Help a hermana out.

For all of this city’s renown as a foodie’s mecca, I’m having a hard time with the simplest little request:

I want Mexican food.

When I say this aloud, the people around me in North Dallas say, “Oh, you should try Abuelo’s, it’s good. Or Posado’s. Or Uncle Julio’s.”

Yawn. Frankly, I’m not really interested in a place that has its own website. Most of what I’ve seen so far in D/FW are high-concept Tex-Mex restaurants with utterly forgettable fare. Even Joe T.’s, while admittedly tasty, is fancier than what I seek.

I want a small family-run taqueria. I want steak tampiquena with nopalitos and grilled green onions. I want migas (which someone told me are called chilaquiles con huevos up here?), my only perfect hangover food. I want Cokes in the can and chicle at the register for a quarter and Tecate posters on the wall and a jukebox.

Got any suggestions? Please, don’t think I’m looking for something up here in the ‘burbs — I’d be suspicious of a Mexican restaurant that could afford the rent anyway, because then the prices sure aren’t going to be the $1.50-for-a-chorizo-breakfast-taco-the-size-of-my-head for which I’m searching, and the menu is going to be all artsy-fartsy and theme-y. Ick.

And, since I’m making requests, I want elotes asados, scraped right off the cob into a styrofoam cup. In Austin I could get it at the cart in front of the Fiesta Mart by my house. Any ideas here?


10 Comments so far

  1. mja (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2004 @ 9:01 am

    disclaimer – I’m a Norwegian from the midwest.

    Matts in Lakewood, same family that has the famed Matts in Austin. Small family owned place behind the HP Books (NW Highway and Greenville) – the name escapes me. La Calle Doce (sp?)[Seafood] Skillman and Live Oak and the original in Oak Cliff (recommended), anything in the neighborhood of East Grand and 30, Hampton between Colorado and 30, in the vicinity of Maple between Motor and the Tollway,…

  2. christie (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2004 @ 10:37 am

    Matt’s is good. And La Calle Doce is yummy for more costal Mexican dishes – lots of seafood. Lots of people like Mia’s on Lemmon. The last time we ate there the food was fab but there was some unpleasantness with someone on the staff. We aren’t going there anymore which is a real shame, since it was our Friday night Mexican for years and we love the family that owns it.

    And there’s another one that I won’t post about because it’s too fabulous. Everyone would overrun the place.

  3. habitatgirl (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2004 @ 11:08 am

    I was going to say La Calle Doce too. The squid in onions and garlic is incredible. So is the shrimp cocktail. Lez Haul knows some great places in Oak Cliff, maybe he’ll chime in. Hint….

  4. Scotch Drinker (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2004 @ 1:18 pm

    Casita Dominguez is the one behind Half-price books on Northwest Highway and it is very good and close to what you’re asking for. Matt’s is solid too. I’d recommend checking out Casita Dominguez when you get a chance.

  5. Les (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2004 @ 11:00 pm

    Just got back from excellent dinner at El Ranchito on Jefferson in Oak Cliff. We’ll take you to El Jordan on Bishop when they get back in the New Year from their holidays. They have all the things you ask for except the juke-box. Breakfast burritos that must be made with three egss for $1.00 each, big bowls of soup served with a plate of onions and celantro and lemon, sugared, cinnamon porridge (ok oatmeal), lots of other stuff – oh and Coke in the botle from Mexico – also er, is it Fresca? A big milk shake thing. On the counter chicle and fudge that make all your fillings hum. Good stuff – I, and most of the neighborhood, love it.

  6. bunny (unregistered) on December 28th, 2004 @ 7:57 am

    You have to get out there and explore. One of my faves is in Fort Worth – Chuy’s, not the chain restaurant from Austin but a dive with unbelieveably good dive Tex Mex. For me, if they serve menudo, they’re authentic enough. In Dallas, the aforementioned Aparicio’s used to be a phenomenal place for breakfast tacos and chilaquiles and huevos con nopalitos, yadda yadda yadda, but somebody lost their sh*t and built it into some unbelieveably lush restaurant with a tequila bar. It was a place with unmatched booths and chairs, and light fixtures from a Home Depot clearance, where you’d have to wear your coat during breakfast it was so cold.

  7. Lyn (unregistered) on December 28th, 2004 @ 9:03 am

    If you’re going to come all the way out here, there’s a place on the corner by our house (on Davis in North Richland Hills near the highway) that used to be a pager store (and before that, possibly a Taco Bell), that is now Alvarado’s.

    They’ve got menudo on the weekend, and every once in a while they put up a sign for tamales (that comes down 10 minutes later when they run out). I almost always get the carnitas, while Bryan’s a fish taco guy, and I keep forgetting to try their breakfast, though they’re open 24 hours.

    Guidelive used to have a decent writeup on them, but it’s been replaced with one useless paragraph. There’s another one in Fort Worth on Berry, and I think a third in Tulsa.

  8. PG (unregistered) on December 28th, 2004 @ 5:32 pm

    Lyn, it’s a date!

  9. bunny (unregistered) on December 28th, 2004 @ 8:01 pm

    Good Mexican food in Tulsa?!? I can’t believe it. Will have to drag the male consort there this weekend.

  10. lupe (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 9:20 pm

    i am mexican so my standards are low and with good reason. forget the upscale mexican food joints, as previously stated. do yourself a favor and visit chucita’s on knox @ henderson. likely the best kept secret in dallas for mexican-ish. i say mexican-ish because i hate the term tex-mex. price is good, staff are all cute shorties. occasional mariachis/jarocho bands taking requests (saturday night is a safe bet). let me suggest you take your favorite shortie to chuca’s and order the guisado de cerdo, a large horchata and request that the band play Treinta Anos (Jose Maria Napoleon). if there is a better time on this rock i haven’t found it.

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