Denton.....now if we can just get an In and Out Burger here......:)

                    2. re: demigodh

                      I like Hong Kong Royakle in carrollton for dim sum and other good Chinese. Look beyond the menu that has kung pao on it. Dim Sum day and night, cart service weekends. And Kirin Court in Richardson for the finest of dim sum and Chinese menu. You cannot go wrong wioth either. Plenty more to be found, don't give up. Good people will offer their recs.

                      Kirin Court Restaurant
                      221 W Polk St, Richardson, TX 75081

                      1. re: demigodh

                        Cuquitas is listed as closed. Is there another location other than Henderson?

                        1. re: jmellby

                          They moved to 13260 Josey Lane. Farmers Branch.

                          1. re: jmellby

                            There's one at Spring Valley just east of Coit (the only one I have been to).

                            Spring Valley Cafe
                            4100 Spring Valley Rd Ste 102, Dallas, TX 75244

                          2. re: demigodh

                            Thanks Demi. Oh, I don't think I said anything about "real" Mexican food. I said Tex Mex vs. other types of Mexican Food. I just don't like preformed, premade Taco Bell shells I guess. Thanks anyways.....

                            1. re: Eddiehaskell7

                              Hmmm. All of the Tex-Mex places we to make fresh shells. You need to venture out to Oak Cliff for the best Mexican.

                          3. I completely and utterly feel your pain.... I, too, failed to do my research and ended up as a Colony resident. It is a culinary wasteland. The only place I have ever heard recommended was Angelina's. However, aside from the very grumpy woman making homeade tortillas at the entrance, it falls short. Take DallasDude's advise, take 121 to The Dallas North Tollroad or Preston, go either North or South, Frisco and Plano offer many much more acceptable options. As for dining in the Colony? Pick something up on your way home, the only thing worth consuming in The Colony is booze. I feel your pain and am anxiously awaiting the end of my lease so that I can return to normal civilization and a more diverse gene pool.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: DallasChowChick

                              Yeah, thanks Dallas.......we don't eat in The Colony......we drive to Plano and Friso just as you said.......at least the cops are nice in The Colony.....:)

                              1. re: Eddiehaskell7

                                When I bought a new home in The Colony ('79-'84), the cops were the Gestapo AFAIWC; really overbearing.
                                There was one shopping center and almost no restaurants and certainly no Mexican joints !

                            2. Everyone is correct you won't be finding much of Cali-Mex here. I think I might know of one but then again it probably has been influenced so strongly from Tex-Mex. Mexi-Cali on NW Hwy and Jupiter. It is in the shopping center just to the west of Lowe's (NWC). That might be close to what you might be looking for.

                              I am not sure what "red" sauce you are putting on your enchiladas. I know of at least three off the top of my head (most common being ranchero). Not all places put chile con carne on top of enchiladas. In fact, I rarely dine at any restaurants who do. The other two sauces that are red is a chile gravy (available at Tipicos), or the achiote with fried potatoes (available at Escondido).

                              If you are in Denton County there are some venerable places in Lewisville. If you like grilled chicken then the Sinaloa style (i believe) eatery in Lewisville is El Pollo Regio (Bus 121 @ 35 behind the barn looking BBQ place). It has been open for about 2 months now but I have eaten at several other locations. Their specialty is the chicken not the tortillas and sides (take that into account). It is a chain in the literal since but the quality of the chicken is pretty solid through all locations.

                              For non taco shell tacos there is Taqueria Guadalajara (Fox & 35 next to El Rancho Supermarket). I believe the fajita and al pastor where pretty on par with the mid range places in Dallas.

                              I liked Tejupilco on Fox and Edmonds for just a solid little meal. I have high standards and it is better than any of the chains around. So it is not the best place I have eaten but not the worst (El Rodeo is pretty bad in the same parking lot


                              I also like Tacos Regio Monterrey at Old Orchard and Main. I have tried about four different taqueria meats and all of them have been good. There is very little English at this place so you better brush up on your Spanish skills. I have never seen another gringo going into this place besides my wife. Not to be scared of though the prices are cheap and the food is very good from what I have had.

