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Mexican restaurants in Dallas years ago (1960s-70s)

RevImmigrant Nov 30, 2012 10:03 PM

I grew up in east Dallas and there was an El Chico Mexican restaurant in Lakewood not far from us. We used to go there some. My mother and I Iiked Tex-Mex and my father didn't mind going there because they had good fried oysters in season and, otherwise, the fried chicken was pretty good. Is it still there?

My mother worked near, but not right in downtown Dallas. Sometimes we would meet for lunch at an El Fenix restaurant. It was close enough she could go there on her lunch hour. I think this was their original location and had handmade tortillas. I remember a dish I particularly liked called Shrimp Veracruz.

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  1. twinwillow RE: RevImmigrant Dec 1, 2012 10:06 AM

    I first came to Dallas in 1963. I can't remember any particular
    Tex-Mex restaurants other than, El Chico or El Fenix.

    Having come from NYC, I loved them! Back in those days, a HUGE combination plate (my favorite) was cheap and delicious. It had practically everything on the menu on one huge oval platter.

    Besides Enchiladas, rice and refried beans, the "combo" platters also included (hard shell) Beef Tacos, Chilies Rellenos and Tamales! And, all in copious quantity.

    1. r
      randyjl RE: RevImmigrant Dec 1, 2012 04:09 PM

      Be careful. I had a post almost exactly like this deleted by a moderator. Maybe you will get a better moderator than I did. We used to go to one near downtown in the 70's but I can't remember the name. Maybe someone else will pique my memory.

      I remember the downtown El Fenix, too. They made the tortillas in a litte kitchen in the dining room and you could watch them make them. Yummy!

      1. horseshoe RE: RevImmigrant Dec 2, 2012 01:39 PM

        There used to be a place at Ross and Hall called Gaudalahara. It was real mex mex, if I recall. Used to go there weekend nights, they stayed open pretty late. This was late 70's early 80's.

        1. c
          CocoaNut RE: RevImmigrant Dec 2, 2012 04:32 PM

          Early 70's, northern fringe of downtown, McKinney/Harwood/St Paul/(?) - Taxco in a small, tan, standalone building. Cheap and very, very good - where I learned appreciation of true Tex-Mex.

          2 Replies
          1. re: CocoaNut
            Carrollton Foodie RE: CocoaNut Dec 3, 2012 08:56 AM

            We used to go to El Taxco after they moved to Harry Hines. Yummy! The widow of the son of the founder of El Taxco opened Casa Navarro on Marsh at Forest and serves lots of the same recipes. http://casanavarro.biz/

            1. re: Carrollton Foodie
              CocoaNut RE: Carrollton Foodie Dec 3, 2012 03:48 PM

              Thanks! Didn't know that. Might have to give it a try.

          2. m
            mommystar RE: RevImmigrant Dec 3, 2012 02:29 PM

            Don't think the El Chico in Lakewood is still there.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mommystar
              randyjl RE: mommystar Dec 3, 2012 03:57 PM

              I have a friend that MUST go to downtown El Fenix everytime he comes to town. Nostalgia!

              1. re: randyjl
                frognot RE: randyjl Dec 4, 2012 03:52 AM

                I always liked the food (and drinks) at Annie's Santa Fe (on Greenville & Park Lane, I believe.) It was a popular place to take a date when in college ('76-'78).
                I liked the burritos and my dates always liked the strawberry margaritas.

              2. re: mommystar
                Mike C. Miller RE: mommystar Dec 5, 2012 12:15 AM

                I remember the El Chico in the Lakewood area. I grew up in Marshall, but we would et there occasionally when we came to Dallas for my Dad to see his heart doctor every year. Back in he early to mid 1960, a Mexican restaurant was a very exotic thing, especially if you grew up out in the country like I did. Much more rare and daring than eating Thai, Vietnamese, or Indian would be considered today. Funny how times change.

                1. re: mommystar
                  Khatru RE: mommystar Dec 10, 2012 09:16 PM

                  It's now (sadly) a Cantina Laredo.

                2. c
                  cookitnow RE: RevImmigrant Dec 5, 2012 07:51 AM

                  Casa Dominguez on Cedar Springs, about where Oceanaire is, was my family's go to Mex. restaurant.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookitnow
                    twinwillow RE: cookitnow Dec 5, 2012 02:16 PM

                    I totally forgot about Casa Dominguez. And El Taxo, too!

                  2. twinwillow RE: RevImmigrant Dec 5, 2012 04:20 PM

                    I just remembered another one. Mario's Chiquita! Owned and operated by the late Mario Leal, they used to be on Oak Lawn just about where the new AT&T store is now. They eventually morphed into Mario & Alberto in the L shaped center at Preston and LBJ.

                    I understand they've had to move out because the LBJ road construction was killing them. But the landlord in the that center will own the name in exchange for letting them out of their lease early.

                    More current information here....

                    1. Khatru RE: RevImmigrant Dec 10, 2012 09:18 PM

                      But does anyone remember Caro's on the circle in FW?
                      THE single best TexMex.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Khatru
                        foiegras RE: Khatru Dec 20, 2012 02:24 PM

                        I do remember it ... but it rated differently for me.

                        Just wanted to mention that when I go to El Chico, I like to go to the one at 35 & Valwood. It is right near the corporate headquarters, so the quality there is typically the best one can get from El Chico. The restaurant does smell a little heavily of cleaning products, though ...

                        1. re: foiegras
                          Carrollton Foodie RE: foiegras Dec 21, 2012 08:34 AM

                          I think that location closed :(

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