You really can’t visit Texas and not eat Mexican food, the food is inevitably part of the culture, but as with anything there are good and not so good Mexican restaurants. These are my three favourites that I’ve visited many times and where I’ve always had an excellent meal.
Javier’s Gourmet Mexican
Javier’s is an extremely popular traditional style Mexican restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine. There’s nothing of the Tex-Mex vibe going on here, just seriously good dishes including ceviche, tortilla soup, nachos and fajitas and on to red snapper, chargrilled quail (my favourite) and chicken with mole sauce – a dark, chocolatey looking sauce which includes, yes, chocolate, but also chilies, tomatoes, onions and garlic.
Unlike most restaurants here you can’t order your dinner ‘to go’. And the sides at Javiers are usually guacamole, black beans and rice. They’re always extremely helpful if there’s anything you don’t eat.
The service is excellent and very quick, so take your time when ordering. You can only book by phone, and then only after 5pm. You have been warned. Javier’s is a big restaurant with many different rooms and seating areas and I have never been there when it wasn’t full. And noisy.
Javier’s Mexican Restaurant
4912 Cole Ave, Dallas, TX 75205
El Bolero Mexican Restaurant
El Bolero is about as different from Javier’s as it could be. No table cloths here and no formally dressed waiters, just great food, great service and a noisy casual atmosphere. Don’t forget to book as otherwise you’ll probably have to wait.
Try the gazpacho or the ceviche to start then move on to the Wagyu beef tacos, chicken with mole sauce (again) or lobster tail fajitas. Everything is good here. A specialty are their cocktails, and it’s worth trying their Michelada Verde, which is beer with tomatillo, celery, yellow peppers, garlic, cucumber and onion.
El Bolero 1201 Oak Lawn Ave #160
Dallas, TX 75207
Mesero Mexican Restaurant
Mesero is another extremely busy bustling Mexican restaurant which is hugely popular, so make sure you book. If you go early or late or on a quiet night (for Dallas) you may get straight in, but if you hit the main crowd be prepared to wait a little for your table. There are five branches of this Tex-Mex chain but the one on Inwood is the one I have visited.
If you can cope with the noise, and the kids (if you go early) this is an excellent place to come to if you like high quality reasonably priced Mexican food. As with all Mexican restaurants you’ll be served with tortilla chips and dips, and the ones here are the best of the three. Be aware that these dips can be extremely spicy – there’s no holding back where chilies are concerned.
You’ll find all the usual dishes, ceviche, nachos, guacamole and tortilla (or tomatillo) soup, then a choice of modern style salads featuring quinoa and kale amongst other ingredients. You can order an American style burger here or traditional style tacos and meat dishes – there’s a wide choice and something for everyone. This is real Tex Mex at its best.
5330 W Lovers Ln #112b, Dallas, TX 75209
I wouldn’t advise coming to any of these restaurants without booking first, if you want a sophisticated meal come to Javier’s, if you want Tex-Mex then it’s Mesero, but if you just want high quality Mexican food in a casual atmosphere it has to be El Bolero. Take your pick……