                              I am not sure if they are still open but Dallas Tortillas factory has a branch in Lewisville on Mill St and they have decent tamales (sans any kind of sauce like chile con carne but they do have some salsas for them) and fairly good tortillas (they are made by a machine but better than Tia Rosa)

                              You will want to avoid Angelina's, Mariscos 2000, El Rodeo, Abuelo's, On The Border, El Fenix, and Ojeda's (well if you like Ranchero enchiladas then you might like em at Ojeda's). Cristina's can be good on some dishes so I tend to like them better than the rest. Save your trip for the original one in the boondocks of Flower Mound.

                              Stick to these areas in Lewisville for good Mexican
                              Fox and Edmonds,
                              Business 121 Northeast of 35
                              Fox and 35

                              Carrollton and Denton both need their own postings so let me know if you need those. The places into Frisco and Plano to get some good grub are going to be a bit further than Lewisville, no offense DD, and they ain't very numerous in those parts.

                              3118 W Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75220

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                Taqueria Guadalajara is the real Mexican food deal and while they may not have hard shell tacos their soft tacos are great. Less that 10 miles and 20 minutes away!
                                Great, little authentic Mexican restaurant. Menudo, chicken en mole, soft tacos, tortas, Jarritos, etc! Breakfast, too. All good Chowhounds owe it to themselves to try it! I used to eat there regularly for many years.
                                170 Fox Avenue
                                Lewisville, TX 75067-5351
                                (972) 436-2515.
                                The add a restaurant link is not working correctly right now!

                                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                  I think Ojeda's and Christina's are the worst of the worst. The only thing redeaming about El fenix is that if you visit the downtown location, you can get their original hot sauce. It is devine. None of the others serve it.

                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                    After a few months of teasing, there is now an El Pollo Regio in East Plano (Jupiter/14th). Too packed the opening day but the following week was manageable. The chicken is cooked through the day (we walked through a smoked filled parking lot) and kept warm in packages. The creamy green sauce was my favorite of the three salsas.

                                    I liked the food overall. Chicken tasted good and had good texture, wish the skin was more crisped. Corn tortillas were factory made although tasted alright, probably skip them next time. The salsa bar kept flavors bright. Beans and rice were actually pretty good (not bland). Tried some dessert empanadas which were unremarkable but cheap.

                                    Oh, and Regio opened in an interesting area. There's a KFC and Popeyes across the streets and a Churchs down the block.

                                    1. re: amokscience

                                      I understand there will be El Pollo Regio's going up all over town. Decent place.

                                  2. Arguably, but in my opinion, the best authentic Cantonese Chinese food in the Dallas area: First Chinese BBQ.
                                    With "outposts" in Carrollton and Plano, the best location is in Richardson at the N/E corner of Polk and Greenville.
                                    The best Mexican: Restaurant Gonzalez on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff and Taqueria El Fuego in Richardson on Plano Road just South of Campbell.

                                    First Chinese BBQ
                                    Richardson, TX, Richardson, TX

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: twinwillow

                                      FCB doesn't even match Sam Woo in SoCal (Some ppl say Golden Joy BBQ is better for the BBQ pork.) The best Cantonese is available at Maxim's (not dim sum), but you have to know what to order (the chef is Cantonese).

                                      Having moved from SoCal ourselves, we wouldn't dare to get anywhere close to the Colony or its vicinity for decent food. SoCal has an equal number of lousy restaurants esp. if you look in a SoCal version of the Colony (Rancho Cucamonga?


                                      My SO's mother doesn't eat ethnic food and Gloria's is the only Mex restaurant. she patronizes--that tells something about Gloria's! My SO also lived in SoCal for 15 yrs and El Fuego is by far his favorite Mex restaurant of all time as well as the favorite of our neighbor who used to live in Mexico.

                                      Maxim's Chinese Restaurant
                                      310 Terrace Dr, Richardson, TX 75081

                                      El Fuego
                                      1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                      1. re: kuidaore

                                        Dorothy, you and Toto are not in SoCal anymore. So your comment about Sam Woo is not relevant on this page. And, IMHO, Kirin Court is fine for dim sum but, their Cantonese cooking pales in comparison to First Chinese BBQ.

