Hang onto your pants. It's time to lay out or favorite Tex-Mex restaurants -- an endeavor that consistently draws as passionate a comment stream as any burger post.
Pepe & Mito's (Pictured above) This Deep Ellum mainstay won last year's award for Best Tex-Mex in Dallas with homemade tortillas, great Margaritas, tacos and tamales. With a warmer than normal winter expected you should hit up the patio before a night out on Elm Street, or come back in the morning for a serious brunch-based remedy to all that ails you.
Urban Rio Urban Rio broke out on the scene this year with hand-crafted ingredients, clean tasting food, and a massive dining room that's packed on weekend evenings with Plano locals. For the amount of work the kitchen puts into their dishes, from the hand-made tortillas to the fresh salsas, the menu provides a great value.
Herrera's The old Herrera's on Maple Avenue will always have a place in my heart. I wish the new dining room had half the romance as the old space that was memorialized in National Geographic, but I suppose it's nice I don't have to endure an hour-long wait for my sour cream enchiladas.
Avila's The chili relleno served at Avila's made this year's 100 Favorite dishes because the kitchen leaves the pepper naked instead of breading it in what often becomes soggy batter. Watch out for that salsa -- it packs a punch.
Cuquita's This small family chain may have closed a few locations over the years but it's not because of their food. Cuquita's serves of simple Tex-Mex that may hit the cheese a little hard, but still doesn't leave you feeling like you need medical support to get home.
Manny's Uptown These guys have the best brisket tacos in Dallas in my opinion. I love the bright crunchy vegetables, and the massive bowl of gravy they give you for dipping and dousing.
Mr Mesero If you've been a fan of the upscale Tex-Mex of Mi Cocina, get out of your groove and give Mr. Mesero a try. It's owned and operated by Michael Rodriguez, the guy who built the Mi Cocina empire, but this small Uptown restaurant maintains a quaint one-of-a-kind feel that's all it's own.
El Ranchito This place is insane on a Friday night. The line is always out the door, and every time someone steps out, the deafening sounds of Mariachi music pour into the street. The cabrito is my favorite dish, but standard Tex-Mex offerings are decent too. What I like best though, is the scene at this Oak Cliff restaurant -- it's always fun.