Dislaimer: I was invited to sample foods from this restaurant for the purposes of this review. However, all my comments here are my own.
And in the heart of Oak Cliff in Dallas, you’ll find El Corazon de Tejas. While this Tex-Mex restaurant is relatively new to the restaurant offerings here in Dallas, the family that opened this neighborhood must-go is definitely not new to the Dallas Tex-Mex scene.
Owned by John and Gilbert Cuellar, grandsons of Adelaida Cuellar of the The Cuellar family, are well-known for their roots in opening the first El Chico and their hands in many other restaurants in Dallas. Taking their experience, family recipes and renovating a beautiful building in the OC from the early 1900s, these brothers have put their heart and soul into making El Corazon de Tejas something we can all appreciate: good food made from local foods from the hands of even more members of this incredible family.
During the two-hours I dined, I met around 10 family members who either had come in to dine, make our meal or serve it to us. And as I looked around the large dining room, complete with a beautiful newly painted mural of a Mexican maiden and an incredible restored chandelier that like the name of the restaurant, sets as a heart in the circular-like room. Together, you would never know which of the fixtures has been there longer.
Starting off the smorgasbord was a queso flameado with mushroooms that easily could make for a perfect meal for one, but who can stop there when there are warm, handmade tortillas brought to your table? Then the lineup of food began with all things that make Tex-Mex great: echiladas and tacos! However, the menu also includes parillas, taqueria tacos and some family specialities.
Once the dishes came out to the table, I already felt that I may need to rethink my form-fitted pants for a pair of sweats. However, like any good experience eating with friends and family, you find a way to make it work, taking tastes from each of the plates and washing them down with fresh mango and watermelon margaritas, sourced from Urban Acres. While both were refreshing, the watermelon flavor tasted like the flavor of summer and paired perfectly with the chipotle quesadillas I kept being drawn to for seconds and thirds.
One of my favorite dishes we tried was a Mexican Fajita Martini – a fun presentation of some of the best things you love about Tex-Mex with guacamole, pico, sour cream, rice and fajita meat. Created from one of the owners’ daughter wedding, this dish isn’t on the menu right now, but it will be — and certainly is the great way to start the fiesta you are bound to have at El Corazon de Tejas.
El Corazon de Tejas
110 W Davis St
Dallas, Texas 75208