From the moment you pull up, it’s not hard to tell that Don Juan’s Romantic Mexican Food opened in 1966. A certain brand of flashy midcentury Americana lights up every inch of the stucco building, declared a Grand Prairie Significant Landmark by the city's historical commission. Hand-painted signs—one shaped like a gargantuan sombrero—advertise “luncheons” and “dinners.” The menu hasn’t changed much, either: for more than 45 years, the cooks have been making chili, hot sauce, guacamole, and many other ingredients from scratch using the same recipes the founder perfected when the restaurant first opened. Tacos, burritos, and tamales join Tex-Mex favorites such as enchiladas, chili con queso, and taco salad in a deep-fried shell. For dining on the go or on the lam, the restaurant sports a drive-thru (one of the first in town) in addition to a robin’s-egg-blue counter with matching swivel stools.
If they listen closely, visitors to Jimmy's Catfish might hear a sizzling sound shortly after placing an order. That’s the sweet-sounding symphony that catfish create as they crackle in oil until they’re golden-brown. Cooks also grill tilapia to order, stuff fried oysters and shrimp into poboys, and simmer pots of rich clam chowder and spicy Creole gumbo. Sides such as fried green tomatoes and mozzarella sticks add variety to meals, and wedges of pie or cheesecake sweeten palates.
Rodriguez's fresh-baked "pan dulce" includes Mexican sweets such as cinnamon cookies, fruit-filled turnovers, gingerbread cookies, and vanilla-flavored azucarado pastries. Earning acclaim for its dinner fare as well, the restaurant's house-made tortillas are so popular they're sold in sold in dozens of grocery stores across Oregon and Idaho?perfect for shoppers looking to make their own tacos or replace an old mousepad.