El Fenix Mexican restaurants are as much a part of the Dallas tradition as the State Fair of Texas. Both have roots dating back to the 19th century. ... More
El Fenix Mexican Restaurants
El Fenix Mexican restaurants are as much a part of the Dallas tradition as the State Fair of Texas. Both have roots dating back to the 19th century. Tex-Mex food El Fenix style begins in the 1890's with the birth of Miguel Martinez. Unrelenting poverty forces Miguel to leave his birthplace for work north of the border - where the young twenty (20) year old settles in Dallas, Texas. Miguel, now Mike, learns the art of food preparation working in the kitchen of the posh Oriental Hotel downtown. Mike marries Faustina Porres, also from Mexico and shortly thereafter opens Martinez CafA(C) in 1916. That same year, the first of their eight children is born. In 1918, Mike renames his restaurant El Fenix CafA(C). The first menu featured mostly American food, but Mike soon begins to offer his guests more exotic tastes with combination plates of Mexican-American dishes. Over time, the El Fenix menu evolves into a new innovative style called Tex-Mex and has been copied.... but never duplicated!
When my family moved to Dallas in 1970 my father took me to this El Fenix and it always remained a special place as far as excellent mexican food. However I took my out of state relatives there this weekend and the food was horrible, the chips cold and flavorless, an absolute disaster. We asked if we could have some spice added and they brought a bottle of Tobasco. Margaritas were a waste of money. Be advised this is for the Mckinney Ave location only as the one on Colorado is excellent.
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