                                        And Gloria's, although a terrific restaurant, is more Salvadorian than Mexican. And speaking of Salvadorian cooking, we tried Mario Sabino (Lemmon Ave.) last night. Excellent! He used to be with Gloria's.

                                        First Chinese BBQ
                                        111 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75081

                                        Kirin Court Restaurant
                                        221 W Polk St, Richardson, TX 75081

                                    2. There's a Gloria's in Frisco! That's good food...

                                      Gloria's Restaurant
                                      8600 Gaylord Pkwy Ste 5, Frisco, TX 75034

                                      1. Lived in Los Angeles for 8 years...so, here it goes. You will not find Chinese food in Dallas that can compete with San Gabriel Valley. SGV's food rivals that of any major U.S. city. The selection of Chinese foods in SGV is truly amazing and the quality top notch. As for Mexican, as I drove into Texas, I ate at various Mexican restaurants in Arizona and New Mexico. The flavor just changes as you head East and you just will not find enchiladas or tacos that taste exactly like those in SoCal. Mia's beans and rice come pretty darn close and I'm sure you would like their brisket tacos (no hard shell). Gloria's enchilada's do come the closest to SoCal enchiladas, but not as tasty. I don't think the sushi here is as good (state law requires that it be frozen first, so it changes the texture). I do think pizza is really good here. However, as a general rule, the Asian food cannot be compared to Los Angeles.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: jindomommy

                                          Maybe I am confused here by this post but we started off with someone in The Colony looking for Mexican and it has turned into a debate over Chinese and over all Asian food in LA vs Texas. I would sure hope Asian food is better in California than here, they are after all about 3000 miles closer to Asia. I would also assume that given the vast amounts of land the beef and BBQ is better in Texas than in LA. Just logical assumptions.

                                          As for Mexican in LA vs Texas of course it is going to be different. Most of our chefs come from our border states of Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Coahula and Tamilipas. I am not saying we don't have any folks from further south into Mexico (the more populous states like Sinaloa, Jalisco, Zacatecas and Michoacan). California has chefs from Northern Baja and Sonora that have a more arid and coastal cuisine so it will be lighter than the interior. If you all would like to learn an exponential amount of the cooking cultures in Mexico I would highly suggest Diana Kennedy's cookbooks. She takes no short cuts on her recipes or explanations of the cultures(i.e. if the recipe calls for fresh chipotles the canned ones are not a substitute).

                                          Perhaps we should give the OP some generous options say in N.Carrollton, Denton, The Colony?
                                          I did a quick Google and there is an outpost of the Taqueria La Paloma chain in The Colony on Main St. Leslie Brenner said the one in Richardson was one of her favorites in the Metroplex and she came to us from LA.

                                          The OP might also try La Paisana Meat Market (Carniceria) on S. Colony and Paige. I am sure they might have some tacos, tortas and quesadillas and the like.
                                          5201 S Colony Blvd, The Colony, TX‎ - (972) 624-0512‎

                                          La Paloma
                                          4900 Main St, The Colony, TX 75056

                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                            Thanks Lewisville.......appreciate it......

                                          2. re: jindomommy

                                            Thanks jindo.......makes sense to me.....

                                          3. Its sounds like The Metroplex is changing for the better, It's great to hear that Dallas has a rich Mexican food variety. Seems Im going to have to get up there to partake.

                                            Can anyone suggest where to get some good Cabrito al Horno, or Albondigas de Camaron en Nopalitos. I'm really craving for some Fideo con puerco, some Calabsita con pollo or Caldo de Pecado?

                                            Any help, thanks

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: SAguy

                                              So let me understand you correctly. Oven baked goat, Shrimp Balls in Cactus, Fiedo with Pork, Squash with Chicken and Fish Soup?

                                              Sopa De Pescado

                                              There are a few other places that I will have to personally verify for Sopa de Pescado.

                                              Cabrito al Horno that might be difficult. El Ranchito has Cabrito a la Parrilla but it is actually cooked in the oven. It is served on a Sterno grill though.

                                              I know Los Lupes (the one in Duncanville) has a fideo soup and I am sure you can ask for pork in it. Not sure what specific cut you are looking for.

