While barbecue is certainly important foodstuff in the Lone Star State, it has roots in many other areas of the country and world. But Tex-Mex has been jacking up G.I. Tracts here for 100 years -- long before the rest of the country bastardized our already-bastardized signature cuisine.
These are City of Ate's five favorite spots for Tex-Mex, including our recent Best of Dallas winner. We're sure you'll agree with all of them, but just in case, make your case in the comments. Get more of Dallas' best with our Best Of app, available for the Droid and the iPhone.
Matt's Rancho Martinez, Pictured above East Dallasites know where to find great drinks, chicken fried steak covered in runny cheese, foot-long enchiladas and decent fajitas, and they loved on Matt's enough to land it a Reader's Choice award in this year's Best of Dallas issue. Order the Bob Armstrong Dip, which makes use of taco meat, guacamole, sour cream and queso. It's the Mexican Famous Bowl, only significantly less terrible.
Avila's consistent cooking has earned the restaurant three Best of Dallas awards, two for Best Mexican (even though it's Tex-Mex) and one for Best Meatless Enchiladas. The small, swift dining room still turns out some of the best Tex-Mex in Dallas.
It might be the hot pink walls that cast an eerie glow down on your plate, or the Pitbull playing on the sound system, but something gives Mia's a kitschy appeal. Whatever it is works, and diners keep coming back for more. Brunch is busy on the weekends, and you'll wait for a seat Friday nights. Watch out for strollers; Mia's is a family favorite.
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Herrera's is a greasy affair, and its food strikes me as some of the most gritty, earthy Tex-Mex cooking in Dallas. Cumin and pork flavors abound, and on weekends bowls of menudo leave trails of steam that rival the fajita plate's. And I've yet to find a better sour cream enchilada in Dallas. (Trust me: I've tried.)
Pepe & Mito's
Homemade tortillas, great Margaritas, tacos and tamales make our recent Best of Dallas winner the place to secure a hangover-preventing carb-and-grease base before a night of drunkenness in Deep Ellum. Hit up the patio when the weather is warmer and take it easy on the chips and salsa. You'll need room for the sopapillas.