What is Tex-Mex cuisine? Ask three people in Fort Worth and you’re likely to get four different answers. Some people say it’s essentially Mexican cuisine, with the addition of a lot of cheese, ground beef (hey, we’re in Cowtown), flour tortillas instead of corn, or hard corn taco shells instead of soft corn tortillas.
Whatever it is, we love our nachos, burritos, fajitas, which are Tex-Mex inventions. Here are a dozen restaurants where you can enjoy some excellent Tex-Mex food.
The website at Chuy’s says it all: "Deep in the heart of Tex-Mex." The southwest chain, which originated in Austin in the 80s, has burritos, nachos and queso compuesto –– queso loaded with ground, seasoned sirloin.
Pro tip: You can snack on free queso during happy hour at the nacho bar. Just make sure you order a drink and tip your server!
On Fort Worth’s Northside, Dos Molina’s is a hybrid of traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. You can have your choice of five different kinds of nachos or a burrito on a menu that also features traditional dishes like mole.
El Asadero, also on the Northside, offers another true Mex/Tex-Mex mix. The menu’s loaded half a dozen kinds of nachos and many fajita options (including fajita nachos) as well!
Joe T. Garcia's
Joe T. Garcia’s standard dinner menu includes beef or chicken fajitas and their version of nachos: a chalupa-sized corn tortilla smothered in cheddar cheese with slivered jalapenos to top if you wish. The lunch menu also features cheese, bean and beef nachos.
Sister restaurant to Joe T. Garcia's, Esperanza's Mexican Cafe and Bakery serves hearty home-style Mexican breakfast dishes sure to keep you full for the day. The chilaquiles with chorizo are a favorite along with aguas frescas made fresh daily.
Juan's Burrito Express
Juan’s Burrito Express offers breakfast burritos –– like a breakfast taco, but bigger and wrapped in a flour tortilla. You can get the more traditional Mexican-style chorizo and egg, or a firmly Tex-Mex sausage or bacon and egg version. If you’re hungrier, go for the Supreme burrito –– fajita meat, beans, cheese, pico and sour cream.
La Playa Maya
At La Playa Maya’s three Fort Worth locations you’ll find fajita salad, fajita nachos and Cadillac fajitas with fancier rib-eye steak standing in for the skirt steak. Cowboy tacos (brisket stuffed into flour tortillas) and a burrito Del Norte smothered in your choice of sauce complete your Tex-Mex options.
Johnny Cisneros III’s kitchen at Los Vaqueros comfortably blends Mexican, Tex-Mex and some true original ideas. Fajitas, a carne asada salad, and brisket tacos share space on the menu with the Don Juan Coco Von (a riff on the French Coc au Vin) and rotisserie Tequila chicken tacos.
The menu at Mesero offers another blend of full-on Mexican specialties (sopa de fideo, oxaquenas enchiladas with mole sauce) and Tex-Mex favorites (queso, nachos and enchiladas Tejano-style). There are also menu additions that might leave you scratching your head: a Hollywood Cobb salad, Brussels sprouts, a Kobe beef chili dog and fried rice “La China.
Tina’s Cocina’s menu features standards from the recipes that owner Juan Solis’ mama cooked, but you can also get burritos with your choice of filling, fajitas, fajita salads, and wraps.
Yucatan Taco Stand
Yucatan Taco Stand’s got five kinds of nachos, which all overflow large platters. The serving size is enough for two people as an appetizer or one person for an entrée with a little to take home. Burritos and burrito bowls round out the menu.