                                              Escondido might have the Squash and Chicken

                                              I know Taqueria El Fuego would have the Squash and Chicken dish and also the Fideo. If not ask them to make it up for you!

                                              Shrimp Balls in Cactus is probably the most difficult dish to find. Umm La Playa May in Fort Worth might have it. COuld request it?

                                              Perhaps Vallarta Mexican Seafood and Grill on Seminary (close to Hemphill) in S Fort Worth. The Sopa Marinera is pretty darn good.

                                              Too bad you missed La Palapa Veracruzana for the Sopa De Jaiba, Arroz a la Tumbada, and many many other dishes.

                                              Los Lupes Restaurant
                                              1820 E Trinity Mills Rd, Carrollton, TX 75006

                                              El Fuego
                                              1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                  Taqueria Christine has the Shrimp in Cactus. They do some Tex mex, but not very well. Their more authentic dishes are pretty righteous, however. The seafood is more their thing. Check em out for quarter oysters and ceviche tostada specials through out the week. They pretty much mirror Seafood Shacks specials a few blocks towards Forest on Webbs Chapel. Chrsitine is Webs Chapel and Royal.

                                                  They also have wonderful taco special. 99 cents, but if you buy 10 or 20 they drop considerably in price and they are awesome. Especially the barbacoa and al pastor.

                                                  Nice thread. Good times.

                                                  Seafood Shack
                                                  11625 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75229

                                                  1. re: DallasDude

                                                    Thanks for the tip, 'Dude. Seafood Shack has really good shrimp tostadas for $1.50 each on Mondays. But, IMHO, it's one of the very few things I think are any good there.

                                                  2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                    Awesome, next time in Dallas area, Ill have to try the Los Lupes, good mixed menu.

                                                    El Ranchito looks good too. I usually stay in Carrolton, is there any comprable restaurants

                                                    Los Lupes Restaurant
                                                    1400 N Industrial Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207

                                                    12150 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77099

                                                    1. re: SAguy

                                                      Try the watermelon frozen margarita. Mucho bueno!

                                                      1. re: SAguy

                                                        There is an outpost of Los Lupes at Josey and 190 in Carrollton(SWC). I have heard that the location in Irving is pretty bad though. So just a warning that the locations may not all be the same quality. If you are looking for fideo much of that dish lies in the broth. I would ask to try the broth before I buy it. Then if you like it ask them to put some puerco (cut of your choice) in it instead of chicken.

                                                        If you are looking for lighter sauces (not sure if you are) like a ranchero sauce or chili gravy instead of the chili con carne ask them to substitute it on your dish. I am not sure if you are looking for various options on the sauces that come on dishes. I personally change the dish up to give the cook/chef a challenge and know that it is a fresh dish.

                                                        Los Lupes Restaurant
                                                        1820 E Trinity Mills Rd, Carrollton, TX 75006

                                                  3. I guess I can appreciate your situation. Coming from Texas, I think the Sonoran-style Mex in AZ and Cali is pretty much crap. I'd be surprised if you find anything close to what you are looking for. The Mex in Cali is considered Sonoran style, and pretty watered down at that. Texas shares more border with Mexico than any other state, but the Mexican state of Sonora is nowhere close. So that is why you will find mostly TexMex, and nothing resembling what you are used to. Unless you go to a Central Mex place like Javier's I don't think you are going to be pleased. I think you are being unrealistic to expect a Mexican restaurant in Texas to serve up food from a region of Mexico that is nowhere close to Texas. Good luck.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                      Using that kind of logic, there should be NO Asian, Indian, African, or European food in the Metroplex! I don't buy it.

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        It wasn't stated it shouldn't, couldn't, wouldn't be found, just that it won't match the preparation style of that found in Cali ----- or Asia or India, etc.

                                                        I just can't believe that so many out-of-staters come to TX expecting entitlement of some bazaar form or another .....

