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Aug 29, 2002 04:50 PM

Tex Mex Slop I Have Known and Loved

  • p

Tonight we're having one of my favorite meals. Tamales from Escondidas, a dive close to Parkland Hospital, some of their authentically Tex Mex chilli gravy, pinto beans cooked with ham (which is just plain old Tex, not Tex Mex), flour tortillas made by Bimbo Bakeries, and homemade pico de gallo. I guess the pico de gallo might qualify as Mex. I've eaten gallons of it on the Yukatan, but not on the Pacific coast, the interior, or Oaxaca. Hey, what's wrong with Tex Mex, or just plain old Tex for that matter?

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  1. I agree with you. I like Tex-Mex, and Tex. I am a native Texan who was been eating Tex-Mex for 33 years and LOVE it!

    I really don't understand the snob appeal of "interior Mexican" food. I eat it, but I always come back to my Tex-Mex!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MidtownCoog

      There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with TexMex (except maybe the damage it can do to your cholesterol levels...) And, in my book at least, there's NOTHING wrong with Oaxacan, Mexico City, Yucateca, or any other kind of MexMex food. Saying that TexMex is somehow "worse" than MexMex is as silly as saying that German food is worse than French food. Not so! De gustibus non est disputandum.

      1. re: Kirk

        Oh I love your post! Especially the...Latin maxim? Taste can't be disputed:)? I couldn't agree more. I am an EOE- equal opportunity eater.

    2. r
      Ron Rosenbaum

      Dear Rose,

      What I wouldn't give for a plate of cheese enchiladas covered with chili gravy. You know, the ones with a little diced raw onion, served on a white hot plate, like Mia's on Lemmon Ave. Or their Tuesday night chile relleno special, the one filled with the piccadillo of ground beef, almond, and raisins.

      I now live in Chicago, which has all the Mexican food you'd ever want, but Tex-Mex can be pretty special. We do have an Uncle Julio's here, but as good as they are, I never really considered them to be Tex-Mex, like Ojeda's or even El Chico.

      I dream of Mia's Huevos Rancheros, sunny side up and runny, with a side of chorizo, fried potatoes, warm flour tortillas, and lots of real butter.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Ron Rosenbaum
        Ron Rosenbaum

        Oops! Not El Chico................ El Fenix!!!

        1. re: Ron Rosenbaum

          El Fenix rules. At least as far as chain Tex Mex goes. For more individualistic places, I'm kind of partial to Ojedas.

          1. re: Plano Rose

            I hear a lot of good things about Ojedas. I went there once & did not really like the Chili Relleno. What are some of your favorites selections from Ojedas.

            1. re: MJones

              Uh oh! Chili Relenos is very much on my "like" list. I also like the combination with an enchilada, a cheese taco, and a beef taco. Chili gravy and queso oozing together. One time I was there and wasn't hungry. The tortilla soup was just right for the occasion. Big pieces of white meat chicken, nice fresh veggies. flavorful broth. The only thing I've eaten that to me are not very good are the refried beans. Too much of a smoky taste.

              1. re: MJones

                My favorites at Ojeda's:

                Puffed Beef Tacos
                Chicken Stuffed Jalapenos (ask, they are off the menu)
                Guacamole (great garlic taste)
                Cheese Enchiladas with extra onions
                Corn Tortilla's

                Makes me want to move back to Big D.

              2. re: Plano Rose

                El Fenix is THE place for good "chain" Tex Mex -- especially the Downtown Dallas location. Their tamales are tough to beat. Order the #3 lunch special (tamale con carne, soft cheese taco, and cheese enchilada) and it will cure *any* problem you may ever encounter -- hangovers, relationship woes, landlord issues, and gas price woes, etc. -- especially when paired with three or more cold Tecates.

              3. re: Ron Rosenbaum

                You just mentioned an El Chico... earlier this year, I went to a taco stand in Chicago where they had the best tacos al carbon I've ever had. Might that have been El Chico?

                If so, can you tell me where it was in Chicago??



                1. re: Ron Rosenbaum

                  El Fenix is unbeatable! It's been one of my very favorite restaurants (and I've been to many locations, but the one on NW Hwy & Hillcrest is my choice) for over 20 years. And that's saying something since I'm only 30 years old! Ha!

              4. Leo's on Shepherd in Houston (orig.location) was pretty good Tex-Mex, although they lost it a little when they moved to Wasshington. Just open up ZZ Top's Tres Hombres album for a Leo's spread!

                1. Tex Mex? To me its enchiladas w/chile con carne, tamale, and crispy beef taco with a side of guacamole...frozen w/salt and 3 baskets of chips and salsa.

                  El Fenix used to make damn fine enchiladas, but that went away 20 years ago with the franchising....and so the search continues

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: billywade

                    Escondidos in Dallas on Butler has a fine example of enchiladas (real close to Parkland)

                    also Tipicos on NW Hwy (Bachman Lake area -directly under the flight path of Love Field) has some great cheese enchiladas with awesome refrieds that actually have flavor!!

                    1. re: soulslinger

                      Soulslinger, I was greatly surprized to see this old thread of mine revived. You're right on the money with Escondido. If you notice, the thread starts with Escondido's tamales. I'll have to try Tipico's. Love cheese enchiladas.

                      1. re: Plano Rose

                        I haven't tried the one in Carrollton but there is also a Tipicos in Carollton on Beltline just east of Josey about 2-3 blocks. Same menu I would say. A tip for Escondidos...don't go on a cold windy day....wind blows right through the "holes in the wall". Escondidos actually has a website via Myspace.

                      2. re: soulslinger

                        You guy's that are fans of El Chico, El Fennix, Uncle Julio's; I am not going to slam your favs.
                        But give some real Tex-Mex a chance.

                        GO TO ESCONDIDO'S, !!!!
                        There is none better. It's been my favorite Tex-Mex place for over 30 years.
                        Order the Escondido dinner, not the lunch.
                        Also ask for the GREEN salsa. FYI, it's hot to some folks, so ask for butter before you try it.
                        It's bring your own beer. They put in the frig. to keep it cold for you.

                        Hererra's is just about a mile north and it is pretty good also. But the bean soup is my favorite thing. However, it is alittle inconsistent. It depends on who makes it that day, but when it's made right, it's killer. Oh yeah, it's free with any order.
                        If you like it, the recipe is on the wall near the entrance, in the article from National Geographic magazine with the picure of the original location as the cover shot.

                      3. re: billywade

                        I would concur with your definition of TexMex, but we probablly need to add a bowl of queso to go with the 3 baskets of chips. I generally prefer more Mex-Mex, but sometime it just has to be Tex Mex. So, that begs the question, what place in Dallas do folks think have the best Texmex Cheese Enchilada's? Bring it on.

                        1. re: J.R.

                          When it comes to a good ol cheese enchilada, topped with chili gravy, shredded cheese, and a sprinkling of onions, no one does it better than El Fenix...Having said that, because there are so many locations, let me say that I go to the one in Addison...They also have the best chips and top shelf margaritas, not frozen....

                      4. The best cheese enchiladas I've ever had were at Galvin's el Unico / Rolandos (R.I.P.) off of Denton Drive Cut Off and Maple. Something about the sweet onions they used made them phenomenal. They had a fire and never reopened. I still pine away for those enchiladas after years...