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El Fenix

1 rating: 5.0
Chain Restaurants

For nearly 78 years, the Martinez clan has been dishing up enchiladas, tomales, rice and beans. As the oldest family-owned Mexican chain in the country, they claim their first El Fenix on McKinney Avenue was where the Mexican food revolution started.

1 review about El Fenix

Save room for the MEAL!!

  • May 8, 2000
  • by
Pros: Good everything! Food, Decor, Service

Cons: Nothing

I've been a patron of El Fenix Mexican Restaurant since I first moved to Dallas in 1969. I've gone there more times I could count to just about every location in the Dallas area. For a good meal with good service and a great value for your dollar you can't beat El Fenix.

Most folks around here recognize Wednesday as "Enchilada" day. Every Wednesday El Fenix offers their Enchilada Special for $3.95. For that you get three cheese enchiladas with chili sauce, rice and beans and all the fresh hot chips, salsa and soft tortillas you can eat. At lunchtime, even the busy office worker can get a super meal and get back to work in an hour or less.

I can't count the many holiday and birthday meals I've eaten at El Fenix with my husband's family. Our party often numbers as many as 20. I've found each location we've gone to able to accommodate such a large party, get us seated quickly and busy munching on chips and hot sauce in 10 minutes or less almost every time. It's a zoo when we all go together and the waiters keep hopping to keep the salsa bowls filled and everyone's drinks topped off while we wait on our meal. There is so much to choose from and none of our party of strong personalities ever leaves without being happily stuffed.

My husband's favorite is the cheese filled chile relleno. This dish was once rated as the highest cholesterol meal in any restaurant in Dallas. Does that deter him? Not a bit, he gets it every time. It comes with generous portions of refried beans and spanish rice and a side order of guacamole.

I get a bit more variety than that. Sometimes I'll just get a half order of ultimate nachos which has beans, beef, cheese, onions, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole. The half order looks like a small mountain to climb. Add a good dollop of the freshly made picante sauce and I'm in heaven! I've had every kind of enchilada that they make and my favorite is the sour cream chicken enchilada.

My kids are crazy about the tortilla soup which has fresh avocado and tortilla strips in a rich broth. They often will pair up and split an order of nachos to have with their soup.

My sister in law is known for eating the salsa with a spoon. When a manager recognizes our party, he'll usually have someone bring her a bigger bowl of it for herself. The chile con queso dip is also a wonderful addition to the table to help make the mounds of chips disappear (as if they needed any help!)

It seems that no matter which location we go to, we are always greeted by the manager who seems to remember our group.

Going with just my husband, we are a bit more inconspicuous, but we always receive wonderful treatment. They have quiet little areas also that are nice for a couple out on a date.

Each location is well decorated with pleasing and soothing plants and murals. Some locations have wonderful murals of countryside scenes from Mexico. Each restaurant is always spotlessly clean. The chain seems to make a habit of hiring quality wait staff, and we've never had a bad server in all the years I've gone there.

Everything I've ever had there was wonderful. The biggest problem I have is that sometimes I get full on the chips before my meal gets there! I just have to remember to leave room for my meal!!!


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