                                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                                          No one said a word about "entitlement." Just that we miss and wish we could find a place that prepares Mexican food that is closer to what says "home" to us. Don't misrepresent what is being talked about here. Thank you! '-)

                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                          Bah. The metroplex is full of Asians, Africans and Europeans, and so you will find eateries reflecting those population bases. Considering that Texas used to be part of Mexico it stands to reason that an indigenous food style would develop.

                                                          Considering that Sonoran-style Mex SUCKS compared to TexMex is just one of the reasons there are no Sonoran-specific eateries to be found. Watery, tomato-based sauce and white gooey cheese? No thank you!

                                                          I lived in SoCal for many years on 2 different occasions, and while I found Mexican eateries I enjoyed (focusing on a handful of dishes... mostly seafood-oriented) nothing came close to the TexMex I love...except when Chuy's had an outpost for a couple of years.

                                                      2. I'm no lover of Chuy's but, I've lived in both California and Texas and, I'll take my Tex-Mex any day over Cal-Mex.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                          1. re: randyjl

                                                            As have I twinwillow. Another Amen.

                                                            1. re: slewfoot

                                                              Most people love the food they grew up with. I once read an interesting tale by a wife who had driven herself nuts trying to make mashed potatoes for her husband like his mother used to make. He LOVED them! She tried Idaho potatoes, new potatoes, mashing baked potatoes, making them with a ricer, whipping them with a mixer, every trick she could think of but nothing came close to his mom's. And then they visited his mom. Her mashed potatoes were lumpy and miserable, but she had been a working single mother and their meal time had been their primary bonding time. Good memories and good times are often the best seasonings for food.

                                                              Don't begrudge us our fond memories and missing CalMex... '-)

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                Well put, Caroline1.
                                                                Very well put.

                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                  I've read that we are hard-wired to seek out the food we grew up with ... apparently because evolutionarily it was by definition safe as we lived to tell the tale!

                                                                  I'm a native Californian but left too young to remember the food--grew up eating Tex-Mex. When my family left the region for the Midwest, we'd visit relatives annually, and take back a supply of canned jalapenos (and eventually started growing our own). I'll never forget a guest (originally from Brooklyn) who when at our house eating spaghetti, asked for jalapenos, sliced multiple whole peppers in half and laid them across the top. I watched in horror & fascination as our precious supply dwindled before my eyes. And I still remember what happened next ... he turned red to the roots of his hair, sweat popped out on his face, and he said "I love that hot feeling!!!" ... which became a family saying.

                                                                  The CA Mexican I love is from the taquerias in the Bay area, where they make what I call 'kitchen sink' tacos ... steamed tortillas, beans & everything you can imagine on top. You have to eat them with a fork. I don't suppose there's anywhere to get those here ...

                                                          2. Come down south to Oak Cliff or Cedar Hill and try Veracruz Cafe. It is not SoCal, but it is definitely not Tex Mex. It is described as Mesoamerican, Mayan, Huasteco & Aztec Cuisine. Lots of seafood dishes.

                                                            La Calle Doce has a lot of seafood dishes and I would not consider them standard Tex Mex either.

                                                            Stay away from most chains, they are definitely, usually BAD and DUMB Tex Mex. You must be going to some really awful ones if all they offer on their enchiladas is chile con carne and flour tortillas. Flour tortillas usually only come with some versions of enchiladas suizas - chicken enchiladas with green sauce. Enchiladas around here are made with corn tortillas 99% of the time, and if they are not, it usually tells you on the menu. MOST Tex Mex places offer at least chile con carne, queso, sour cream sauce, ranchero sauce - the blah ones. Many others offer different versions of chile sauces, tomatillo sauces (my favorite). You don't see a lot of the traditional red enchilada sauce you talk about. I like that sometimes too.

                                                            Look around on Guidelive.com too. I doubt you will find exactly what you are looking for. You will have to reserve it for visits back to SoCal and savor it when you are there. Hopefully you will be able to find something you like here in Texas.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: sline

                                                              I think we all pretty much agree that although we can find decent mex and texmex in Dallas, the better offerings are all south of Maple. And the further south you go, as it stands to reason, the better it gets. It is rathger cumbersome at times getting to Cliff, but props where its due. And amen and glory hallelujah to La Calle Doce. The brunch is off the chart greatness, but wonderful any time day or night.

