A Dallas Restaurant Owner Remembers Life in Texas BT—Before Tex-Mex

A Dallas Restaurant Owner Remembers Life in Texas BT—Before Tex-Mex

Martinez at the original Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine, in Dallas, in 1991.I was born in 1944 in Little Mexico, which was located just north of downtown Dallas. At that time, the forties and earlier, Mexican restaurants often had a lot of Anglo customers. They would serve chicken-fried steaks, fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls. Of course they would also offer basic Mexican food like enchiladas with chili gravy and tamales, but you couldn’t charge very much—it was expected to be cheap. And it wasn’t called Tex-Mex then, just Mexican food. Actually, some Anglos thought the term “Mexican” was offensive, so they would say, “Oh, we just love Spanish food.” Dallas’s Mexican population was small, but it produced two influential chains, El Fenix (founded in 1918) and El Chico (in 1940). The…View Original Post

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Source: Texas Monthly