Mexican in Downtown Dallas
Will be in Dallas for first time. Unfortunately a very short trip. Was going to have lunch at Pecan Lodge one day and am looking for an authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex spot for dinner. Am staying at the Fairmont and will not have a car. Walking distance is preferred but can take a cab if necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks
El Fenix, which is easy walking distance for you and has been around forever (90 years?), recently won a big Dallas Morning News reader's poll as the best Tex-Mex in Dallas. Many or most on this board would disagree that it's the best or perhaps even that it's good, but it's a Dallas tradition and is very representative of the roots of Dallas Tex-Mex, so in a sense is as authentic an example of Tex-Mex (as oposed to Mex) as you'll find. A "Dallas institution" kind of place, still very popular.
I can think of two decent-to-good restaurants with Mexican food that are in downtown Dallas, both walking distance from the Fairmont.
1. Wild Salsa - is an upscale version of authentic Mexican but the food is good. The menu ranges from fancy dishes like lamb shank barbacoa with a poblano tamale for $29 all the way down to $2.50 tacos. It's a beautifully designed space with a Day of the Dead theme, and has a bunch of unusual margaritas.
2. Sol Irlandes is a pretty good Tex-Mex place with classic recipes dating back to one of Dallas' earlier Tex-Mex chains, Tia's -- nachos, fajitas, rellenos, combination plates, queso, and also American dishes like burgers and chicken-fried steak.
3. there's also Iron Cactus, a spin-off of a mediocre Tex-Mex place from Austin with a convenient location on Main St but it's more popular for drinking than eating.
and you'll hopefully budget in an hour wait for Pecan Lodge? the lines are long since their DD&D appearance
For some excellent tacos, go to La Banqueta just north of Downtown. My favs there are the Pastor, Chorizo, and Suadero. Really good stuff (definitely better than Fuel City IMO)
You would probably have to take a cab, though, and it's sort of in the hood.
Tacos La Banqueta
4500 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204
Neighborhood: East Dallas
Although personally, I love El Banqueta, I wouldn't want to send a stranger to Dallas there considering the neighborhood it's in.
teegee's suggestions below are far more realistic for the OP.
Also, the OP might enjoy Pepe & Mitos's on Elm Street in Deep Ellum as seen on "Triple D"