                                                              1. re: sline

                                                                Thanks sline, I appreciate the advice......

                                                              2. You might try Mi Cocina...What you would be looking for is a "ranchera sauce"...We typically don't like that...I understand you feelings about a real fried taco shell....

                                                                1. I can guarantee there is NO place in the DFW area that serves REAL Mexican food. I am a native Californian (of 50+ years) transplanted to Plano 5 years ago and I am still looking for a restaurant that can make a decent enchilada!

                                                                  With real ... red ... enchilada sauce.
                                                                  Not chile.
                                                                  Not chile con carne.

                                                                  Enchilada sauce.

                                                                  Does not exist in Texas. Unless you make it at home.

                                                                  Some of the taquerias are "OK" but sorry, DallasDude. They don't come close to the taco trucks and taquerias in CA. SoCal or Northern Cal. And trust me, I have been looking for the past 5 years!

                                                                  But I will not give up! So if you find anything, please post it. I'm willing to go to great lengths to have good Mexican food. In Texas.

                                                                  (Ok, I'm not willing to travel great lengths, so preferably close to Plano would be nice!)

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Cascokat

                                                                    I find it absurd that someone would list their years living in California as testament to their being an expert on Mexican food - especially in Texas. Geographically, it doesn't make sense. Demographically, it doesn't make sense.

                                                                    There's been several posts in this thread pointing out that Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex, and the Mexican food in the areas they're based on are very different. Saying that one is inferior to the other is like saying Lebanese food is inferior to Greek. Yes, there are similiarities but they are not and should not be identical.

                                                                    What the Cali-Mex seekers are looking for is a type of food that doesn't exist in Dallas for the most part due to a lack of demand and a somewhat close substitute. Yeah, there may be 200 people in Dallas looking for the same thing spread out over the metroplex but the vast majority of people here are perfectly happy living without it. Until that changes, nobody will open a Cali-Mex restaurant.

                                                                    1. re: mahalan

                                                                      No where in my statement did I use the word, nor did I even remotely refer to my being an "expert" on Mexican food. I did not say that Mexican food in Texas is "inferior" to Mexican food in California. Everybody has different tastes and every region has a different way of preparing every food imaginable. Heck, people in Maine think the Mexican food they have is wonderful.

                                                                      What I did say is that you will NOT find a real, red enchilada sauce in a restaurant in Texas.
                                                                      And i will stick by that statement!

                                                                      p.s. Of course the vast majority of people here are perfectly happy living with Tex-mex. It's what they grew up with. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people in California are perfectly happy with the food they have, too. And chances are, if someone opened a real Mexican restaurant in the DFW area, it would not be a success unless they could reach out to all the transplants familiar with the food.

                                                                    2. re: Cascokat

                                                                      It's also absurd that you say you don't want to step too far outside the Plano bubble to search for Mexican food yet you're willing to go to great lengths for your "search". That tells me that you must not be trying very hard, not to mention that if an enchilada is your sole benchmark for good Mexican food, that's hardly any basis to judge the cuisine as a whole across an entire state considering how the broad variety of Mexican food. Please define, what is a "real" Mexican restaurant?

                                                                      There are a considerable number of good Mexican restaurants in metroplex and in Texas. Even East Plano has a few! Bottom line, you're not going to find the Cali-Mex you're looking for because no one in Texas wants it and instead of having such a myopic stance, it'd be a better idea to explore other options that we have outside of California.

                                                                      1. re: air


                                                                        What about San Diego Taco in Irving, Dallas and Fort Worth. They serve Cali similar dishes. Having not grown up in S. California I can not attest to the menu being identical but I do know they have some dishes (carne asada fries, machada, rolled tacos) that seem to be specialties of that region.

                                                                        I am not sure what you definition of "chile" is but that is the word used for peppers of many cultivars. Red enchilada sauce should contain some chilies in the sauce unless it is just tomato sauce, without your definition of the word I am not sure of the context. As my post above states you can find "real" red enchilada gravy at Tipicos in Dallas and Carrollton.

                                                                        Maybe I lost what the argument in this post was about a long time ago.

