El Vecino, Dallas, 7/28/19

exterior
exterior

El Vecino is a good sized place in a small shopping center in the Casa Linda area.  The bare wood tables are well spaced and set with cloth napkins wrapped around the flatware.  The colors are bright and the place is too, but there are windows all across the front to the outside free parking lot.  They offer a good sized menu with lunch specials for weekdays, special selections for brunch on weekends and some summer specials.   They have a second location that has opened in Travis Walk but we were at the original.  They have a full bar and you will see it when you first enter.  It has stools so you could probably eat there if they were full.  There are benches on the covered patio out front, I’m guessing for waiting.  The name “El Vecino” translates to neighbor and they want to be a neighborhood place, opening in the fall of  2017.  The owners, the McBride family, have Mexican restaurants in their blood with his grandfather starting El Fenix and he working in NYC’s Rosa Mexicano.   Service was efficient but did try to ‘upsale’ extra stuff to order several times. Continue reading

Pepes & Mitos, Dallas,7/26/19

exterior
exterior

Pepes & Mitos is a large place in Deep Ellum.  The tables are covered with oilclothes and well spaced and good sized.  The restaurant has several rooms and an enclosed outdoor patio with fans.  In the entrance room you can see through to the kitchen and a counter houses a large selection of cold drinks.  The next room has a large bar where you can also sit and eat or just have drinks.  A concrete floor, brick walls and exposed ductwork in the ceiling give it a casual feel.   Lots of art is on the walls.  Even with all the hard surfaces noise was not a problem.  A number of large groups were there at lunch so it seems to be a good place for work people to lunch together.   They have a good sized menu and do offer lunch specials for weekdays.  Service was helpful and very friendly.  Parking is on the street by meter or in a paid lot. Continue reading

Avila’s, Dallas, 1/24/19

building
building (4714 Maple Ave., Dallas, 75219)

Instead of enjoying retirement, Anita and Octavio Avila opened a restaurant featuring family favorites in 1986.  They have added new items as well as expanding their selection of beers since that time.  They are at 4714 Maple Avenue in Dallas, near where “Little Mexico” still holds many locations but neighborhood change has brought a more diverse population to the area. Located in a little house they have 2 main dining rooms, one much small than the other.  Along the walls they utilize bench seating to work in the maximum number of tables.  There is a mix of 2 and 4 top tables and they seemed to turn over quickly, as lunch sometimes has a short wait.  They do have an adjacent parking lot as well as a few spaces in front.  They have only had this location but now a sign on the table refers to a second location in the planning for Casa Linda in East Dallas.  The menu has lots of options but I generally go here for the tasty Tex-Mex food and the fairly spicy salsa on the table.  Service is friendly and efficient and they have lunch specials which are delivered fast enough to be able to fit a meal here on a lunch hour.  They do have lunch specials but nothing on the menu is over $20. Continue reading

E Bar Tex Mex, Dallas, 8/13/18

exterior side
exterior side

E Bar is a medium sized place that serves Tex-Mex food.  There is a small parking lot adjacent to the place as well as 3 spaces in front and otherwise parking is find as you can.  Seating inside is in 2 areas divided by a large bar and there is patio dining, where they have optional plastic walls to enclose it.  We were there for an early lunch and so had no problems but I have seen lines out the door waiting for a seat in the evening.  Tables were nice sized bare wood with fair spacing between.  A wood bench provided one side of the seating.  Service was friendly, efficient and helpful and they had a large menu that offered the full dinner menu as well as lunch specials.  While I wasn’t blown away by the food, I expected to be as they get amazing crowds of people.  However it was nicely done and good enough that I’ll go back and try some more dishes.  Sometimes you just have to find that option that works for you, and obviously they have for a lot of people.   Continue reading

La Victoria, Dallas, 11/2017 and 1/30/18

building
building

La Victoria is a small place that looks like it was once a drive-in burger joint.  However when you get inside it’s light and airy with a number of stools at a counter and a half dozen large bare wood tables.  Many windows let in lots of natural light, which matters as they are only open for breakfast and lunch.  Service is friendly and helpful.  For example, when I was there for lunch the waitress suggested we order the half size rather than the whole one because it’d be too much, and she was right.  Food is not your standard Tex-Mex and chips are not automatically on the table, but they are on the menu if you want some.   The spiciness of the sauce varies but they also have an un-spicy variety that is available upon request.  There is a quality to their food that I find appealing, it’s simple but honest and the owner is often in the kitchen cooking when she’s not out on a catering job. Continue reading

Mis Cazuelas, Dallas, 6/28/16 & 8/2/16

building
building

Mis Cazuelas is a really small place of about 5 tables and a counter. There is another larger version further down the street but this cozy location is way better food even though it offers a more limited menu (not everything on the large menu is available at this smaller, original location). Their lunch food is fine but it’s the breakfast (served anytime) that’s my favorite there. It is a cash only place and little English is spoken, but you can get by with pointing at the menu. The kitchen is behind the bar seats and the constant patting that is the background sound is the lady making fresh corn and flour tortillas, as well as the thicker ones for gorditas. It feels a  lot like eating in your grandmother’s kitchen. Continue reading