When he immigrated to America, Jesse Berenji took a job in the kitchen at a family member's Mexican restaurant. By keeping a close eye on all aspects of the business, he was soon able to pioneer his own Mexican place—El Patron Restaurant & Cantina. The cooks here fry hand-breaded boneless-chicken breast drizzled with cilantro sauce, for example, and prepare El Patron fajitas—chicken and beef with sautéed veggies on a heated platter, served with homemade tortillas for creating edible Venn diagrams. The menu even touches on American classics such as burgers and chicken tenders.
At Morelia Mexican Grill, generations of the Arreola Family cook up recipes from their ancestral home in Morelia, Mexico, captivating diners with savory dishes of chicken, seafood, steak, and pork. The restaurants immerse guests in an atmosphere of Mexican art and culture, with stone pillars and friezes decorated in Mesoamrican-style carvings and colorful wall-sized Diego Rivera–style murals. The dishes that sparkle against that backdrop included the shrimp-stuffed avocado, Fajitas Romanas, and mixed grill plates of quail and steak.
Los Reyes' tables brim with traditional Mexican entrees, Tex-Mex favorites, and fresh seafood. Chefs begin slinging breakfasts and insults about the sunrise at 6 a.m. before lunch specials infiltrate empty stomachs with tacos, burritos, and enchiladas at 11 a.m. Rice and beans flank authentic south-of-the-border proteins such as carne asada, barbacoa, and tripe, and a separate seafood menu hooks cravings with broiled or fried shrimp, catfish, and flounder.
Start your tour of Texican's massive menu by slinging your jaw around spinach, mushroom, and onion quesadillas ($7.99) or clearing your taste buds of impurities with spicy cream-cheese-stuffed jalapenos ($5.49). The plentiful options let you supplicate at the altar of a traditional dish such as cabrito—a platter of tender goat roasted with mysterious spices and topped with tomato and bell pepper ($14.99)—or head straight for the grill with a 10 oz. rib-eye steak tampiqueña ($14.99). To enter the mythical realm of "New Mexico," head northwest of south of the border for some Santa Fe enchiladas in smoky red chile ($9.49), or fly straight up into space instead with a deadly delicious chile relleno plump with chicken, beef, shrimp, or cheese and legally drowned in red tomatillo sauce ($8.99).
Cuisine Type: Baja-style foods
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot; free parking off San Antonio Street
Most popular offering: Grilled shrimp tacos
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Buy a souvenir cup and get refills for $1 FOREVER.
If it weren’t for father-son duo Alan and Chuck Bush, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop might’ve closed its doors permanently in 2003. Instead, the two bought the restaurant from its then-owner, transforming the flagship Fort Worth location from faltering to bustling. They slowly started to franchise locations across the country, and, now, 60 restaurants dot 11 states. Each one serves up a menu of Baja-style Mexican food, including jumbo burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas.
A decade is a long time to be in the restaurant, but MasFajitas Mexican Restaurant's three kitchens haven't slowed down in all that time. The owners attribute their success to their signature dishes, including the cadillac fajita, a medley of veggies, tender chicken or beef, and all the bell and whistles from creamy guacamole to handmade pico de gallo. They keep things fresh by working contemporary American ingredients into their menu, such as grilled catfish or a cheese and spinach quesadilla. The kitchen can also export its wares via its catering service, available for parties of any size, from intimate gatherings of friends to huge gatherings of strangers who you will turn into friends with your benevolence and Mexican food.