                                                                        I believe we do have some Cali-style places out there you just might have to look harder or in different neighborhoods than the ones you are familiar with.

                                                                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                                          @LewisvilleHounder: I disagree. You can find real Mexican cuisine in pretty much any singular area of Dallas.

                                                                          I don't know what the point being discussed is anymore. Is it about "real" Mexican cuisine in DFW or Cali-Mex. I get the feeling that some of the people lamenting the lack of Cal-Mex are equating the two. Maybe it would be helpful (or potentially even more confusing) if we spoke specifically about what type of Mexican food you are looking for. On that note, any good Oaxacan restaurants in the city?

                                                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                                            Thank you, Lewisville. I have not tried either of the places you mention, but will definitely put them on my list.

                                                                            Jeez, I really wish people would lighten up ... Air ... because this is NOT a food fight between Texas and California. It is a simple, factual statement: there is no red enchilada sauce in Texas. I agree, there will never be a Cali-Mex restaurant around here, but I am far from myopic in my stance on ANY food! Jjust so you know, one of my benchmarks in Mexican food is Chile Rellano, not enchiladas (I'll even concede that Texas makes a pretty good sour cream chicken enchilada. Still no red sauce, though). And the "too far from Plano" remark was meant a bit sarcastically. I apologize if anyone took it seriously.

                                                                            As for the enchilada sauce, Red enchilada sauce does contain chiles (and actually very little tomato). This is a fair recipe if anyone would like to try it: http://mexicanfoodie.com/red-enchilad...

                                                                            What WAS the argument in this post anyway?

                                                                            1. re: Cascokat

                                                                              Take it from this OC chowhound that there's nothing Cal Mex about Tipicos. I havent been to San Diego Taco, if you go please tell me how it is, I would like to hear the opinion of someone who has really eaten Mexican food in SoCal.

                                                                      2. Just drive to Fuego's in Austin. They pride themselves in being California Mexican and are delicious. They have your red sauce enchiladas, and the best fish tacos I've ever eaten hands down.

                                                                        1. Channel 4 did a "spot" over the weekend on Mexican v Tex-Mex in the Dallas area. Unfortunately, I came in on it when it was almost over, but the owner/chef of Danals said he had tried cooking true Mexican a different points and that his customers didn't like it...... they wanted Tex-Mex.

                                                                          So for those of you in search, perhaps "Mr. Danal" should be approached. I know he churns out some very good food at extremely reasonable prices. Would love to see what he would do with the inner Mexico flavors.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                            This the same Danals that is in Irving.....I went about six months ago and it was by far the worst plate of Mexican type food. I wouldn't classify it into any category it was that bad. Camarones al Chipotle was covered in Chipotle Kraft BBQ sauce, no lie. The flour tortillas were overly greasy and not cooked all the way through. The whole night was a failure on every dish. I would think with ingredients at their fingertips (Cost Plus is about 200 feet from their door) they could do better. Danals made Panchos seem like a gourmet meal.

                                                                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                                              I haven't been there in well over a year, or maybe more - just after they upped their prices. Wonder what happened..... I used to really enjoy the blistering they did on the flour tortillas.

                                                                          2. You know coming from West TX where you can find in out of the way small towns, some great family run restaurants and one my biggest disappointments since moving to Plano close to 10 years ago now is the poor quality of Tex Mex here. Just bland tasteless crap!

                                                                            I do not know how they are now, they were already going downhill when we moved away from there, but in the early 90s Jorges in Midland was about the best I can remember tasting outside my own mother-in-law's cooking (yes she is Hispanic). I noticed Jorges recemt;u opened an upscale venture in the arts section of downtown Dallas, but I bet though the selections are far different from what I remember in Midland. Back then it was the real deal. Looking over the menu on their Website, it has changed quite a bit, but hopefully their salsa hasn't changed, the best I have ever had in any Mexican restaurant anywhere and boy was it hot, but very very good. I have not tasted anything that comes close to it in north Dallas/Plano. See http://www.tacosgarcia.com/Midland_Od...

                                                                            A lot of people here in Plano swear by Aparicios on 18th St. I think it is just plain awful!

                                                                            Just my opinions,