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Javier's Gourmet Mexicano

Since 1977 Javier's has been a Mexican classic in Dallas, one that sneers at Tex-Mex in favor of sophisticated Mexico City cuisine. It's a dark destination, a hideaway shielded in lush Park Cities foliage. Yet with all of this, we find ourselves in deep "like." There's no denying its elegant rusticity (two stuffed bears-felled by owner Javier Gutierrez-menace the dining rooms) or the crowds that flow in even on weekdays. The servers are friendly. Yet sometimes the food is not. The guacamole is fine (squeeze the lime over it), but you've had better at Café San Miguel or Trece. The ceviche is lifeless. But the steaks can surprise, from the sautéed tenderloin fillet to the charbroiled tenderloin fillet stuffed with Monterey cheese and chillaca peppers. There's a charbroiled marinated quail too, oozing chile ancho and garlic. It'll water your mouth if you let it.

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